E.A. Sports Today

Big day for Bulldogs

Ranburne wins first title in program history at Lincoln, Cubs’ Knop most valuable wrestler; Oxford seventh in Huntsville with two champions

By East Alabama Sports Today

LINCOLN — There was so much going on in the final two matches of the Lincoln Golden Bear Classic Saturday night it was hard to keep it all straight.

On one mat Ranburne’s Jeremiah McCord was battling for the 182-pound title. On the other Bob Jones and Moody were wrestling for a 285-pound crown that had a major impact on the outcome of the tournament.

When McCord won his bout over Alexandria’s Connor Hall it gave the Bulldogs a six-point lead in the standings. All they needed was for Moody’s heavyweight not to pin on the adjacent mat and it would be happy bus ride back to Ranburne.

It turned out even better than the Bulldogs could have imagined. When the official’s hand slapped the mat for a Bob Jones pin 17 seconds from the end of the third period, Ranburne had the first tournament title in the 10-year history of its program.

“We’ve placed second and third in a few, but this is our first championship,” said coach Jay Harlan, who started the Ranburne program and coached it for most of its 10 years. “It was a big day for us.”

The Bulldogs, who only started practicing Monday after a long football season, scored 212.5 points. Moody was second at 206.5, followed by Alexandria at 201. McCord was their only individual champion, but they had four other wrestlers in finals.

“It was what you would call a total team effort,” Harlan said. “We only had one first-place winner but … everybody contributed.”

It’ll be a different feeling now going into tournaments as a recognized winner.

“I think it’s created a little excitement and it just gave everybody more confidence,” Harlan said. “We’ve wrestled well in the past, we just couldn’t get over the hump and I think this kind of gave us a little boost, the confidence that we needed.”

Alexandria’s Christian Knop was voted the tournament’s most valuable wrestler. He won the 195 title with his fourth pin of the tournament in 1:44. The three-time reigning state champion and N.C. State signee now has a 173-match winning streak and needs 18 more wins at any point in the season to become Calhoun County’s all-time winningest wrestler.

Teammate Fletcher Swindall’s 9-4 win over Weaver’s Cody Souder in the 132 final was voted the tournament’s best match. It was Souder’s first loss of the season.

David McClure gave White Plains’ the first individual champion in its program’s brief history when he pinned Ranburne’s Damon Calhoun in 32 seconds at 170. The Wildcats finished sixth as a team.

Next weekend most of the local teams will wrestle in Weaver’s Gene Taylor Memorial Tournament. The event will be in the Adcock Gym at Wellborn due to the ongoing construction in the Bearcats’ gym. All of Weaver’s December home dates will be played at Wellborn.

Team scores:
Ranburne 212.5, Moody 206.5, Alexandria 201, Cleburne County 155, Weaver 132, White Plains 116, Bob Jones 100.5, Wellborn 97.5, Leeds 91, Lincoln 80, Piedmont 36, Talladega 26, Ohatchee 23, Pleasant Valley 21.

Championship matches
106 — Brady Denham (Wellborn), 4-0, pinned Anthony Champion (Cleburne County), 3-1 (2:00)
113 — Parker Dodd (Moody), 4-0, pinned Shemar Heard (Cleburne County, 3-1 (1:05)
120 — Kaleb Matthews (Alexandria), 4-1, dec. over Triston Manly (Moody, 9-3 (5-1)
126 — Will Jefcoat (Moody), 7-0, pinned Jordan Holcombe (Ranburne), 3-1 (2:16)
132 — Fletcher Swindall (Alexandria), 4-0, dec. over Cody Souder (Weaver), 9-1 (9-4)
138 — Jaden New (Alexandria), 9-0, maj. dec. over Eli Sims (Leeds), 5-1 (14-2)
145 — Sage Hughes (Moody), 12-0, dec. over Shane Beason (Cleburne County, 3-1 (3-0)
152 — Rashad Clark (Moody), 12-0, dec. over Matthew Williamson (Cleburne County), 3-1 (12-7)
160 — Zachary Williamson (Cleburne County), 3-0, dec. over Daniel Vazquez (Moody), 10-2 (8-4)
170 — David McClure (White Plains), 5-0, pinned Damon Calhoun (Ranburne), 3-1 (0:32)
182 — Jeremiah McCord (Ranburne), 4-0, dec. over Connor Hall (Alexandria), 3-1 (7-0)
195 — Christian Knop (Alexandria), 9-0, pinned Christian Smith (Ranburne), 3-1 (1:44)
220 — Caleb Allison (Weaver), 8-1 pinned Ben Buchanan (Ranburne), 3-1 (2:47)
285 — Josh Guyton (Bob Jones), 5-0, pinned Quentin Threatt (Moody), 9-3 (5:43)

Oxford seventh in Huntsville

HUNTSVILLE — Jakob Chisolm and Clay Webb each won individual titles and helped Oxford finish seventh out of 28 teams in a monster field at the 39th Huntsville Invitational.

Chisolm (11-1) took a 7-1 decision from Deacon Cowart of Athens for the 138 title and Webb (5-0), expected to wrestle until he signs his Division I football scholarship offer and enrolls early later this month, scored a 17-2 tech fall over Tyler Southern of Union Grove for the 285 crown.

Two other Yellow Jackets placed in the top three in their brackets. Wesley Slick (9-2) finished second at 132, dropping a 7-0 decision to Thompson’s Chandler Akins in the title bout. Reed Hill (8-2) scored a 16-0 tech fall over Stephen Schmitt of Arab for third place in 152.

Team scores: Bob Jones 484, Thompson 410, Arab 355, Scottsboro 330, Huntsville 284, Union Grove 265, Oxford 248, Independence 235, Spanish Fort 221, Mae Jemison 201, Fort Payne 179, Madison County 167, Soddy Daisy 153, Sparkman 124, St. John Paul II 115, St. Clair County 107.5, Columbia 107, New Hope 106, Webb School of Knoxville 97, Westminster Christian 85.5, Athens 82.5, Buckhorn 81, Daphne 54, Hartselle 46.5, Florence 42, East Limestone 40.5, Randolph 10, Wilson 9.

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