E.A. Sports Today

Weaver wins County crown

Bearcats win first County title under Fulmer, Alexandria’s Hartzog voted top coach, Oxford’s King voted top wrestler

Weaver's once-beaten Nick Souder gets on top of Alexandria's Lane Trapp in their 115 championship match Tuesday. (Photo by Christy Souder)

Weaver’s once-beaten Nick Souder gets on top of Alexandria’s Lane Trapp in their 115 championship match Tuesday. (Photo by Christy Souder)

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

WEAVER — The void Weaver coach Andy Fulmer felt as the keeper of the keys to the most storied wrestling program in the county was filled Tuesday night when the Bearcats finally won a Calhoun County Tournament championships

Fulmer has won county and state championships as a wrestler and coached section champions before, but since replacing legendary Gene Taylor as coach in 2005 he has never coached the Bearcats to a county title.

They’ve come close at least twice, but never pulled it off until near midnight when they finished up winning five weight classes and scoring 191.5 points.

“It’s huge,” Fulmer said of finally breaking through. “This group of seniors I’ve got, I’ve had three of them for six years and the other one for four. … It’s not anything I’ve done, it’s just what they decided to do to try to put us back on the map and work hard every day trying to continue to get better.”

Put them back on the map? It’s not like the Bearcats have been away; the county has just grown in wrestling during Fulmer’s tenure.

Alexandria, which didn’t even have a team three years ago, was second with 162.5 points, followed by two-time reigning champion Oxford (145) and Saks (116).

Oxford’s Matt King was voted the meet’s most valuable wrestler. Alexandria’s Frank Hartzog was voted by his peers as Coach of the Year.

“Being a part of this program I feel like it’s something I believe the guys who have wrestled here in the past — and especially Coach Taylor — would be proud of,” Fulmer continued. “It’s a really great feeling because you always want to win the county because it kind of shows you’re one of the dominant forces around here.”

As expected, Weaver dominated the heavier weights, while Alexandria dominated the lighter weights.

The Bearcats put finalists in each of the final four weight divisions and produced champions in three — Collin Allison (184), Chase Rodgers (197) and Caleb Allison (heavyweight) – all by pin — as well as at 115 (Nick Souder) and 147 (Kyle Clapper).

Souder won one of the featured finals, taking a major decision from Alexandria’s Trapp. For Allison the night was particularly sweet. He didn’t get to wrestle last year, where he would have been a favorite for the first time, because he broke his collarbone in practice earlier in the week. And he pinned the defending champion in the final.

“Winning county here is good because there are great wrestlers all throughout this county,” said Souder, who was in kindergarten the last time the Bearcats hoisted the trophy. “I’ve been in high school five years now and we haven’t even come close. It’s great to win it again. I hope we can repeat.”

Alexandria had finalists in each of the first five weight classes and produced champions at 108 (Jimmy Wilson), 122 (Fletcher Swindall) and 134 (Aaron Whittaker) as well as 172 (Christian Knop).

The Valley Cubs have only had a program three years, but Hartzog believed they had a real chance to win the tournament this year. Last year they were a distant sixth in the seven-team field.

“It came down to a few matches we should’ve won and just didn’t go out way, so it’s a little hard to swallow,” Hartzog said. “The kids wrestled hard today. We’ve made drastic improvements.”

King earned the top wrestler award after winning his two matches at 162 by pin and major decision. The sophomore defending state champion has wrestled a limited schedule this season and his only two losses have come to a national champion and a state champion. He declined requests for interviews at the conclusion of the tournament.

“There’s really nothing to tell you,” Oxford coach Matt Tanner said. “He just does what he does.”

Other individual county champions included Ohatchee’s Jackson Henry (129) and Caleb Montgomery (222), Oxford’s Quintez Pearson (140) and Saks’ Taylor Brown (154).

CALHOUN COUNTY WRESTLING CHAMPIONSHIP

Team scores: 1. Weaver 191.5, 2. Alexandria 162.5, 3. Oxford 145, 4. Saks 116, 5. Ohatchee 96, 6. Wellborn 93, 7. Piedmont 68.

108 Results
Championship Match: Jimmy Wilson (Alexandria HS) 14-0, Fr. pinned Landon Burrage (Oxford) 24-7, Fr. (0:55).
Consolation Match: Reed Hill (Ohatchee) 29-13, 8th. def. Cody Souder (Weaver) 20-11, 7th. (6-2).

115 Results
Championship Match: Nick Souder (Weaver) 46-1, Jr. def. Lane Trapp (Alexandria HS) 10-1, Sr. (MD 15-1).
Consolation Match: Austin Eardman (Alexandria HS) 3-1, pinned Kaleb Mathews (Alexandria HS) 2-2, Fr. (4:00).

122 Results
Championship Match: Fletcher Swindall (Alexandria HS) 23-2, Fr. dec. Wesley Slick (Oxford) 26-8, Fr. (7-6).
Consolation Match: Brady Rinehard (Walter Wellborn) 13-5, Jr. pinned Ian Markham (Weaver) 16-27, Fr. (2:50).

128 Results
Championship Match: Jackson Henry (Ohatchee) 3-0, Jr. def. Matthew Schmaltz (Alexandria HS) 20-6, So. (4-3).
Consolation Match: Jackson Hurst (Oxford) 32-11, So. pinned Taylor Ward (Weaver) 9-14, 8th. (4:52).

134 Results
Championship Match: Aaron Whittaker (Alexandria HS) 20-5, So. def. Drake Monroe (Weaver) 36-14, Fr. (SV-1 3-1).
Consolation Match: Lavarta Madden (Oxford) 2-1, So. pinned Carlos Cooper (Walter Wellborn) 1-2. (3:53).

140 Results
Championship Match: Quintez Pearson (Oxford) 2-0, Sr. def. Andrew Kilgore (Saks) 21-4, Jr. (MD 15-2).
Consolation Match: Justin Roblee (Walter Wellborn) 14-5, Jr. pinned Langdon Smith (Alexandria HS) 6-12, 8th. (3:02).

147 Results
Championship Match: Kyle Clapper (Weaver) 31-9, Jr. def. Gryce Mcdaniel (Oxford) 2-1, So. (6-2).
Consolation Match: Justin Conner (Walter Wellborn) 15-4, Sr. def. Christian Doss (Piedmont) 2-2, So. (7-6).

154 Results
Championship Match: Taylor Brown (Saks) 20-3, Sr. pinned Clayton Conner (Walter Wellborn) 10-4, Jr. (3:14).
Consolation Match: Anthony Knop (Alexandria HS) 3-1, Sr. pinned Brannon Bellar (Weaver) 20-19, Sr. (5:58).

162 Results
Championship Match: Matt King (Oxford) 2-0, So. def. Hayden Pitts (Ohatchee) 23-9, Jr. (MD 15-1).
Consolation Match: Trey Snyder (Piedmont) 3-1, Jr. def. Devionte Garrett (Saks) 12-6, Jr. (UTB 3-2).

172 Results
Championship Match: Christian Knop (Alexandria HS) 25-0, Fr. def. Tyler Johnson (Weaver) 17-11, Sr. (8-2).
Consolation Match: Rudney Reddick (Saks) 16-7, Jr. def. Jeffie Worrell (Ohatchee) 8-10, Sr. (0:48).

184 Results
Championship Match: Collin Allison (Weaver) 42-4, Sr. pinned Dawson Wells (Saks) 11-11, So. (1:46).
Consolation Match: Logan Smith (Piedmont) 3-1, Fr. def. Austin Snelling (Ohatchee) 3-7, Jr. (7-4).

197 Results
Championship Match: Chase Rodgers (Weaver) 43-3, Sr. pinned Ethen Handy (Saks) 18-8, Sr. (1:49).
Consolation Match: Zachery Chandler (Walter Wellborn) 14-4, Jr. pinned Jarquez Minniefield (Ohatchee) 2-7, So. (3:45).

222 Results
Championship Match: Caleb Montgomery (Ohatchee) 34-5, Jr. def. Matt Elston (Weaver) 27-8, Jr. (Dec 7-1).
Consolation Match: Javien Woods (Piedmont) 3-1, Jr. over Jack Mccormick (Alexandria HS) 15-8, So. (For.).

287 Results
Championship Match: Caleb Allison (Weaver) 42-2, Fr. pinned Clay Webb (Oxford) 2-1, Fr. (2:41).
Consolation Match: Jamie Crutcher (Piedmont) 3-1, Sr. def. Jordan Brooks (Saks) 17-10, So. (3-2).

Oxford's Matt King (top) looks to finish off Ohatchee's Hayden Pitts during their 162 final Tuesday. King was voted top wrestler of the tournament.

Oxford’s Matt King (top) looks to finish off Ohatchee’s Hayden Pitts during their 162 final Tuesday. King was voted top wrestler of the tournament.



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