Thursday, February 20, 2020






Moody Tops 1A/5A, Benjamin Russell Leads 6A after Day 1 of AHSAA State Wrestling Tourney

HUNTSVILLE – Moody and Benjamin Russell high schools held slim leads after day one as the AHSAA 2019 State Wrestling Championships got underway at the Von Braun Center here Thursday.
   The Blue Devils led defending state champion Arab by three points, 69-66, after the quarterfinal round of Class 1A/5A concluded Thursday night. Scottsboro, the 2019 duals champs in 1A/5A, was third with 62 points.
   Benjamin Russell’s Wildcats wrestlers totaled 66 points in Thursday’s Class 6A competition with Wetumpka second with 63.5, followed by McAdory (55) and defending 6A Oxford was fourth with 51 points.  
    Wrestling gets underway Friday morning at 9:30 a.m., with Class 7A joining the action. All divisions will wrestle through the semifinals of the winner’s division and consolation division on Friday.  The 64th AHSAA championships will conclude Saturday with consolation finals at 9 a.m., followed by the championship finals beginning at 11:30 a.m.
    All matches are being live-streamed over the NFHS Network’s subscriber-based platform  by TrackWrestling.
     Among the top individual efforts Thursday was  Spanish Fort freshman Gabriel Warren (72-7), who  pinned Ethan England of Hartselle in his first match at 1:04 and then pinned Gavin Strain of Robertsdale at 2:34 to tie and set the AHSAA and NFHS national record for pins in a season. He has 69 pins among his 72 wins on the year heading into Friday’s semifinals.
     The previous National and State Record (68) was set by Scottsboro’s Brandon Womack in 2014.
     Steven Bell of McAdory had pins at 0:53 and 2:51 to move to advance to the Class 6A semifinals at 132 pounds. The No. 1 seed from the South Super Sectional is now 89-0 and needs one win to tie the state record for most wins in a season (90) set by Macon Edwards of Fultondale, who graduated last year. Bell could break that record if he can win the state title.
     Teammate Turner Black (88-1) could tie the record with two wins over the next two days. He had two quick win at 182 pounds to also advance to the semifinals.
    Other highlights include:

·       Alexandria senior Christian Knop (69-0) had little trouble extending his state-record match winning streak to 232 – winning both matches Friday with pins at 1:52 and 1:27. He is just two wins away from completing four straight years without a defeat and would become the first wrestling in AHSAA history to will straight state championships with undefeated seasons.

·       Cory Land of Moody, a freshman ,moved to the 106-pound semifinals undefeated at 45-0 with one win by pin and a 17-0 technical fall win in the quarterfinals.

·       Sophomore Jacob Holland of Arab improved to 68-5 with two pins in the opposite site of the 106-pound bracket to also move to the semifinals.

·       Arab freshman Bronson Jackson (40-6) won both matches Thursday with pins in less than a minute – with times of 0:59 and 0:48.

·       Senior Rashad Clark (64-2) of Moody posted a pin and a technical fall in his two wins advance to the 152-pound semifinals.

·       Scottsboro senior Kolton Clark (34-1) opened the meet with a pin in 21 seconds and followed with another pin at 1:58 to advance to the semis at 182 pounds. Defending 1A/5A 285-pound champion Brandon Womack (17-1) had a pin in his first match and won a tough battle over Skylar Payne of Alexandria 4-0 to move to the semis Friday.

·       In the 220-pound Class 6A competition, Carlos Figueroa of Homewood improved to 42-0 with pins at 38 seconds and 1:48 to reach the semis.

·       Xander McWilliams of Wetumpka, the top seed at 106 pounds from the South Super Sectional, had two wins to advance to Friday’s semifinals.

·       170-pounder Sam Ingram of Chelsea wrestled for only 2 minutes and one second to win both matches to move into the 6A semifinals. His first win came with a pin at 39 seconds and his quarterfinal pin took 1:22.

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