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: http://www.nfhsnetwork.com/events/ahsaa/79d630703d
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: www.ahsaa.com.
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.