E.A. Sports Today

Allison comes up big for Weaver

Eighth-grade heavyweight earns top honors at Donnie Belser Memorial



By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

There comes a time in the development of every young athlete who aspires to succeed when they experience a breakthrough moment that could take them to their next level.

Weaver heavyweight Caleb Allison came upon just such a moment Saturday in the Donnie Belser Memorial Tournament at Saks when all the elements of his career path just seemed to come together.

The eighth-grader was facing a top-ranked senior who had beaten him four times previously this season and the tournament was on the line.

Allison put all that pressure aside and scored a 9-8 decision over Ohatchee’s Hunter Barclay to secure enough points to put the Bearcats over the top.

Weaver finished with 182.5 points. Ohatchee was second at 179. Allison was named most valuable wrestler of the tournament.

“I didn’t know it was all on the line until after the match,” Allison said. “I’m glad I won it now that I think about.

“I’ve been working all year for that one match. It took me a lot of time to get it, but I finally got it today. This is really the first year I was able to really contribute to my team.”

Allison’s last three losses to Barclay were all 1-0. He went out quickly in this latest bout, opening an early 5-0 lead. Barclay got it back to 9-8 into the third period, but Allison held him off so he couldn’t get the points necessary to flip the bout and the match.

“He’s been wrestling all his life; he doesn’t have an eighth-grade mentality as far as his wrestling goes,” Weaver coach Andy Fulmer said. “They’ve been in this situation before, but as far as this year coming down to him winning and scoring like that, it was big for us. We haven’t had a match that came down to that.

“He’s been frustrated he lost, but we kept telling him you’ve got to keep digging and keeping plugging, eventually it will come. We didn’t know it would come today. We didn’t expect it to be a factor in the tournament.”

The Bearcats put nine wrestlers into the championship round and came away with six wins. In addition to Allison, the Bearcats got wins from Nick Souder (108), Kyle Clapper (140), Jacob Howard (147), Collins Allison (184) and Chase Rogers (197)`

Meanwhile, Kevin Griffith (115) and Josh Sexton (122) claimed titles for Ohatchee; while Gannon Womack (128) and Christian Knop (162) scored wins for Alexandria. Third-place Cleburne County had three winners and Gadsden City had one.

The tournament is held in memory of Donnie Belser, a former Saks wrestler and U.S. Army captain who was killed serving in Afghanistan. One of the more enduring stories about Belser’s spirit involves his 1997 state championship season when he lost his first match of the year, told his father he was not going to lose again and didn’t, going on to win the 130-pound title.

“Donnie would not run for a fight and it was that attitude that made him suitable in the military, a job he loved,” said former Saks teammate and event director Jeremy Waters. “And he remained loyal to his roots of his birth.”

Donnie Belser Memorial Tournament
At Saks

Team Scores: Weaver 182.5, 2. Ohatchee 179, 3. Cleburne County 176.5, 4. Alexandria 89, Saks 99, 6. St. Clair County 43, 7. Gadsden City 34, 8. Lincoln 33, 9. Cleburne County B 18, 10. Ohatchee B 13, 1 Lincoln B 11, 12. St. Clair County B 4, 13. Weaver B 0.

108 Results: 1. Nick Souder, Weaver 3-0; 2. Jim Wilson, Ohatchee 2-1; 3. Fletcher Swindall, Alexandria 3-1; 4.Dylan Turner, Cleburne County 2-2.

115: 1. Kevin Griffith, Ohatchee 3-0; 2. Lane Trapp, Alexandria 2-1; 3. Austin Turner, Cleburne County 2-1; 4. Josh Lowe, Weaver 1-2.

122: 1. Josh Sexton, Ohatchee 2-0; 2. Drake Monroe, Weaver 1-1; 3. Preston Jarrell, Cleburne County 1-1; 4. Zane Farr, Cleburne County B 0-2.

128: 1. Gannon Womack, Alexandria 3-0; 2. Max Miller, St. Clair County 2-1; 3.Zach Williamson, Cleburne County 3-1; 4. Josh Gaston, Lincoln 2-2.

134: 1. Noah Beam, Cleburne County 2-0; 2. Andrew Kilgore, Saks 2-1; 3. Jackson Henry, Ohatchee 3-1; 4. Tyler Higgins, Cleburne County B 2-2.

140: 1. Kyle Clapper, Weaver 2-0; 2. Corey Davis, Cleburne County 1-1; 3. Josh Murray, Ohatchee 3-1; 4. Jonathon Oliphant, Saks 2-2.

147: 1. Jacob Howard, Weaver 3-0; 2. Sam Cooper, Cleburne County 2-1; 3. Ty Brown, Alexandria 2-1; 4. Brandon Franklin, St. Clair County 2-2.

154: 1. Tyler Mayfield, Cleburne County 2-0; 2. Taylor Brown, Saks 2-1; 3. Austin Snelling, Ohatchee 1-1; 4. Judd Cash, Ohatchee B 1-2.

162: 1. Christian Knop, Alexandria 3-0; 2. Logan Johnson, Weaver 2-1; 3. Hayden Pitts, Ohatchee 3-1; 4. Devionte Garrett, Saks 2-2.

172: 1. Shamar Hunt, Gadsden City 3-0; 2. Sam Pate, Cleburne County 2-1; 3. Ethen Handy, Saks 3-1; 4. Jeffie Worrell, Ohatchee 1-2.

184: 1. Michael Collin Allison, Weaver 2-0; 2. Roderick Guice, Gadsden City 1-1; 3. Dawson Wells, Saks 2-1; 4. Aaron Woodall, Ohatchee 1-2.

197: 1. Chase Rodgers, Weaver 2-0; 2. Caleb Montgomery, Ohatchee 2-1; 3. Travis Bell, Cleburne County 1-1; 4. Skylar Mizzell, St. Clair County 1-2.

222: 1. Alex Sandmann, Cleburne County 3-0; 2. Matt Elston, Weaver 2-1; 3. Steven Minniefield, Ohatchee 3-1; 4. Ryan Armstrong, St. Clair County 2-2.

287: 1. Sean Caleb Allison, Weaver 3-0; 2. Hunter Barclay, Ohatchee 2-1; 3. Austin Blanton, Lincoln 3-1; 4. Zabian Smith, Lincoln B 2-2.

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