Wednesday, February 19, 2020






Oxford, Arab Take First-Day Leads in 6A and 1A-5A Divisions As 61st AHSAA State Wrestling Championships Get Underway

   HUNTSVILLE – Oxford High School sophomore heavyweight Clay Webb needed just 63 seconds to advance to Friday’s semifinals as the 61st AHSAA State Wrestling Championships got underway Thursday at the Von Braun Center.
    Webb (55-1), a husky 6-foot-4, 285-pounder, won his first match with a pin a 29 seconds and took his second bout with a fall just 34 seconds into the match. Oxford, coached by Matt Hicks, posted 85.5 points Thursday to take a 13-point lead into the Class 6A competition Friday. Southside-Gadsden is second with 72.5 points, followed by Homewood with 57.5, Wetumpka with 55.5 and Pinson Valley with 54.
    Arab, going for its fifth straight state title, leads Class 1A-5A after the first day’s competition. Coach Michael Pruitt’s Knights hold  a slim 7.5-point lead over Cleburne County. Arab posted 77.5 points, Cleburne County has 70, Tallassee is third with 63 and Mae Jemison is in fourth place with 48.
     Wrestling gets underway Friday at 9:30 a.m., with Class 7A joining the competition with its quarterfinal round. Classes 6A and 1A-5A begin the day with round two of the consolation division. All classes will begin the championship round semifinals at 1 p.m. The 2017 Championships conclude Saturday with action beginning at 9 a.m., and the championship bouts beginning at 11:30 a.m.
   Webb was just of several outstanding wrestlers who needed little time on the mat Thursday to reach the semifinals.  Among them was South Super Sectional runner-up Trent Holley (48-3) had two two pins. The Wetumpka senior battled Webb to three overtimes in the finals at Montgomery last week before losing the match 4-3.
    In Class 1A-5A, junior Macon Edwards of Fultondale improved to 72-0 with two easy wins at 113 pounds. He posted a pin at 1:52 in his first match and posted a 13-2 major decision to advance to the semis.
   Senior Zachary Van Alst of Montgomery Catholic improved to 66-0 with two pins – 28 and 48 seconds. Van Alst is two victories away from winning his sixth state title.
   Others of note included:
    -- Weaver senior Nick Souder (61-1) had two wins by fall at 126  pounds.
    -- Junior Ethan Pippin of Westminster Christian improved to 51-0 at 170 pounds with one pin and a technical fall.
    -- Sophomore Christian Knoop (56-0) posted pins in his two 182-pouned matches for Alexandria.
    -- Tallassee brothers Jake and Andy Baker also advanced to the semifinals as each posted a pair of wins at 195 and 285 pounds. Jake (43-1), a senior heavyweight, had two pins, and Andy (51-1), a sophomore, had two pins in his two 195-pound victories.
    --  In Class 6A, Junior Justin Ingram of Spanish Fort (51-1) reached the semifinals in Class 6A at 132 pounds with a pin and a major decision win.
    --  Landon Thompson, a senior at Southside-Gadsden, improved to 72-2 with pins at 32 and 49 seconds, respectively, to advance to the 152-pound semifinals.
   -- Freshman Nathan Dunnaway (60-4) handed Sidney Lanier junior Landontay Garrison (29-1) his first loss of the season in the quarterfinals with a 19-6 major decision.
   -- Sopomore Carlos Figuero of Homewood (25-0) posted two pins at 182 pounds to advance to the semifinal round.
  --  And in the Class 6A 220-pound weight class, senior John Ellis Rawls of Wetumpka (50-0) and sophomore Jackson Jones of Clay-Chalkville (47-1) moved one win away from meeting in the finals.
   -- Complete results can be found at by clicking on the Track Wrestling link. All matches are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network in conjunction with Track Wrestling.

Vestavia Hills Downs Oak Mountain in Finals To Win the AHSAA Class 7A Duals Tournament

   BIRMINGHAM – Vestavia Hills High School downed Oak Mountain 47-19 Saturday afternoon to capture AHSAA Class 7A State Wrestling Duals Tournament at the CrossPlex Bill Harris Arena.
    Defending state 220-pound champion James Edwards (32-0) won his match with a pin in 27 seconds to extend his current match winning streak to 35 in a row for Rebels Coach Monterrious Adams, who replaced retired Hall of Fame Coach Steve Gaydosh this season. Edwards’ fall was one of four for 29-Vestavia Hills, 18-2 in dual matches this season.
      Nathaniel Nailen (26-16) won by pin at 126 pounds, Zachary Nelson (12-2) at 170 pounds and Rob Barrentine (29-12) at 182 pounds. Edwards’ twin brother Jacob won his 285-pound match by forfeit.
      Coach Steve Burrough’s Eagles (13-3) notched one pin with 106-pound freshman Sullivan Tipton (23-8) winning the final match of the bout. Oak Mountain posted five wins among the 14 matches but forfeited two matches (120 and 285 pounds).
     Perhaps the most exciting match of the day was sophomore Peter Dazzio’s 1-0 victory over Oak Mountain senior Carson Lester in the 138-pound finals.
    The AHSAA traditional Wrestling Championships, where schools compete by individual weight class pools, get underway Feb. 10-11 with the North and South Super Sectional Championships at Birmingham and Montgomery. The 62nd annual State Championships will be held at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville Feb. 16-18. Defending champions include the Rebels (7A), Arab (6A) and Leeds (1A/5A). The Knights of Coach Michael Pruitt dropped to Class 5A this school year and will be competing in the 1A/5A division. Arab won the 1A/5A Duals Friday. Oxford won the 6A duals title Saturday.
    Complete results from Saturday’s Class 6A finals:

AHSAA Class 6A Dual Finals
Vestavia Hills (18-2) 47, Oak Mountain (13-3) 19
106 pounds: 
Sullivan Tipton (OM) (23-8) pinned Bryant Segars (VH) (27-16), 5:35.  
113 pounds:  
Cole Thomas (OM) (18-6) dec. Crett Jones (VH) (14-19), 7-2.
120 pounds: 
Alex Thomas (VH) (16-2) won by forfeit.
126 pounds:  
Nathaniel Nailen (VH) (26-16) pinned Cole Burrough (OM) (1-3), 3:10.
132 pounds:  Blake Randle (OM) (33-4) major dec. Murphy McCallum (VH) (29-12), 11-3.
138 pounds:
 Peter Dazzio (VH) (32-7) dec. Carson Lester (OM) (21-8), 1-0.
145 pounds:
Jack Stoves (VH) (32-4) dec. Brett Cruce (OM) (7-6), 11-3.
152 pounds: 
Spencer Haddock (VH) (16-2) major dec. Ming Yu Lee (OM) (32-11), 13-2.
160 pounds:
Barrett Blakely (OM) (36-3) dec. Bowman Hill (VH) (29-7), 10-3.
170 pounds:  
Zachary Nelson (VH) (12-2) pinned Justin Evans (OM) (22-5), 2:16.
182 pounds:
Rob Barrentine (VH) (29-12) pinned Jaylon Gaines (OM) (5-3), 2:32.
195 pounds:
Jordan Davis (OM) (22-17) dec. Will White (VH) (10-17), 8-2.
220 pounds:
James Edwards (VH) (32-0) pinned Carter Owens (OM) (9-21), 0:27.
285 pounds:
Jacob Edwards (VH) (36-2) won by forfeit.

Oxford Beats Southside 40-24 to Win 6A AHSAA Wrestling Duals Tournament

BIRMINGHAM – Oxford High School won nine of the 14 matches Saturday to beat Southside-Gadsden 40-24 in the finals of the AHSAA State Wrestling Duals Tournament at the CrossPlex Bill Harris Arena.
    Coach Matt Hicks’ Yellow Jackets, 22-15 in dual matches this season, managed four pins while Southside had two victories by fall. The Panthers are coached by Kristopher Bouton.
    Junior Jackson Hurst (27-20) won by pin at 132 pounds with the other Oxford pins registered by junior Matt King (48-4) at 170 pounds, junior Matthew Muncher (28-21) at 220 pounds and sophomore Clay Webb (43-1) at 285 pounds.
     Southside pins were posted by seniors Sam Colvin in the 145-pound match and Landon Thompson (60-2) at 160 pounds
     Oxford picked up nine wins in the 14 matches. Winning by pins were senior Will Spencer (41-4) at 160 pounds, senior Ian Scott (46-2) at 195 pounds, junior Jack Tindall (42-5) at 220 pounds and senior Michael Weaver (34-8) at 170 pounds Moody (43-11), coached by J.T. Gosnell, picked up two pins – by  senior Will Patterson (38-5) at 120 pounds and senior Steven Porter (38-18) at 285 pounds.
    The 2017 AHSAA Wrestling Duals close out Saturday afternoon with Vestavia Hills meeting Oak Mountain in the Class 7A finals match at 4 p.m.
    Complete results from Saturday’s Class 6A finals:

AHSAA Class 6A Dual Finals
Oxford 40, Southside-Gadsden 24
106 pounds:
. Andrew Smith (SS) (58-3) dec. Chase Hicks (O) (51-18), 11-2.
113 pounds:  
Landon Burrage (O) (51-15) dec. Jacob Dease (SS) (31-16), 8-4.
120 pounds: 
Jacob Chisolm (O) (35-18) dec. Dathan Finley (SS) (29-23), 4-2.
126 pounds:  
Jacob Smith (SS) (57-4) dec. Wesley Slick (O) (20-7), 15-5.
132 pounds:  Jackson Hurst (O) (27-20) pinned Dakota Roddick (SS) (36-16), 3:24.
138 pounds:
Colin Edwards (SS) (9-10) major dec. Carson Lindsey (O) (36-23), 15-3.
145 pounds:
Sam Colvin (SS) (54-3)  pinned Kendrick Young (O) (3-1), 1:22.
152 pounds: Gryce McDaniel (O) (35-19) dec. Kale Venn (SS) (36-18), 4-3.
160 pounds:
Landon Thompson (SS) (60-2) pinned Andrew Boyles (O) (32-14), 3:06.
170 pounds:
Matt King (O) (48-4) pinned Jacob Hollingsworth (SS) (34-20), 1:05.
182 pounds:
Jack Peavey (O) (43-3) dec. Ethan Stevenson (SS) (43-24), 18-8.
195 pounds:
Joshua Thomas (O) (16-12) dec. Austin Daugherty (SS) (32-30), 8-4.
220 pounds: Matthew Muncher (O) (28-21) pinned Tyler Farris (SS) (17-33), 1:08.
285 pounds:
Clay Webb (O) (43-1) pinned Taylor Chappell (SS) (20-36), 0:18

Arab Claims AHSAA Class 1A/5A Wrestling Duals Title with 43-19 Victory over Moody

BIRMINGHAM – Arab (39-2) had four pins as Coach Michael Pruitt’s Knights beat Moody 43-19 Friday night at the CrossPlex Bill Harris Arena in the championship match of the first-ever AHSAA Wrestling Duals Tournament.
    The Knights picked up nine wins in the 14 matches. Winning by pins were senior Will Spencer (41-4) at 160 pounds, senior Ian Scott (46-2) at 195 pounds, junior Jack Tindall (42-5) at 220 pounds and senior Michael Weaver (34-8) at 170 pounds Moody (53-11), coached by J.T. Gosnell, picked up two pins – by  senior Will Patterson (38-5) at 120 pounds and senior Steven Porter (38-18) at 285 pounds.
    The 2017 AHSAA Wrestling Duals continue Saturday at Bill Harris Arena with Oxford meeting Southside-Gadsden at 1 p.m. in the Class 6A finals and Oak Mountain taking on Vestavia Hills in the Class 7A championship match at 4 p.m.
    Complete results from Friday’s 1A/5A finals:

AHSAA Class 1A/5A Dual Finals
Arab 43, Moody 19
106 pounds:
Joseph Martin (A) (43-1) dec. Cory Land (M) (35-9), 12-0.
113 pounds:
Dakota Collins (M) (45-6) dec. Stephen Williams (M) (30-7), 9-2.
120 pounds:
Will Patterson (M) (38-5) pinned Garrett McClendon (A) (44-7), 5:39.
126 pounds:
Peyton Weber (A) (14-4) dec. D’Shawn Skinner (M) (38-8), 8-4.
132 pounds:
Michael Land (M) (41-2) dec. Seth Hyatt (A) (40-8), 15-4.
138 pounds:
Clay Jones (A) (45-2) dec. Rashad Clark (M) (32-13) 3.
145 pounds:
Dustin Davis (M) (23-20) dec. Stephen Schmitt (A) (21-12), 7-3.
152 pounds: Patrick Harden (A) (40-10) dec. Daniel Vasquez (M) (32-18), 8-5.
160 pounds:
Will Spencer (A) (41-4) pinned LaDarrius Fitts (M) (14-18), 1:01.
170 pounds:
Michael Weaver (A) (34-8) pinned Joey Pierson (M) (10-24), 1:44.
182 pounds:
Dalton Satterfield (A) (15-7) d. Brady Price (M) (31-19), 8-2.
195 pounds:
Ian Scott (A) (46-2) pinned Zachary Nold (M) (24-13), 2:39.
220 pounds: Jack Tindall (A) (42-5) pinned Christopher Tice (M) (23-8), 2:14.
285 pounds:
Steven Porter (M) (38-18) pinned Hunter Alexander (A) (43-9), 2:26.

Vestavia Hills, Arab, Leeds Win State Wrestling Championships Pelham’s Hawthorne Closes Perfect Season With 6A Win

    HUNTSVILLE --  Vestavia Hills, Arab and Leeds swept the team titles at the 61st annual AHSAA State Wrestling Championships Saturday at Von Braun that were filled with a multitude of drama and special moments.
    The Rebels ended Thompson’s five-year stranglehold on the big-school classification scoring 134.5 points to claim the Class 7A state title over runner-up Oak Mountain (131) by a mere three points. It was the 13 state title overall and the first 7A crown in retiring Hall-of-Fame Coach Steve Gaydosh’s storied career. It was Vestavia’s 14th championship in school history – tying the state record held by Benjamin Russell for most wins by a single school.
Thompson finished third with 97.5 points.
   Arab won the 6A championship, its fourth in a row and five in six years, posting 197 points. Runner-up Southside-Gadsden had 148.5 points and Athens was a close third at 144.5. Leeds won the 1A-5A crown with 170 points, and Tallassee was second at 130.
    The Rebels needed a win 220-pound finals to clinch the title. Junior James Edwards (39-3) scored a come-from-behind 6-5 decision over senior Josh Smith (46-1) to seal the championship. Thompson senior T.J. Rayam (31-2) followed up at 285 pounds to take his third straight heavyweight title beating Oak Mountain junior Gavin Jackson (34-16) 7-5 in another tight bout to close out the meet.  Auburn senior Khaleel Johnson (44-0) won at 132 pounds and Hoover senior Bret Winters (48-0) won at 195 pounds to close out unbeaten seasons.

Hawthorne Grabs MVP Honors
    Pelham High School senior double amputee Hasaan Hawthorne (37-0)  drew a rousing ovation from spectators throughout the arena with his hard-fought 7-3 decision over Landon Thompson of Southside-Gadsden in the Class 6A 145-pound finals.  Hawthorne finished third last season. His winning match, along with all the other championship bouts, can be seen through the archives of the NFHS Network, which live-streamed the state championships for the AHSAA. The link can be found at
   Arab, coached by Michael Pruitt, had three individual champions including senior Nick Cater    (71-3) at 152 pounds, senior Andrew Schmitt (60-7z0 at 132 pounds and  junior Will Spencer (69-3) at 170 pounds.
   In Class 1A-5A, Coach Matt Hicks’ Green Wave won their second straight title with two individual champions, senior Toren Pollard (44-1) at 152 pounds and senior Alex Nickell (42-3) at 182.  Montgomery Catholic junior Zachary Van Alst captured his fifth state title since winning as a seventh grader in 2012. Van Alst (53-1) won at 132 pounds.
   Fultondale sophomore Macon Edwards also closed out a 90-0 season with a win in the 106-pound finals. He now ranks second nationally for wins in a single according to the NFHS Record Book and is the first AHSAA wrestler win 90 matches in a single season.
    The Class 1A-5A 170-pound title match was also one for the ages as Christian Knop (56-0) scored a 16-10 decision over Dora senior Caleb Lauderdale (60-1).


61st Annual AHSAA State Wrestling Championships
Saturday’s Championship Results

Leeds 170; Tallassee 130; Weaver 105; Madison County 104; Deshler 98; Mortimer Jordan 82; Alexandria 76; JO Johnson 70.5; Moody 69; Oak Grove 63; Saint James 57.5; Hayden 54.5; Fultondale 54; Westminster Christian 50; Dora 46; St. Clair County 45; Cleburne County 41; Holtville 38.5; Piedmont 32; Saks 31; Montgomery Catholic 30; Susan Moore 29; Ohatchee 27.5; Beauregard 23; Montevallo 23; New Hope 22; Walter Wellborn 22; Alabama School/Blind 18; Lincoln 16; JB Pennington 15; Carver-Birmingham 14; American Christian 12; Corner 9; Helena 9; Columbia 8; Ranburne 6; East Limestone 4; Elmore County 4; Sumiton Christian 4; Ashville 3; Shelby County 3; Prattville Christian 1.

106 pounds:
Macon Edwards (Fultondale) 90-0, So. over Zach Clayton (Dora) 56-5, So. (Dec 6-3).
113 pounds: Nick Souder (Weaver) 65-1, Jr. over Lane Trapp (Alexandria) 33-6, Sr. (Fall 4:34).
120 pounds: Timothy Murphree (Fultondale) 67-2, Sr. over Bryer Stewart (Saint Clair County) 54-5, Sr. (Dec 6-0).
126 pounds:  Michael Land (Moody Hs) 69-9, Jr. over Chase Phillips (Hayden) 64-3, Jr. (Fall 1:46).
132 pounds: Zachary Van Alst (Montgomery Catholic) 53-1, Jr. over Robert Childress (Beauregard) 53-9, Sr. (TF-1.5 5:00 (17-2)).
138 pounds:  Braxton Worthington (Mortimer Jordan) 48-1, Sr. over Chandler Teems (Leeds) 29-7, Jr. (Dec 9-4).
145 pounds: Tyler Williams (Deshler) 48-2, Sr. over Carial Tarter (Mortimer Jordan) 26-3, So. (Dec 3-0).
152 pounds: Toren Pollard (Leeds) 44-1, Sr. over Tyler Mayfield (Cleburne County) 13-2, Jr. (Dec 15-8).
160 pounds: Bragan Swindle (Mortimer Jordan) 50-15, Sr. over Seth Shelton (Madison County) 36-9, Jr. (Dec 8-3).
170 pounds: Christian Knop (Alexandria) 56-0, Fr. over Caleb Lauderdale (Dora) 60-1, Sr. (Dec 16-10).
182 pounds: Alex Nickell (Leeds) 42-3, Sr. over Kane Pitts (Walter Wellborn) 28-4, Jr. (Fall 3:31).
195 pounds:  Chase Rodgers (Weaver) 64-5, Sr. over Andy Baker (Tallassee) 44-6, Fr. (Dec 1-0).
220 pounds:  Colton Parton (Madison County) 43-1, Sr. over Caleb Montgomery (Ohatchee) 52-6, Jr. (Dec 5-1).
285 pounds:  Jake Baker (Tallassee) 40-3, Jr. over Josephus Smith (Leeds) 33-1, Sr. (SV-1 3-1).
1A/5A MVP: Zachary Van Alst, Montgmery Catholic.
1A/5A Most Pins: Nick Souder, Weaver (3 pins, 7:59).
1A/5A Best Match: (170-pound final) Christian Knop, Alexandria, vs. Caleb Lauderdale, Dora.

Arab 197; Southside-Gadsden 148.5; Athens 144.5; Scottsboro 131; Pinson Valley 109; Homewood 107;5; Clay-Chalkville 106.5; Benjamin Russell 90; Gardendale 75.5; Oxford 71.5; Pelham 68; Stanhope Elmore 65.5; Wetumpka 57; McAdory 41; Spanish Fort 38; Chelsea 37.5; Hueytown  34; Fort Payne 29; Minor 28; Muscle Shoals 27.5; Austin 27; Park Crossing 22.0; Opelika 21; Pell City 20; Decatur 18; Shades Valley 18; Walker 18; Huffman 12; Daphne 8; Hartselle 7; Lee-Huntsville 5; Gulf shores 4; Brookwood 3; Paul Bryant 1.

106 pounds:
Ty Naquin (Stanhope Elmore) 11-0, Sr. over Cristian Lagunas (Athens) 33-8, Sr. (Dec 5-0).
113 pounds: Jacob Smith (Southside-Gadsden) 59-2, Jr. over John Mcalpin (Scottsboro) 47-6, So. (Dec 5-3).
120 pounds:  Cameron Hamby (Pinson Valley) 39-7, Jr. over Seth Hyatt (Arab) 64-6, Jr. (MD 14-5).
126 pounds:  Kolton Clark (Scottsboro) 47-4, Fr. over Aaron Ledbetter (Chelsea) 43-5, Sr. (Dec 13-6).
132 pounds:  Andrew Schmitt (Arab) 60-7, Sr. over Bailey Roan (Homewood) 32-8, Jr. (Fall 4:14).
138 pounds:  Joseph Green (Muscle Shoals) 38-3, Jr. over Vershone Graham (Wetumpka) 26-3, Sr. (SV-1 7-2).
145 pounds:  Hasaan Hawthorne (Pelham) 37-0, Sr. over Landon Thompson (Southside-Gadsden) 53-3, Jr. (Dec 7-3).
152 pounds:  Nick Cater (Arab) 71-3, Sr. over Dillon Turner (Pelham) 30-1, Sr. (Dec 10-4).
160 pounds:  Brett Clark (Scottsboro) 43-4, Sr. over Thomas Coley (Benjamin Russell) 45-10, Sr. (Dec 5-1).
170 pounds:  Will Spencer (Arab) 69-3, Jr. over Thomas Carter (Athens) 54-8, So. (Dec 7-6).
182 pounds:  Austin Weldon (Clay-Chalkville) 56-3, Sr. over Carlos miguel Figueroa (Homewood) 38-2, Fr. (Dec 3-0).
195 pounds:  Andrew Freeman (Gardendale) 53-2, Jr. over Dawson Mcdaniel (Arab) 60-4, Sr. (Dec 3-2).
220 pounds:  Justavious Robinson (Benjamin Russell) 22-2, Sr. over Trent Holley (Wetumpka) 17-4, Jr. (Dec 5-3).
285 pounds:  Daniel Bland (Benjamin Russell) 50-1, Sr. over Jacob Andrews (Stanhope Elmore) 26-5, So. (Dec 7-2).
6A MVP:  Hasaan Hawthorne, Pelham.
6A Most Pins: John Mcalpin, Scottsboro (3 pins, 2:53).
6A Best Match: (138-pound final) Joseph Green, Muscle Shoals vs. Vershone Graham, Wetumpka.

Vestavia Hills 134.5; Oak Mountain 131; Thompson 97.5; Hoover 97; Central-Phenix City 56; Tuscaloosa County 47; Hewitt-Trussville 43; Prattville 39.5; Bob Jones 35.5; Auburn 35; Mountain Brook 34; Huntsville 33; Buckhorn 24; Grissom 22; Sparkman 22; James Clemens 15; Jeff Davis 7; Smiths Station 4; Gadsden City 2.

106 pounds: 
Alex Thomas (Oak Mountain) 28-3, So. over Tyler Ivey (Grissom) 51-7, Fr. (Dec 3-2).
113 pounds:  Gabe Hixenbaugh (Thompson) 20-4, Fr. over Maxwell Kauffman (Central-Phenix City) 33-4, Fr. (Dec 3-0).
120 pounds:  Carlos Andres (Tuscaloosa County) 37-1, Sr. over Heath Williamson (Hewitt-Trussville) 45-2, Jr. (Dec 7-5).
126 pounds:  Dominic Latona (Thompson) 33-4, Sr. over Quin Estes (Vestavia Hills) 31-16, Sr. (Fall 2:00).
132 pounds:  Khaleel Johnson (Auburn) 44-0, Sr. over Drew Reed (Mountain Brook) 51-2, Sr. (Dec 10-5).
138 pounds:  Michael John Harris (Oak Mountain) 37-4, Sr. over Jarrett Anthony (Hoover) 34-9, Sr. (MD 17-9).
145 pounds:  Robbey Killough (Prattville) 53-1, Sr. over Matthew Paugh (Vestavia Hills) 23-4, So. (Fall 5:22).
152 pounds:  Robert Morales (Central-Phenix City) 40-2, So. over Bowman Hill (Vestavia Hills) 48-10, So. (Dec 9-7).
160 pounds:  Hayden Hill (Vestavia Hills) 48-2, Sr. over Chris Leatherman (Sparkman) 37-7, Sr. (MD 16-8).
170 pounds:  Brooks Schrimsher (Huntsville) 47-4, Jr. over Barrett Blakely (Oak Mountain) 46-5, So. (Dec 7-3).
182 pounds:  Davis Perry (Hewitt-Trussville) 25-0, Sr. over Seth Bruder (James Clemens) 45-14, So. (MD 16-6).
195 pounds:  Bret Winters (Hoover) 48-0, Sr. over Jaried Buxton (Oak Mountain) 49-6, Sr. (MD 17-4).
220 pounds:  James Edwards (Vestavia Hills) 39-3, Jr. over Josh Smith (Tuscaloosa County) 46-1, Sr. (Dec 6-5).
285 pounds:  Tj Rayam (Thompson) 31-2, Sr. over Armond Lloyd (Oak Mountain) 33-11, Sr. (Dec 7-5).
7A MVP: Robbey Killough, Prattville.
7A Most Pins: Josh Smith, Tuscaloosa County (2 pins, 2:56).
7A Best Match: 152-pound final: Robert Morales, Central-Phenix City vs. Bowman Hill, Vestavia Hills.

Defending Champs Leeds and Arab Lead 1A-5A & 6A Divisions Heading Into Final Round Saturday; Vestavia Tops 7A Teams

    HUNTSVILLE – Two defending state champions held point leads after Friday’s competition and 16 wrestlers with 2015 individual championships under their belts advanced through the semifinal matches at the 61st annual AHSAA State Wrestling Championships Friday and advanced to state finals matches Saturday at the Von Braun Center.
     Class 1A-5A defending champion Leeds led Tallassee by 22 points, 148-126, and defending 6A champ Arab, going for its fourth state title in a row and five in six years,  amassed 176 points to hold a solid lead over Athens (132.5) and Southside-Gadsden (130.5) heading into Saturday’s final competition.
     In Class 7A, defending champion Thompson (77.5 points), the first 7A champ last season after winning four straight 6A titles, was in fourth place behind leader Vestavia Hills (112.5),  Oak Mountain (106) and Hoover (84.0) after Friday’s wrestling. Coach Steve Gaydosh’s Rebels are hoping to send their retiring Hall-of-Fame coach out with his 13th career championship.
     The consolation finals get underway first at 9 a.m. Saturday, followed at 11:30 a.m. with the championship bouts in all three divisions. A total of 84 wrestlers will be battling for state crowns. In that group is amazing Pelham senior Hasaan Hawthorne, 36-0 after winning his semifinal match Friday. Hawthorne, a double amputee above the knee, has gained national acclaim for his incredible senior season and his staunch dedication.
    Hawthorne’s match against Southside-Gadsden junior Landon Thompson (53-2) is expected to be one of the most exciting of the final day competition. It is one of 42 finals which will be live-streamed over the NFHS Network Saturday.  The link for the subscriber-based network is:
    In Class 7A, defending state champion Thompson has three defending champs in the finals including senior heavyweight T.J. Rayam (30-2). The University of Massachusetts football signee is going for his third straight 285-pound title – closing out the final round with a match championship bout versus Oak Mountain senior Armond Lloyd (33-10).
     Among the unbeaten wrestlers in 7A finals are Auburn’s Khaleel Johnson (43-0) at 132 pounds, Hewitt-Trussville’s Davis Perry (24-0) at 182, Hoover 195-pounder Bret Winters (47-0) and Tuscaloosa County’s Josh Smith (46-0), competing in the 220 division after winning the 195-pound title last season.
     In Class 1A-5A, Macon Edwards of Fultondale will be going for his 90th match win of the season in the 106-pound finals. The Wildcats’ sophomore is 89-0 this season, second best season (91-0) in NFHS history. In the 170-pound finals, Dora senior Caleb Lauderdale (60-0) and Alexandria junior Christian Knop (55-0) are both riding unbeaten seasons. Leeds’ senior Josephus Smith (33-0) is vying for his second straight 285-pound crown against Tallassee freshman Jake Baker (39-3).
   And in Class 6A, defending champion Arab has five grapplers in the finals, including senior Nick Cater at 152 pounds. Cater (70-3), who owns a 313-21 career record for the Knights, faces unbeaten Pelham senior Dillon Turner (30-0) in the championship bout.  Daniel Bland of Benjamin Russell (49-1) is going after his second straight 285-pound title. He was 47-1 last season as a junior.
   The championship matches are listed below. Complete results can be found at:

AHSAA 61st State Wrestling Championships
At Von Braun Center, Huntsville

Saturday’s Championship Matches

106 pounds:  Macon Edwards, Fultondale (89-0), So.,
vs. Zach Clayton, Dora (55-4), So.
113 pounds:  Nick Souder, Weaver (64-1). Jr.,  vs.  Lane Trapp, Alexandria (33-5), Sr.
120 pounds:  Timothy Murphree,  Fultondale (46-2), Sr.,  vs.  Bryer Stewart, Saint Clair County (54-4), Sr.
126 pounds:  Chase Phillips, Hayden (64-2),  Jr., vs. Michael Land, Moody (68-9), Jr.
132 pounds:  Zachary Van alst, Montgomery Catholic (52-1), Jr.,  vs. Robert Childress, Beauregard (53-8), Sr.
138 pounds:  Braxton Worthington, Mortimer Jordan (47-1), Sr., vs. Chandler Teems, Leeds (29-6), Jr.
145 pounds:  Carial Tarter, Mortimer Jordan (26-2), So., vs. Tyler Williams, Deshler (47-2), Sr.
152 pounds:  Toren Pollard, Leeds (43-1), Sr., vs. Tyler Mayfield, Cleburne County (13-1), Jr.
160 pounds:  Bragan Swindle, Mortimer Jordan (49-15), Sr., vs.  Seth Shelton,  Madison County (36-8), Jr.
170 pounds:  Caleb Lauderdale, Dora (60-0), Sr., vs. Christian Knop, Alexandria (55-0), Jr.
182 pounds:  Alex Nickell, Leeds (41-3, Sr., vs. Kane Pitts, Walter Wellborn (28-3), Jr.
195 pounds:  Chase Rodgers, Weaver  (63-5), Sr. vs. Andy Baker, Tallassee (44-5), Fr.
220 pounds:  Colton Parton, Madison County (42-1), Sr., vs. Caleb Montgomery , Ohatchee (52-5), Jr.
285 pounds:  Jake Baker, Tallassee (39-3), Jr.,  vs. Josephus Smith, Leeds (33-0), Sr.

106 pounds:  Ty Naquin, Stanhope Elmore (10-0),
Sr. vs. Cristian Lagunas, Athens (33-7), Sr.
113 pounds:  John Mcalpin, Scottsboro (47-5), So. vs. Jacob Smith, Southside-Gadsden (58-2), Jr.
120 pounds:  Seth Hyatt, Arab (64-5), Jr., vs. Cameron Hamby, Pinson Valley (38-7), Jr.
126 pounds:  Kolton Clark, Scottsboro (46-4), Fr., vs. Aaron Ledbetter, Chelsea (43-4), Sr.
132 pounds:  Bailey Roan, Homewood (32-7), Jr., vs. Andrew Schmitt, Arab (59-7), Sr.
138 pounds:  Joseph Green, Muscle Shoals (37-3), Jr., vs.  Vershone Graham, Wetumpka (26-2), Sr.
145 pounds:  Hasaan Hawthorne, Pelham (36-0), Sr. vs.  Landon Thompson, Southside-Gadsden (53-2), Jr.
152 pounds:  Nick Cater, Arab (70-3), Sr., vs. Dillon Turner, Pelham (30-0), Sr.
160 pounds:  Brett Clark, Scottsboro (42-4), Sr., vs. Thomas Coley, Benjamin Russell (45-9), Sr.
170 pounds:  Will Spencer, Arab (68-3), Jr.,  vs. Thomas Carter, Athens (54-7), So.
182 pounds:  Carlos Miguel Figueroa, Homewood (38-1), Fr., vs.  Austin Weldon, Clay-Chalkville (55-3), Sr.
195 pounds:  Dawson McDaniel, Arab (60-3), Sr., vs. Andrew Freeman, Gardendale (52-2), Jr.
220 pounds:  Trent Holley, Wetumpka (17-3), Jr., vs. Justavious Robinson, Benjamin Russell (21-2), Sr.
285 pounds:  Daniel Bland, Benjamin Russell (49-1), Sr., vs. Jacob Andrews, Stanhope Elmore (26-4), So.

106 pounds: 
Alex Thomas, Oak Mountain (27-3), So., vs. Tyler Ivey, Grissom (51-6), Fr.
113 pounds:  Gabe Hixenbaugh, Thompson (19-4), Fr., vs. Maxwell Kauffman, Central-Phenix City (33-3), Fr.
120 pounds:  Carlos Andres, Tuscaloosa County (36-1), Sr., vs. Heath Williamson, Hewitt-Trussville (45-1), Jr.
126 pounds:  Quin Estes, Vestavia Hills (31-15), Sr., vs. Dominic Latona, Thompson (32-4), Sr.
132 pounds:  Drew Reed, Mountain Brook (51-1), Sr., vs. Khaleel  Johnson, Auburn (43-0), Sr.
138 pounds:  Michael John Harris, Oak Mountain (36-4), Sr., vs.  Jarrett Anthony, Hoover (34-8), Sr.
145 pounds:  Matthew Paugh, Vestavia Hills (23-3), So., vs. Robbey Killough, Prattville (52-1), Sr.
152 pounds:  Bowman Hill, Vestavia Hills (48-9), So., vs. Robert Morales, Central-Phenix City (39-2), So.
160 pounds:  Hayden Hill, Vestavia Hills (47-2) vs. Chris Leatherman, Sparkman (36-7), Sr.
170 pounds:  Brooks Schrimsher, Huntsville (46-4), Jr., vs. Barrett Blakely, Oak Mountain (46-4), So.
182 pounds:  Davis Perry, Hewitt-Trussville (24-0), Sr., vs. Seth Bruder, James Clemens (45-13), So.
195 pounds:  Bret Winters, Hoover (47-0), Sr., vs. Jaried Buxton, Oak Mountain (49-5), Sr.
220 pounds:  Josh Smith, Tuscaloosa County (46-0), Sr., vs. James Edwards, Vestavia Hills (38-3), Jr.
285 pounds:  T.J. Rayam, Thompson (30-2), Sr., vs. Armond Lloyd, Oak Mountain (33-10), Sr.

Defending Champs Leeds (1A-5A) and Arab (6A) Take First-Day Leads As 61st AHSAA Wrestling Championships Get Underway

    HUNTSVILLE – Defending Class 1A-5A state champion Leeds High School totaled 74 points Thursday to hold a 17-point lead over second-place Tallassee as the 61st AHSAA State Wrestling Championships got underway at the Von Braun Center.
    The Tigers had 57 points, Madison County scored 52 and Deshler had 48.5 to round out the top four teams after the first session.  In Class 6A, defending champion Arab posted 89.5 points to take the top position heading into the second round Friday. Class 7A begins its matches Friday with all three divisions completing the meet on Saturday with all championship matches being live-streamed by the NFHS Network. Links can be found at and
    Sophomore Macon Edwards of Fultondale used just  improved to 88-0 on the season, best in AHSAA state history, using just 39 seconds to pin his first opponent, then advancing to the semifinals with a 7-1 decision over Javon Cortez of Moody in his first match. His 88 wins ranks third nationally according to the NFHS Record Book. The leader, Colton Palmer of Durham-Riverside, N.C., finished 91-0 in 2006-07 to set the prep national record for a single season. Edwards moved into third place behind Palmer and Chad Pyke of Woodward Academy (GA), who finished the 2012-13 season 89-2. 
     Two wrestlers advanced to the 170-pound semifinals in 1A-5A, senior Caleb Lauderdale of Dora (59-0) and freshman Christian Knopp of Alexandria (54-0). Both won two matches with pins.
    Josephus Smith of Leeds (32-0) advanced to the 285-pound semifinals with two pins.
    In the Class 6A competition, Pelham 145-pound senior Hassan Hawthorne, a double amputee who inspires all who watch him, improved to 35-0 with an 8-0 major decision in his first match and a 9-3 decision over strong Arab grappler Javon Cortez (38-4) in the quarterfinals. Hawthorne’s teammate Dillon Turner (29-0) also had two pins to advance to the semis at 152 pounds.
   Benjamin Russell heavyweight Daniel Bland had two pins to improve to 48-1 on the season.
    Wrestling gets underway Friday at 9:30 a.m., with consolation divisions in 1A-5A and 6A. Class 7A also begins its competition. Championship semifinals are scheduled for 1 p.m. for all divisions. Action closes out Friday with consolation semifinals for all classes beginning at 5:45 p.m.
    Saturday’s consolation finals are set for 9 to 10:30 a.m., and championship matches get underway in all three divisions at 11:30.

Fultondale’s Edwards Improves to AHSAA Best 86-0 To Win 106 Title at North Super Sectional Wrestling

    Fultondale High School sophomore Macon Edwards beat fellow sophomore Zach Clayton of Dora in a tough 5-4 decision Saturday afternoon at Bill Harris Arena to win the AHSAA North Super Sectional Class 1A-5A 106-pound wrestling title.
    Edwards improved to 86-0 win the win to set a new state record for wrestling wins in a single season.
    He advances with his team to the AHSAA 2016 State wrestling Championships as  No. 1 seed from the North Super Sectional. Clayton (53-4) advances as the second seed from the North. The state meet gets underway Thursday at Huntsville’s Von Braun Center with wrestling continuing Friday and concluding Saturday afternoon.  The NFHS Network will live-stream all championship matches Saturday live over the NFHS Network. More link information is available at
    Edwards’ 86 wins eclipsed the old record (85) set by Brandon Womack of Scottsboro in 2012.  Womack was 85-2 as a sophomore that season and closed out his career an NFHS best 422-8 record including 77-0 as a senior in 2014. Edwards can beat that mark with four match wins in the state meet.
    Madison County won the North 1A-5A Super Sectional title with 267 points. Runner-up Deshler had 190.5 and J.O. Johnson was third with 183. Fultondale had 90.  Vestavia Hills posted 222 points to win the North 7A crown over runner-up Bob Jones (135), and defending 6A state champion Arab won the North 6A Super Sectional with 251.5 points. Pinson Valley was second with 199 and Athens third at 193.5
    In the South Super Sectional competition, defending 1A-5A state champ Leeds won the 1A-5A championship with 243.5 points. Tallassee was second at 191.5 and Weaver was third at 190.5.  Oak Mountain edged out defending 7A state champs Thompson 234-207.5 to claim the Super Sectional title, and Oxford edged Homewood by one point, 176.5 to 175.5 for the Class 6A South title.
     Two-time defending 285-pound state champion T.J. Rayam of Thompson earned top seed in the state meet with an 8-5 decision over Armand Lloyd of Oak Mountain. Rayam, an UMass football signee, is 28-2 on the season.
     Leeds senior Josephus Smith (30-0) closed out the South competition with a 3-2 win over freshman Sean Caleb Allison of Weaver.

AHSAA Rescinds Restrictive Probation Placed On Thompson High School Wrestling Program

     The Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA), in accordance with AHSAA bylaws, has rescinded the restrictive probation placed on Thompson High School’s wrestling program, effective immediately.
    In November, the AHSAA fined and placed Thompson High School on restrictive probation for the remainder of the 2015-16 school year for numerous violations of Contest bylaws in its wrestling program. The violations were self-reported. The school could apply for relief from that penalty by meeting several conditions set forth by the AHSAA.
    Based on a review of evidence provided by the school’s administration, as of Jan. 4, the administrators and coaches of THS had met all requirements for reinstatement as outlined by the AHSAA and have demonstrated a commitment to an ongoing process to ensure that compliance and success of the THS wrestling program and all other athletic programs will be fully aligned with the rules, guidelines, goals, and direction of the AHSAA. 
    “The AHSAA is pleased with the cooperation of THS for fulfilling all obligations as outlined within the restrictive probation period,” Executive Director Steve Savarese said.
    The restrictive probation has been replaced with a period of non-restrictive probation for a period of one year.  Should any similar violations occur in the future, additional restrictive sanctions will be assessed.

Thompson High School Wrestling Program Placed on Restrictive Probation by AHSAA

     Thompson High School has been fined and placed on restrictive probation for the remainder of the 2015-16 school year by the Alabama High School Athletic Association (AHSAA) for numerous violations of Contest bylaws in its wrestling program. The violations were self-reported.
      Restrictive probation limits the school’s wrestling participation to regular-season dual matches only and prohibits the school from participating in any interscholastic contest involving more than two schools, including championships, for the entirety of the restrictive probation.
     Head wrestling coach Shawn Weltzin and assistant coach Chris Pike have been suspended for the duration of the restrictive probation period by the AHSAA and Thompson High School.
      On Jan. 4, 2016, Thompson High School may apply for relief from the restrictive period.
     “Restrictive probation indicates the seriousness of these violations,” AHSAA Executive Director Steve Savarese said. “Though disappointed, I feel confident the school administration will take the necessary corrective measures to be compliant with AHSAA by-laws.  We will evaluate these measures. If the school has demonstrated that corrective measures are securely in place, we will consider removing the restrictive probation, thus allowing the student-athletes to participate in championship play this season.”