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 www.ahsaa.com and www.nfhsnetwork.com.
    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 www.ahsaa.com.
    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.”

Arab, Thompson and Leeds Capture AHSAA State Wrestling Championships

Arab sewed up its third straight state wrestling championship Saturday setting an overall points record with 244.5 to claim the Class 6A state title as the 60th annual AHSAA State Wrestling Championships concluded at Huntsville’s Von Braun Center.
The Knights had mathematically sewn up the title after Friday’s round but set the record with 23 points on the final day. Coach Michael Pruitt’s team posted wrestler in the winner’s circle with Jacob Spencer (58-1) capturing the 220-pound weight division title. The Arab point total clipped the old record (231.5) set by Thompson in the 2012 Class 6A championships. Spencer pinned Hartselle’s Ashton Quattlebaum (48-4) at 4:00 for his third state crown.
Thompson posted 140 points to win the 7A state title, the fifth state championship in a row by Coach Sean Weltzin’s Warriors. Leeds, with 148.5 points, won the 1A-5A state championship. The Green Wave, coached by Matt Hicks, captured its first state wrestling championship in the process – coming just two months after the Green Wave won the Class 4A state football title at Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium.
It was the Knights’ fourth state championship overall since starting wrestling in the 1974-75 school year and its third in a row. The previous two were won in Class 5A. Southside-Gadsden was second with 135 points followed by Oxford (131) and Muscle Shoals (107).
Coach Michael Pruitt’s team had its 117-dual match winning streak snapped earlier in the season by Class 7A state champion Thompson (29-27). The streak is 11th longest in the nation and second in AHSAA history to Weaver’s 221. Pruitt’s overall dual-match coaching record is 427-129-3.
Arick Shankles of Muscle Shoals closed out his prep career with a pin over John McAlpin of Arab in the 113-pound Class 6A finals for his fourth state championship. Shankles closed the season at 48-0 and finished with 109 wins in a row.
Shankles won most pins with four for a total time on the mat of just 5:53. He was also named Most Valuable Wrestler. Best match went to Brennan Shankles, Arick’s younger brother, versus Aaron Ledbetter of Chelsea in the 120-pound final.

Thompson out-pointed runner-up Vestavia Hills (111) by 29 points. Hewitt-Trussville was third with 85 and Prattville fourth with 80.
The Warriors had three individual state champions including junior T.J. Rayam (59-3), who won his second straight 285-pound title with a tough 6-4 win over Auburn’s Randy Hooks (42-6). Gabe Hixenbaugh (27-1), an eighth grader, won at 106 pounds with a 9-2 decision over Alex Thomas (53-5) of Oak Mountain. Junior Dominic Latona (64-6) also won at 120 pounds with a 6-4 decision over Khaleel Johnson (54-9) of Auburn.
Cade McWhirter of Prattville finished the season 47-0 as the 170-pound champion and was named MVP for Class 7A.
Tuscaloosa County’s Josh Smith won the 195-pound crown with three pins in just 9:12 for Most Pins.
Best match was judged the 126-pound finals won by Camden Funkhouser (43-9) of Prattville 11-7 in sudden death overtime over Drew Reed (31-3) of Mountain Brook.

Class 1A-5A
Leeds edged Madison County (121.5) for the championship with Weaver (108.5) third and Cleburne County (99) fourth. The Green Wave had one state champion with Josephus Smith (41-3) winning by decision over Hunter Barclay (50-6) of Ohatchee 5-4 in the final match of the state championships.
Alex Sandmann (48-4) of Cleburne County defeated Leeds’ Tre’ Nation (35-5) in a tough 220-pound final 4-3 in overtime.
Timothy Murphree of Fultondale was selected by the coaches as 1A-5A MVP. The junior won the 113-pound championship beating Dora’s Recio Winchester (65-11) with a technical fall (17-2). Murphree finished the season 65-2.
Best Match was the 145-pound final won by Madison County’s Alex Cohen (26-4) pver Christian Willoughby (25-3) of J.B. Pennington 9-8. Trevor Edwards of Madison County (33-2), the 170-pound champion, had the most pins (3) using just 3:40.
Montgomery Catholic sophomore Zachary Van alst (50-0) recorded his fourth state championship beating Chase Phillips (35-9) of Hayden in the finals with a 14-3 major decision.

Championship Match Results
Class 7A
106 pounds: Gabe Hixenbaugh (Thompson) 27-1 won by decision over Alex Thomas (Oak Mountain) 53-5 (Dec 9-2)
113 pounds: Carlos Andres (Tuscaloosa County) 52-1 won by decision over Cody Mealer (Thompson) 44-6 (Dec 6-5)
120 pounds: Dominic Latona (Thompson) 64-6 won by decision over Khaleel Johnson (Auburn) 54-9 (Dec 6-4)
126 pounds: Camden Funkhouser (Prattville) 43-9 won in sudden victory - 1 over Drew Reed (Mountain Brook) 31-3 (SV-1 11-7)
132 pounds: Matthew Paugh (Vestavia Hills) 43-7 won by decision over Michael john Harris (Oak Mountain) 58-6 (Dec 8-4)
138 pounds: Robbey Killough (Prattville) 51-1 won by fall over Jaitlin Pitts (Auburn) 35-13 (Fall 1:47)
145 pounds: Hayden Hill (Vestavia Hills) 39-4 won by decision over Dalton Meadows (Hewitt-Trussville) 39-6 (Dec 10-8)
152 pounds: Brooks Schrimsher (Huntsville) 52-4 won by decision over Austin Gandler (Mountain Brook) 37-6 (Dec 11-4)
160 pounds: Davis Perry (Hewitt-Trussville) 35-2 won by decision over Morgan Paugh (Vestavia Hills) 26-3 (Dec 6-1)
170 pounds: Caden McWhirter (Prattville) 47-0 won by tech fall over George Dazzio (Vestavia Hills) 47-12 (TF-1.5 5:17 (16-1))
182 pounds: T.J. Edwards (James Clemens) 50-3 won by tech fall over Nicholas Mobley (Thompson) 56-19 (TF-1.5 4:46 (18-3))
195 pounds: Josh Smith (Tuscaloosa County) 49-2 won by fall over Luke Hester (Thompson) 51-15 (Fall 5:25)
220 pounds: Kevin Mcclure (Spain Park) 55-3 won by decision over Bret Winters (Hoover) 33-4 (Dec 7-1)
285 pounds: T.J. Rayam (Thompson) 59-3 won by decision over Randy Hooks (Auburn) 42-6 (Dec 6-4)

106 pounds:
Jacob Smith (Southside-Gadsden) 50-1 won by decision over Ty Naquin (Stanhope Elmore) 39-3 (Dec 4-1)
113 pounds: Arick Shankles (Muscle Shoals) 48-0 won by fall over John Mcalpin (Scottsboro) 43-17 (Fall 1:33)
120 pounds: Aaron Ledbetter (Chelsea) 44-17 won in sudden victory - 1 over Brennen Shankles (Muscle Shoals) 38-10 (SV-1 2-0)
126 pounds: Vershone Graham (Wetumpka) 43-4 won by fall over B.j. Hayes (Arab) 57-6 (Fall 6:46)
132 pounds: Deandre Anderson (Hueytown) 44-2 won by decision over Landon Thompson (Southside-Gadsden) 52-4 (Dec 14-8)
138 pounds: Matt King (Oxford) 55-3 won by fall over Ian Hilyer (Fort Payne) 50-9 (Fall 1:42)
145 pounds: Noah Bradford (Southside-Gadsden) 50-4 won by decision over Javon Cortez (Arab) 56-9 (Dec 6-2)
152 pounds: Brett Clark (Scottsboro) 59-4 won by decision over Hank Turner (Pinson Valley) 62-3 (Dec 4-3)
160 pounds: Khaliq Jones (Wetumpka) 41-1 won by decision over Austin Weldon (Clay-Chalkville) 54-7 (Dec 8-4)
170 pounds: Kade Kitchens (Southside-Gadsden) 53-1 won by fall over Deon Gregory (Pinson Valley) 50-11 (Fall 2:07)
182 pounds: Hunter Lee (Oxford) 64-3 won by fall over Ryan Grider (Scottsboro) 47-8 (Fall 0:49)
195 pounds: Kashus Culpepper (Benjamin Russell) 50-1 won by decision over Dawson McDaniel (Arab) 55-8 (Dec 14-8)
220 pounds: Jacob Spencer (Arab) 58-1 won by fall over Ashton Quattlebaum (Hartselle) 48-4 (Fall 4:00)
285 pounds: Daniel Bland (Benjamin Russell) 47-1 won by decision over Connor Griffin (Arab) 38-4 (Dec 7-3)


106 pounds: Nick Souder (Weaver) 65-1 won by decision over Jim Wilson (Ohatchee) 58-11 (Dec 6-4)
113 pounds: Timothy Murphree (Fultondale) 65-2 won by tech fall over Recio Winchester (Dora) 65-11 (TF-1.5 5:51 (17-2))
120 pounds: Zachary Van alst (Montgomery Catholic) 50-0 won by major decision over Chase Phillips (Hayden) 35-9 (MD 14-3)
126 pounds: Tyler Williams (Deshler) 27-8 won by decision over Braxton Wothington (Mortimer Jordan) 55-8 (Dec 4-1)
132 pounds: Kennon Reese (Tallassee) 50-4 won by decision over Austin Everett (Dora) 64-2 (Dec 5-1)
138 pounds: Chase Warren (Dora) 61-4 won by fall over Toren Pollard (Leeds) 49-2 (Fall 3:41)
145 pounds: Alec Cohen (Madison County) 26-4 won by decision over Christian Willoughby (J.B. Pennington) 25-1 (Dec 9-8)
152 pounds: Tyler Mayfield (Cleburne County) 43-2 won by decision over Alex Nickell (Leeds) 51-6 (Dec 10-7)
160 pounds: Hunter Scott (Holtville) 42-1 won by major decision over Ethan Pippin (Westminster Christian) 41-9 (MD 18-7)
170 pounds: Trevor Edwards (Madison County) 33-2 won by fall over Caleb Lauderdale (Dora) 65-8 (Fall 1:21)
182 pounds: Brett Staggs (Moody) 67-3 won by fall over Greg Abramson (Mortimer Jordan) 55-5 (Fall 3:22)
195 pounds: Christian Lane Burtram (Saint Clair County) 39-11 won by decision over Chase Rodgers (Weaver) 54-6 (Dec 9-3)
220 pounds: Alex Sandmann (Cleburne County) 48-4 won in tie breaker - 1 over Tre Nation (Leeds) 35-5 (TB-1 4-3)
285 pounds: Josephus Smith (Leeds) 41-3 won by decision over Hunter Barclay (Ohatchee) 50-6

Thompson, Arab, Leeds Lead Divisions Heading Into Saturday’s Final Day of AHSAA State Wrestling

   Thompson High School, the Class 6A state champions for the last four years, leads the Class 7A competition heading into Saturday’s final day of the 60th annual AHSAA State Wrestling Championships at Huntsville Von Braun Center.
    The Warriors of Coach Shawn Weltzin advanced six wrestlers to the finals that get underway at 11:30 a.m.  Thompson totaled 125 points in the first day of the new 7A division. Vestavia Hills is second with 100 points and four wrestlers in finals and Hewitt-Trussville third with 69.5 points followed by Oak Mountain with 68.5.
    Arab, the Class 5A champs in 2013 and 2014, lead Class 6A with 221.5 points after the second day of wrestling. Class 6A and Class 1A-5A opened the state tournament on Thursday while Class 7A commenced Friday. Oxford has 119 points, Southside-Gadsden 117 and Muscle Shoals 99 to round out the 6A top four entering Saturday's action. The Knights have four wrestlers in the finals.
    Leeds improved its first-day lead by totaling 140.5 points to lead second-place Madison County (103.5) by 37 points. Weaver (98.5) is third followed by Ohatchee fourth (91).  The Green Wave, going for its first state wrestling title, also has four wrestlers advancing to finals.
    Three wrestlers have a chance to become four-time state champions with wins Saturday. Arab’s B.J. Hayes (57-5) pinned Athens’ Marley Taylor at 4:55 to set up a 126-pound finals versus Wetumpka’s Vershone Graham (42-4). Graham beat Joseph Green of Muscle Shoals (38-10) 8-4.
     Arick Shankles of Muscle Shoals improved to 47-0 with a pin at 2:56 over Jerry Bingham of Arab at 113 pounds and will be chasing his fourth state title against John McAlpin of Scottsboro (43-16).  Zachary Van alst of Montgomery Catholic (49-0) advanced to the 1A-5A 120-pound finals with a technical fall over Tommy Woodall of Sumiton Christian.
     Arab 220-pounder Jacob Spencer (57-1) advanced to the 6A finals by pinning McAdory’s Frank Gonzalez in the semis and aims for his third straight state title.
     Thompson heavyweight T.J. Rayam (58-3), the 2013 runner-up and 2014 champion in 6A, will face Randy Hooks of Auburn in the 285-pound finals. Rayam won a tough 3-2 decision over Hewitt-Trussville’s Kyle Miskelley and Hooks (42-5) beat Benjamin Cage of Vestavia Hills 10-7.
    All finals matches will be live-streamed by the NFHS Network and are available through the network’s subscriber program. The live video webcast will begin at 11:30 a.m. Saturday.
    For details, go to:

    The complete championship pairings are:


Championship Pairings
Class 7A  
106 pounds: Alex Thomas, Oak Mtn. (53-4)  vs. Gabe Hixenbaugh, Thompson (26-1)
113 pounds: Cody Mealer, Thompson (44-5) vs. Carlos Andres, Tuscaloosa County (51-1)
120 pounds: Khaleel Johnson, Auburn (54-8) vs. Dominic Latona, Thompson (63-6)
126 pounds: Camden Funkhouser, Prattville (42-9) vs. Drew Reed, Mountain Brook (31-2)
132 pounds: Matthew Paugh, Vestavia Hills (42-7) vs. Michael John Harris, Oak Mtn. (58-5)
138 pounds: Robbey Killough, Prattville (50-1) vs. Jaitlin Pitts, Auburn (35-12)
145 pounds: Dalton Meadows, Hewitt-Trussville (39-5) vs. Hayden Hill, Vestavia Hills (38-4)
152 pounds: Brooks Schrimsher, Huntsville (51-4) vs. Austin Gandler, Mountain Brook (37-5)
160 pounds: Davis Perry, Hewitt-Trussville (34-2) vs. Morgan Paugh, Vestavia Hills (26-2)
170 pounds: Caden McWhirter, Prattville (46-0) vs. George Dazzio, Vestavia Hills (47-11)
182 pounds: Nicholas Mobley, Thompson (56-18) vs. T.J. Edwards, James Clemens (49-3)
195 pounds: Josh Smith, Tuscaloosa County (48-2) vs. Luke Hester, Thompson (51-14)
220 pounds: Bret Winters, (Hoover (33-3) vs. Kevin McClure, Spain Park (54-3)
285 pounds: T.J. Rayam, Thompson (58-3) vs. Randy Hooks, Auburn (42-5)

Class 6A  
106 pounds: Jacob Smith, Southside-Gadsden (49-1) vs. Ty Naquin Stanhope Elmore (39-2)
113 pounds: John McAlpin, Scottsboro (43-16) vs. Arick Shankles, Muscle Shoals (47-0)
120 pounds: Aaron Ledbetter, Chelsea (43-17) vs. Brennen Shankles, Muscle Shoals (38-9)
126 pounds: Vershone Graham, Wetumpka (42-4) vs. B.J. Hayes, Arab (57-5)
132 pounds: Landon Thompson, Southside-Gadsden (52-3) vs. Deandre Anderson, Hueytown (43-2)
138 pounds: Matt King, Oxford (54-3) vs. Ian Hilyer, Fort Payne (50-8)
145 pounds: Noah Bradford, Southside-Gadsden (49-4) vs. Javon Cortez, Arab (56-8)
152 pounds: Brett Clark, Scottsboro (58-4) vs. Hank Turner, Pinson Valley (62-2)
160 pounds: Austin Weldon, Clay-Chalkville (54-6) vs. Khaliq Jones, Wetumpka (40-1)
170 pounds: Deon Gregory, Pinson Va. (50-10) vs. Kade Kitchens, Southside-Gadsden (52-1)
182 pounds: Ryan Grider, Scottsboro (47-7) vs. Hunter Lee, Oxford (63-3)

195 pounds: Kashus Culpepper. Ben. Russell (49-1) vs. Dawson McDaniel, Arab (55-7)
220 pounds: Jacob Spencer, Arab (57-1) vs. Ashton Quattlebaum, Hartselle (48-3)
285 pounds: Daniel Bland, Ben. Russell (46-1) vs. Conner Griffin, Arab (38-3)
Class 1A-5A
106 pounds: Jim Wilson, Ohatchee (58-10) vs. Nick Souder, Weaver (64-1)
113 pounds: Recio Winchester, Dora (65-10) vs. Timothy Murphree, Fultondale (64-2)
120 pounds: Chase Phillips, Hayden (35-8) vs. Zachary Van alst, Montgomery Catholic (49-0)
126 pounds: Tyler Williams, Deshler (26-8) vs. Braxton Worthington, Mortimer Jordan (55-7)
132 pounds: Austin Everett, Dora (64-1) vs. Kennon Reese, Tallassee (49-4)
138 pounds: Toren Pollard, Leeds (49-1) vs. Chase Warren, Dora (60-4)
145 pounds: Christian Willoughby, J.B. Pennington (25-0) vs. Alec Cohen, Madison Co. (25-

152 pounds: Alex Nickell, Leeds (51-5) vs. Tyler Mayfield, Cleburne County (42-2)
160 pounds: Ethan Pippin, Westminster (41-8) vs. Hunter Scott, Holtville (41-1)

170 pounds: Caleb Lauderdale, Dora (65-7) vs. Trevor Edwards, Madison County (32-2)
182 pounds: Greg Abramson, Mortimer Jordan (55-4) vs. Brett Staggs, Moody (66-3)

195 pounds: Chase Rodgers, Weaver (54-5) vs.  Christian Burtram, Saint Clair Co. (38-11)
220 pounds: Alex Sandmann, Cleburne Co. (47-4) vs. Tre’ Nation, Leeds (35-4)
285 pounds: Josephus Smith, Leeds (40-3) vs. Hunter Barclay, Ohatchee (50-5)

Wrestling Super Sectionals in Montgomery, Birmingham AHSAA 56th Indoor Track & Field Championships Set For Birmingham CrossPlex Friday and Saturday

   The AHSAA State Indoor Track & Field Championships are set to begin at 9 a.m. Friday at the Birmingham CrossPlex with 1,391 student-athletes competing. The championships will conclude Saturday, starting at 8 a.m.
     The AHSAA Super Section Wrestling Championships are scheduled this weekend with the North Section at Bill Harris Arena at the Birmingham CrossPlex and the South Section is at Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl Multiplex.
      For the first time since 1992, the indoor championships will feature include four high school divisions: Class 7A, Class 6A, Class 4A-5A and 1A-3A. Last year’s divisions were 6A, 5A, 1A-4A.
      The 2015 state championships will be the first featuring the Class 7A division. That means a new division of state records and a chance for McGill-Toolen pole vaulter Margaret Ollinger to set a state mark in another division. She set the 6A indoor record last season clearing 12 feet, 1 inch to win the state crown. She has qualified this season with one of the top vaults in the nation (13-02.25).
      McGill-Toolen also features two of the best prep boys pole vaulters in the nation with Sean Collins coming in with a career best 16 feet, 6.50 inches as his best leap.  Teammate Chris Taylor has also cleared 15 feet this season.  Collins also set the AHSAA indoor state meet record last season with a 15-07 winning vault.
    Bram Miller, a Falkville junior who won the 1A state outdoor crown last season with a 6-6 clearance, is expected to make a serious run at the 1A-3A state record (6-4) set by James Sanders of Springville in 1981.  Miller has cleared 6-10 in practice this winter and qualified for the state meet with a 6-2 jump.
    Distance runner Amaris Tyynismaa of Montgomery Catholic comes in with qualifying times that could better or almost equal the state marks in Class 4A-5A. Tyynismaa shattered the AHSAA cross country overall state record in November running the 3.1-mile distance in 17:03.  The eighth’s grader’s indoor qualifying times include 10:37.10 in the 3,200 – just three seconds of the record set by current Vanderbilt runner Carmen Carlos of McGill-Toolen. Carlos, who competed in Class 6A, also holds overall state indoor records in the 800 and 1,600.
    Tyynismaa has a 5:00.18 best indoor time in the 1,600 this season – 11 seconds off Carlos’ record pace but nine seconds better than the current 4A-5A record.
    The AHSAA Indoor Championships were first held at Montgomery’s Garrett Coliseum in 1966. The indoor door championships later moved to Priceville’s Celebration Arena on the same wooden track used at Montgomery. However, the AHSAA discontinued the indoor championships for one year in 1993 while repairs were being made and then shut down the competition from 2008-2012 for safety reasons once again with the promise of the current world-class CrossPlex facility to be constructed. The AHSAA reinstated indoor track as a championship at the CrossPlex in 2012.
      Last year’s state champions for girls were Hoover (6A), St. Paul’s (5A) and Beauregard (1A-4A). This year, St. Paul’s and Beauregard are in the same division (4A-5A) along with perennial power UMS-Wright.  Boys’ champions in 2014 were Hoover (6A), Homewood (5A) and UMS-Wright (1A-4A).  Hoover is now competing in 7A, Homewood moved up to 6A and UMS-Wright is in the new 4A-5A division.
   Super Section Wrestling: Competition in three divisions (7A, 6A and 1A-5A) commences at 10 a.m. Friday and 9:30 Saturday morning. Matches will continue on a rolling schedule until the meet ends Saturday afternoon. Qualifiers will advance to the 60th AHSAA State Wrestling Championships scheduled at Huntsville’s Von Braun Center Feb. 12-14.

Super Sectional Wrestling Winners

Thompson, Pinson Valley, Tallassee Capture South Super Section Wrestling Championships

      Three-time defending Class 6A state wrestling champion Thompson High School posted 263 points Saturday to claim the AHSAA’s first Super Section Championship.
      The Warriors won the 6A title by 56 points over runner-up Auburn (207). Prattville was third with 182.5 points and Hoover finished fourth at 172.
      Tallassee out-pointed defending 1A-4A state champion St. James 193-183 in claim the South championship, and Pinson Valley tallied 215.5 points to ease past Jefferson County rival Mortimer Jordan (162) for the Class 5A South crown.
      The South Super Sectional was held at Montgomery’s Cramton Bowl Multiplex, and the North Super Sectional was held at Birmingham’s CrossPlex Bill Harris Arena.
      Eight qualifiers in each of 14 weight classes in Class 6A advance from the South and North Super Section tournaments to the 59th annual AHSAA State Wrestling Championships at Huntsville’s Von Braun Center beginning Thursday. The top four finishers in Classes 5A and 1A-4A advance from each site.
      The Super Section meets were held for the first time in the AHSAA’s history.
      Coach Shawn Weltzin’s Warriors will be vying for their fourth straight 6A title. Arab (5A) and St. James (1A-4A) also won state titles in 2013.
      Sophomore heavyweight T.J. Rayam (56-6) defeated Jeff Davis’ Durell Robinson (28-4) in a tough 3-2 decision in the final 6A match at Montgomery. The defending state champion in the 285-pound division will lead Thompson’s strong contingent to Huntsville.
      Calera’s Coby Mize won the 170-pound championship in Class 1A-4A to remain undefeated at 48-0 on the season.
      The Class 6A state tournament begins Thursday while Classes 5A and 1A-4A get underway Friday. The finals in all championship matches will be held Saturday.

North Super Section
      Defending Class 5A state champion Arab scored 253.5 points to claim the North Super Section championship. Vestavia Hills had 277 points to win the Class 6A division and Madison County piled up 231 points to take the 1A-4A championship.
      The Arabian Knights won decisively over runner-up Southside-Gadsden (177.5) with 132-pound senior John David Henderson winning his weight division to remain unbeaten this season at 60-0. Southside’s Haden Ryals (48-0) won at 152 pounds and is also unbeaten heading into the state championships.
      The AHSAA’s all-time match wins leader Brandon Womack improved to 74-0 with four straight pins to win the 5A 160-pound title. Womack, who has won individual state championships five times (2009, 2010, 2011, 2012 and 2013), takes a 419-8 career record into this year’s state meet. He needed just over seven minutes to post his four pins in the Super Section.
      Womack, who has won state championships at 103 pounds twice and once each at 112, 126 and 160 pounds, has a chance to become just the second six-time state champion in AHSAA history, Weaver’s Michael Sutton won from 1999-2004. Womack is one of just seven who have won five titles.
      Hewitt-Trussville (212.5 points) finished second to Vestavia in the North 6A competition. Weaver (172.5) was second to Madison County in 1A-4A.

Wrestling Regionals On Schedule; Basketball Guidelines

Super Sectional Wrestling Tournaments will be start Friday according to the regular schedule with weigh-ins at 7 a.m.

All Area Basketball Tournament games cancelled must be rescheduled for the next day, excluding Sunday.  All games scheduled Thursday must be played Friday.