E.A. Sports Today

Sectional seeds

Calhoun, Cleburne counties have 13 No. 1 seeds in this weekend’s sectional wrestling tournaments; 28 grapplers hold down top four seeds

By East Alabama Sports Today
Thirteen wrestlers from Calhoun and Cleburne counties will be holding No. 1 seeds at their respective venues this weekend in the AHSAA Wrestling Sectionals.
Calhoun County will have five top seeds and Cleburne County two in the 1A-5A South Sectional at the Garrett Coliseum in Montgomery, while two-time reigning state champion Oxford will have six No. 1s in the Class 6A North Sectional at the Birmingham Crossplex.
Three-time undefeated state champion Christian Knop (195, 63-0) is joined by Fletcher Swindall (55-1) at 126 and Jaden New (58-2) at 132 as the Valley Cubs’ No. 1 seeds.
“If I step back and try to look at it in a positive light from starting the program – this is our sixth year – it’s not bad,” Valley Cubs coach Frank Hartzog said. “I’m pretty stoked for the kids who needed that opportunity; that’s great. But if I look at it from a standpoint of what I was anticipating a year ago it’s a little heartbreaking we don’t have a few more.”
As he was speaking, Hartzog was hoping another of his wrestlers would stay at the spot he’s listed. Skylar Payne (38-15) is currently the No. 3 seed at 285, but Hartzog is waiting out a challenge to the national federation from Tallassee claiming No. 4 seed Fischer Segrest (35-4) has a victory over a common opponent Payne medically forfeited to without ever taking the mat.
Payne and Segrest haven’t met this season. The seedings and bracket close Thursday.
At stake is a line in the bracket away from the top seed, another Calhoun County No. 1, Evan Cooper of Piedmont, who is 35-2.

(UPDATE: Payne was left as the No. 3 seed)
Weaver 220 Caleb Allison is the county’s other No. 1 in Montgomery. He is 62-3 this season and currently with four more wins than Knop (317 to 313) is on track to finish his six-year career as the winningest wrestler in Calhoun County history.
Cleburne County’s Shane Beason (34-5) and Zachary Williamson (36-3) are No. 1 at 138 and 152, respectively.
Oxford, wrestling in the North Section familiar to coach Kyle Routon for the first time, has six No. 1s, led by the powerful bloc in the middle of its lineup that has 238 combined wins – 126 Landon Burrage (44-10), 132 Wesley Slick (40-7), 138 Chase Hicks (50-11), 145 Jakob Chisolm (53-3) and 152 Reed Hill (51-3). Kendrick Young (28-24) is No. 1 at 170.
“You get those No. 1 seeds from how you performed in the season,” Routon said. “I don’t know exactly how many wins they have, but it’s pretty danged good. Having said that, it doesn’t matter how great of a year we’ve had if we don’t perform these next two weeks.”
The Yellow Jackets have a top eight seed in 12 of the 14 weight classes.
“Remember, as good as those five are, it’s going to be the others that win us a title,” Routon said.
The top eight finishers in each sectional advance to the state finals next week in Huntsville.
In all, 28 local wrestlers hold down top four seeds at the two venues. Here’s the list:
SOUTH 1A-5A – Garrett Coliseum, Montgomery
106 – 2. Travis Bellar, Weaver (39-22); 3. Joseph Lomax, Alexandria (39-25)
113 – 3. Aden Whittaker, Alexandria (36-17)
126 – 1. Fletcher Swindall, Alexandria (55-1)
132 – 1. Jaden New, Alexandria (58-2); 2. Cody Souder, Weaver (58-9)
138 – 1. Shane Beason, Cleburne County (34-5); 4. Dakota Medders, Alexandria (44-12)
145 – 2. Mathew Williamson, Cleburne County (36-4)
152 – 1. Zachary Williamson, Cleburne County (36-3)
160 – 2. Spencer Jordan, Ranburne (33-8); 4. Nick Coheley, Piedmont (27-12)
170 – 4. Damon Calhoun, Ranburne (28-11)
195 – 1. Christian Knop, Alexandria (63-0); 2 Christian Smith, Ranburne (36-4)
220 – 1. Caleb Allison, Weaver (62-3); 2. Logan Smith, Piedmont (24-3); 3. Ben Buchanan, Ranburne (18-5)
285 – 1. Evan Cooper, Piedmont (35-2); 2. Levi Ledbetter, Ranburne (34-2); 3. Skylar Payne, Alexandria (38-15)
NORTH 6A – Birmingham Crossplex
126 – 1. Landon Burrage, Oxford (44-10)
132 – 1. Wesley Slick, Oxford (40-7)
138 – 1. Chase Hicks, Oxford (50-11)
145 – 1. Jakob Chisolm, Oxford (53-3)
152 – 1. Reed Hill, Oxford (51-3)
170 – 1. Kendrick Young, Oxford (28-24)
182 – 3. Keeshon Siaosi, Oxford (28-19)

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