Sunday, February 16, 2020






Thompson Youth Movement Flexes Its Muscle at the Southeastern Pools Invite

MONTGOMERY – Thompson High School’s defending Class 7A state champion wrestling team graduated five individual state champions from its lineup last season. The Warriors are no signs of backing up, however, turning in a very strong showing to win its own Southeastern Pools Invitational tourney by almost 100 points.
   Thompson, coached by Sean Weltzin,  which graduated state champs at 113 pounds, 126 pounds, 138 pounds, 160 pounds and 220 pounds, burst into the AHSAA Wrestling Spotlight this week with seven individual wrestlers claiming weight division titles in last week’s very tough competition which many of the top teams in Alabama as well as Tennessee powerhouse McCallie of Chattanooga.
   The Warriors totaled 309 points with McCallie second with 21i.5, followed by Oak Mountain with 165, Hewitt-Trussville with 165 and Wetumpka, last year’s Class 6A runner-up, with 153.
   The meet was filled with outstanding grapplers – 168 matches were won by pins. In fact, in the 285-pound division 14 of the 16 matches were won by pins and one was won by default.
   Sophomore Yanni Vines (38-4) won the 133-pound title last week with a 4-2 decision over Isaiah Powe of Gardendale. Vines was third in the Class 7A state tourney last year at 106 pounds and finished with a 60-14 record. Sophomore James Latona (34-5), the 2019 7A runner-up at 120 pounds, moved up to 126 pounds this year and posted a 5-2 decision in last Saturday’s finals versus McCallie’s Emory Taylor.
    Other Thompson wrestlers winning their weight classes last week were Emmanuel Oliver (28-4) at 130 pounds; sophomore Will Garrett (20-11) at 145 pounds; junior Will Miller (37-4) at 152 pounds; senior Michael Jackson (31-5) at 195 pounds; and senior Alex Ward (32-6) at 220 pounds. Jackson won four matches by fall – tying him with 145-pounder Cole Burrough of Oak Mountain for the most in the tourney. Burrough finished fifth in his division.
   The Warriors had three other wrestlers in the finals, including seniors Ashunti Perry (20-9), William Browder (21-3) and junior Michael Bubel (7-6), at 160, 170 285 pounds, respectively.  Thompson’s other four wrestlers in its lineup finished third in their weight classes.
    The Warriors claimed a berth in the AHSAA Wrestling Duals Class 7A tourney as Region 2 winner, which gets underway this weekend. Thompson, the defending 7A duals champion as well, hosts Smiths Station at 5 p.m. Thursday. Vestavia Hills is at home versus Bob Jones and Huntsville hosts Hewitt-Trussville on Friday at 5 and 5:30 p.m., respectively. Auburn hosts Oak Mountain on Saturday at 3 p.m.  
    The Class 1A/5A and Class 6A divisions feature 16 teams in each division and will have four teams in each playoff event battling at four sites. The matches will be held either Thursday, Friday or Saturday. Defending 6A duals champ Oxford will host Northridge in a first-round match Thursday at 5:30 p.m., and will also host McAdory vs. Benjamin Russell in another first-round match. The two winners at each site will meet the same night with a quarterfinal match.  Defending 1A/5A duals champion Scottsboro did not qualify for this year’s duals tourney.
   All 7A winners, 6A and 1A/5A quarterfinal winners will advance to the semifinals on Tuesday, January 21. The first-round pairings are listed below.

Other Top Wrestling Performances

  • CORY LAND, MOODY: The AHSAA’s state champion at 106 pounds as a freshman and eighth grader, Land (27-0) won the 120-pound title at the Matt Tice Invitational at Leeds with a pin in the finals. The win extended his current high school winning streak to 78 in a row. According to data compiled in Track Wrestling, his last loss was in the 2018 South Super Section 106-pound finals when he was an eighth grader. His record the last three years is 126-2.

  • SULLIVAN TIPTON, OAK MOUNTAIN : The senior improved to 39-1 with a 7-1 decision over Mountain Brook sophomore Gray Ortis (26-4) in the 138-pound finals of the Southeastern Pools Invitational at Thompson.
  • JAY NOWLIN, WETUMPKA: The Indians’ 126-pounder had two pins at the Southeastern Pools tourney in a total of 38 seconds – winning in 18 seconds in the first round and wining a consolation match in just 20 seconds. He is now 21-14 on the season.
  • GEORGE McMINN, MOUNTAIN BROOK: McMinn (12-7), a junior in the 152-pound division, won his opening match at the Southeastern Pools Invitational at Thompson with a pin in just 14 seconds – the fastest pin of the tourney. He also won another match in the consolation bracket and finished fifth overall. Teammate Mason Brint had the second fastest pin in the meet needing just 15 seconds to win his quarterfinal match. He place fourth overall in the 220-pound division.

AHSAA Wrestling Duals Tournament
First-round Pairings
(Jan. 16, 17 or 18)

Regions 1/2 at Beauregard

First Round, Friday, Jan. 17

Tallassee vs. Saint James, 5:30 p.m.
Brewbaker Tech vs. Beauregard, 5:30 p.m.
Quarterfinals, Jan. 17

First-round winners,  6:30 p.m.

Region 3/4 at Ranburne
First Round, Friday, Jan. 17
Ranburne vs. Montevallo, 6:30 p.m.
Elmore County vs. Weaver, 6:30 p.m.
Quarterfinals, Jan. 17

First-round winners,  7:30 p.m.

Regions 5/6 at Moody
First Round, Thursday, Jan. 16
Alexandria vs. Mortimer Jordan, 6 p.m.
Moody vs. Southside-Gadsden, 6 p.m.
Quarterfinals, Jan. 16

First-round winners,  7 p.m.

Regions 7/8 at Jasper
First Round, Thursday, Jan. 16

Arab vs. Corner, 6 p.m.
Madison County vs. Jasper, 6 p.m.
Quarterfinals, Jan. 16

First-round winners,  7 p.m.


Regions 1/2 at Wetumpka

First Round, Friday, Jan. 17

Spanish Fort vs. Stanhope Elmore, 3 p.m.
Gulf Shores vs. Wetumpka, 4 p.m.
Quarterfinals, Jan. 17

First-round winners,  5 p.m.

Region 3/4 at Oxford
First Round, Thursday, Jan. 16
McAdory vs. Benjamin Russell, 5:30 p.m.
Oxford vs. Northridge, 5:30 p.m.
Quarterfinals, Jan. 16

First-round winners,  6:30 p.m.

Regions 5/6 at Chelsea Middle School
First Round, Thursday, Jan. 16
Gardendale vs. Helena, 5:30 p.m.
Chelsea vs. Clay-Chalkville, 5:30 p.m.
Quarterfinals, Jan. 16

First-round winners,  6:30 p.m.

Regions 7/8 at Mae Jemison
First Round, Saturday, Jan. 18

Mae Jemison vs. Decatur, 10 a.m.
Hartselle vs. Fort Payne, 10 a.m.
Quarterfinals, Jan. 18

First-round winners,  11 a.m.

First Round

Oak Mountain at Auburn, Saturday, Jan. 18, 3 p.m.
Smiths Station at Thompson, Thursday, Jan, 16, 5 p.m.
Bob Jones at Vestavia Hills, Friday, Jan. 17, 5 p.m.
Hewitt-Trussville at Huntsville, Friday, Jan. 17, 5:30 p.m.

All Classes

Tuesday, Jan. 21

Duals Finals, Friday, Jan. 24
Ben Harris Arena, Birmingham CrossPlex

Class 1A/5A Championship match, 6 p.m.
Class 6A Championship match, 6 p.m.
Class 7A Championship match, 6 p.m.
Weigh in is 5 p.m. for all classes

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