E.A. Sports Today

Weaver’s Allison a national champion

Eighth-grader returns from injury that kept him from state tournament, wins weight class in Virginia Beach

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

Caleb Allison had a lot driving him when he went to the NHSCA national high school wrestling championships this weekend in Virginia Beach.

Last year the Weaver heavyweight finished second in the event, losing a four-point decision in the final. Then this year he missed the chance to wrestle for a state championship because of an injury suffered the day before the Calhoun County Tournament.

But he made up for all of that disappointment this weekend, winning the national championship in the middle school division in the 233-pound weight class.

Allison won both of his matches by fall, pinning Donovan McCollister of Nelsonville, Ohio, in the first period and Wade Wheeler of Amherst, Va., in the second.

“It was pretty exciting,” Allison said Sunday from his hotel room. “I almost won it last year so it was kind of like I’ve been working all year to try to get it from last year.

“This was the first tournament since I got hurt, so it was a big accomplishment. I wasn’t able to practice or anything.”

Allison was on a track to contend for a state championship when he suffered a broken first rib in practice the day before the Calhoun County Tournament in January. The injury kept him out the super sectionals and the state tournament; the Bearcats finished third in the state as a team.

He was cleared to resume activities in early March.

“I think if he could choose, he’d have much rather wrestled for the state championship,” Caleb’s father, former wrestling coach and Weaver principal Mike Allison, said. “Not just for an individual award, but a team award. Him being out probably cost us a chance to win the championship or be runner-up; that’s what he was worried about.”

Bearcats coach Andy Fulmer was excited for his young charge. He watched the championship match over the internet with several members of the Weaver wrestling family while attending a Jacksonville State baseball game.

“It’s an awesome accomplishment for an even more awesome kid,” Fulmer said. “He has the opportunity to become of the best that had ever wrestled at Weaver. … He’s going to be fun to watch the next four years.”

Allison was one of several Calhoun County wrestlers competing in the tournament. Alexandria eighth-grader Christian Knop earned middle school All-America honors by placing third in the 165-pound division; Ohatchee heavyweight Hunter Barclay won a match in the senior division and teammate Jimmy Wilson went 3-2 in the middle school division (100).

After the tournament, the Warrior Wrestling Club invited Allison to fill their heavyweight opening in a duals tournament in Iowa next weekend. Mike Allison said “there’s a good chance” they’ll accept.

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