E.A. Sports Today

Duals field set

Alexandria, Oxford, Weaver in action during inaugural State Duals Tournament; Oxford, Weaver will host in first round

By East Alabama Sports Today

Three Calhoun County teams – Alexandria, Oxford and Weaver — will be in action this weekend when the first-ever AHSAA Wrestling Duals tournament gets underway with 20 first-round and quarterfinal matches in Class 6A, 1A-5A and 7A (quarterfinals).

Perhaps the most intriguing locally of the opening-round matches is the 1A-5A battle between Alexandria and Cleburne County in Heflin.

“Well, it will be super tough,” said Alexandria coach Frank Hartzog. “They are a tough team and I expect it’s a close match. It will be mentally draining, already has been and we aren’t even there yet.”

The other two county squads will be hosting matches.

Weaver, the 1A-5A Region 4 champions, will host Ranburne.

“I’m glad we are in,” said Fulmer, whose team claimed the region title after a tight match with Alexandria. “I’m proud of our kids and very excited for them to be a part of the first-ever state duals tournament.

“It’s a good draw. The second round will be tough and the semis will be even tougher, but we are in and anything is possible.”

Oxford, the 6A Region 2 champions, will host Baldwin County.

“Baldwin County has had a great year and the second round will more than likely be a team who beat us earlier in the year,” Oxford coach Matt Hicks said. “I think we are wrestling well right now, so I guess we will see how it plays out.”

The winners will meet Saturday at host sites. The Alexandria-Cleburne County winner will get the Weaver-Ranburne winner and if Oxford wins it will get either Pell City or Gulf Shores.

The semifinals are Jan. 24 at host sites, with the championship matches at Birmingham’s Bill Harris Arena. The 1A-5A finals are Jan. 27, with the 6A finals Jan. 28.

This tournament does not replace the traditional state wrestling championships, which will be held in Huntsville Feb. 16. That team champion will be crowned based on points accumulated by each team’s qualifying wrestlers throughout the weekend.

Here are the first-round pairings:

Region 1 RU: Elmore County at Region 2 winner: Moody
Region 2 RU: Holtville at Region 1 winner: Tallassee
Region 3 RU: Ranburne at Region 4 winner: Weaver
Region 4 RU: Alexandria at Region 3 winner: Cleburne County

Region 5 RU: Mortimer Jordan vs. Region 6 winner: Dora, at Hayden
Region 6 RU: Oak Grove at Region 5 winner: Hayden
Region 7 RU: Madison County vs. Region 8 winner: Mae Jemison, at Arab, Thursday
Region 8 RU: Deshler at Region 7 winner: Arab at Arab, Thursday

Region 1 RU: Baldwin County at Region 2 winner: Oxford

Region 2 RU: Pell City at Region 1 winner: Gulf Shores
Region 3 RU: Stanhope Elmore vs. Region 4 winner: McAdory at Stanhope Elmore
Region 4 RU: Hueytown vs. Region 3 winner: Wetumpka, Stanhope Elmore
Region 5 RU: Helena at Region 6 winner: Pinson Valley
Region 6 RU: Gardendale at Region 5 winner: Homewood
Region 7 RU: Clay-Chalkville at Region 8 winner: Athens, Saturday (weigh in 3 p.m.)
Region 8 RU: Austin vs. Region 7 winner: Southside Gadsden at Athens, Saturday (weigh in 3 p.m.)

Region 1 RU: Auburn at Region 2 winner: Thompson
Region 2 RU: Oak Mountain at Region 1 winner: Smiths Station
Region 3 RU: Hewitt-Trussville at Region 4 winner: Grissom
Region 4 RU: Bob Jones at Region 3 winner: Vestavia Hills

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