The reality is you can make an argument for both, Duals do promote a stronger team aspect while Individual state does, to SButler’s point, often provide more entertaining matches. There are a few reasons that the NCAA argument doesn’t add up
The SCHSL Upper/Lower state qualifiers send 4 wrestlers per weight class, the number of schools or the competition level of the regions have no bearing on the number of qualifiers from that region. The NCAA promotes bigger and more competitive conferences with a higher number of allocations per weight class- i.e the Big Ten sent 80 of the 283 qualifiers last year which equals about 8 per weight class. Theoretically a school doesn’t have to have the most complete team in the country to win the team title and the system helps the B1G in particular. (This is not my opinion at the moment; i believe that Penn State has the most complete team anyway in both formats)
The whole “my guy can’t beat their guy so i’ll just tell him to fight his tail off” argument doesn’t really work when thinking of high level competition in the NCAA. The best dual teams in the country are almost all in the B1G (Penn State, Ohio State, Iowa, Michigan) with a few spread across the other conferences (Oklahoma State-Big 12, Mizzou-MAC, NC State-ACC). The reality is that you are most likely going to field a competitive wrestler in every weight class especially in the bigger conferences because that’s where the nation’s top recruits want to go. At that level anyone can be beat on any day: Desanto over Suriano, Phillipi over Fix, Dean over Zavatsky and so on...
The fact is, this is high school wrestling and as far as I can tell South Carolina doesn’t field any national prep teams: Blair, Wyoming Sem… So not every team is going to field 14 studs. Hillcrest had a few holes, RB had a few holes, Eastside had a few holes and so on and so on. It’s way more likely that a team can get 14 guys on the same page to wrestle for team points than it is for them to have 14 hammers. The point is that when you get a team that has 14 guys who are more concerned with limiting the damage at certain weights and maximizing it in others (more concerned with the team score than their individual records) there is where the real championship level teams are determined. Also, in duals we get to see match-ups that we don’t see at individual state with bumping up and cutting down, which can also give duals a really good argument for being the more exciting format. Also another thing, if there wasn’t any weight given to duals then why does the NCAA recognize dual champions for each conference? Understood that this is a conference championship but it still awards the best dual teams.
I’m all for crowning a champ for both but if the argument is to only recognize one then it has to be duals. And I’ll agree the 4 classification system is not suited for a state like SC but I’ll let Maholtz, Koz, and Only_Avg lead the committee on that issue.