E.A. Sports Today

Weaver takes down pair of heavyweights

Bearcats dump two of last year’s top three 6A teams, Southside and Oxford; Alexandria routs Ohatchee

By East Alabama Sports Today

WEAVER – Weaver wrestling coach Andy Fulmer said he doesn’t mind playing the best competition he can find because he figures it’s going to help his program in the long run.

The Bearcats stepped up in classification Thursday night and came away with two wins. Benefits on all fronts.

In the continuation of perhaps the most demanding schedule in the program’s history, the Bearcats brought in the second- and third-place finishers from last year’s Class 6A state meet and beat them both.

They defeated 6A runner-up Southside 42-37 and Oxford 60-24. Southside edged Oxford 35-33. The Bearcats were third in Class 1A-5A last year.

“It’s good for our confidence,” Fulmer said. “It makes me feel a little better about what happened the other night (splitting with Ohatchee and Ranburne).

“It doesn’t matter who we’re wrestling, whatever division, me and my assistants know we’re not going to win every match but we expect to be able to compete at a high level. It was big beating both of them. We’ve not beaten either one in a while.”

The highlight of the night was the bout between Weaver’s Nick Souder and Southside’s Jacob Smith, a pair of defending 106 state champions wrestling up at 120. Smith won in overtime, 9-7.

Heavyweight Caleb Allison clinched the match for the Bearcats with his pin in the first 30 seconds. Among the other highlights were Drake Monroe’s third-period pin at 132 behind on points and first-year senior wrestler Brandon Beller’s pin at 160.

Souder, who lost only one match last season, bounced back against Oxford and pinned 2015 state qualifier Wesley Slick. Monroe and Beller both picked up second pins.

Ian Markham, Kyle Clapper, Trey Zuchelli, Collin Allison and Chase Rogers also scored pins for Weaver.

Oxford 138 state champ Matt King won at 170 against Weaver in his only bout of the night.

Alexandria 55, Ohatchee 15

OHATCHEE – Alexandria coach Frank Hartzog called it a move like something out of a movie.

With time running out and the match headed for overtime, Aaron Whittaker put a Vision Quest slow lateral on Ohatchee’s Josh Sexton to win their 137-pound bout, 3-1.

“It was the best match I have seen in years,” Hartzog said. “It was like a movie.”

The Valley Cubs (3-4) won nine of the 11 matches that were contested. It was the first time their third-year program had defeated Ohatchee on the wrestling mat.

Jimmy Wilson, the 106 state runner-up who transferred from Ohatchee in the fall, wrestled against his former team and, in his first action of the season, won by fall.

The teams meet again in another matinee Wednesday, 1 p.m., at Alexandria.

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