E.A. Sports Today

Sectional champs

UPDATED: Oxford wins third straight 6A Super Sectional title, Weaver’s Bellar among 10 area wrestlers to win titles; more than 60 qualify for state from two sectional venues

By East Alabama Sports Today
Oxford won the Class 6A Super Sectional for the third year in a row – but first in the North – and the Calhoun, Cleburne and Talladega area qualified a total of 61 wrestlers for next week’s state finals on the second day of sectional wrestling at venues in Birmingham and Montgomery.
The Yellow Jackets added the third leg of this wrestling grand slam (County, State Duals, Sectionals, State) with 181.5 points, just 3.5 ahead of runner-up Clay-Chalkville. It was the first time during this run of sectional titles they won it from the North at the Birmingham Crossplex.

Landon Burrage (126) and Reed Hill (152) both brought individual titles to Oxford, but the Yellow Jackets had four other wrestlers make the finals with three losing close decisions and the other getting pinned.

“We won, but didn’t close it like we should have,” Oxford coach Kyle Routon said. “I hate not closing out a tournament because that’s what we’re going to have to do next week … Overall we had a good tournament – I don’t want to downplay that – but I just want to finish.”
Still, the Jackets qualified 10 wrestlers total for the championship meet next week in Huntsville, which Routon said gives them a chance to win a third straight state title in what he suspects will be one of the tightest if not lowest-scoring finals in the history of the tournament.
But they will be missing a key piece as they chase a third straight state title, as 138 Chase Hicks missed the sectional for disciplinary reasons and won’t be competing at the VonBraun Center. He was the middle piece in the Jackets’ ‘Gang of Five” in the middle of the lineup starting at 126, all of whom were expected to vie for state titles.
In their championship matches, Burrage scored an 8-6 decision over Gardendale’s Devyn Scoggins and Hill pinned Jason Minchew of Shades Valley in 3:31.
“Burrage came in as the No. 1 seed and basically wrestled like it,” Routon said. “Reed wrestled unbelievably in the finals.”
Oxford’s other finalists who weren’t as fortunate in the finals were Wesley Slick (132), Jakob Chisolm (145), Kendrick Young (170) and Kobe Shumaker (220). Routon is confident they’ll put that disappointment behind them and use it as motivation going forward.
“It’s kind of like when you see good teams in college football if they lose a game the next Saturday the poor soul they have to play against they usually get beat up pretty bad,” Routon said. “I do feel that’s how (they) will take it.
“There’s definitely a path to victory. We’ll have to see how well we handle this week and the weekend. Experience is a key this weekend and we’ve got some guys with some experience.”

At Birmingham Crossplex
Team scores:
 Oxford 181.5, Clay-Chalkville 178, Gardendale 173, Mae Jemison 125.5, Fort Payne 125, Homewood 117, Minor 113, Pell City 112.5, Athens 84, Hartselle 81, Buckhorn 77, Shades Valley 75.5, Pinson Valley 64, Decatur 59.5, Columbia 56, Hueytown 29, Muscle Shoals 20, Carver 17, Hazel Green 7, Huffman 3, Lee-Huntsville 3
Championship matches
106: David Miguel, Fort Payne (32-10) dec. over Melton Powe, Gardendale (46-10), 4-2
113: George Vazquez, Pinson Valley (29-2) pinned Gabe Sweat, Buckhorn (24-11), 1:09. Other qualifier: 8. Kaleb Shelton, Oxford
120: Corey Jones, Shades Valley (29-10) dec. over Cote Blalock, Fort Payne (43-8), 9-6. Other qualifier: 8. Kash Hornsby, Oxford
126: Landon Burrage, Oxford (48-10) dec. over Devyn Scoggins, Gardendale (51-7), 8-6
132: J.C. Williams, Clay-Chalkville (35-7) dec. over Wesley Slick, Oxford (43-8), 6-4
138: Deacon Cowart, Athens (30-5) maj. dec. over Keenan Wyatt, Gardendale (41-10), 9-1
145: Brandon Seawright, Minor (33-2) dec. over Jakob Chisolm, Oxford (55-4), 4-2 SV-1
152: Reed Hill, Oxford (55-3) pinned Jason Minchew, Shades Valley (36-4), 3:31
160:  Jackson Stocks, Pell City (45-4) dec. over Zaquerius Harris, Columbia (33-10), 7-5 SV-1
170: Theo Maxwell, Clay-Chalkville (38-5) dec. over Kendrick Young, Oxford (31-25), 8-2
182: Jordan Hunter, Buckhorn (22-2) pinned Derrick Orvik, Gardendale (28-8), 1:00. Other qualifier: 4. Keeshon Siaosi, Oxford
195: A.J. Talton, Clay-Chalkville (42-1) dec. over Riley Kuhn, Fort Payne (42-6), 6-1.Other qualifier: 4. Octavius Adair, Oxford.
220: Carlos Miguel Figueroa, Homewood (40-0) pinned Kobe Shumaker, Oxford (26-16), 2:13
285: Jack Jones, Clay Chalkville (40-1) dec. over Avion Woods, Hueytown (23-5), 5-3

Class 1A-5A South

MONTGOMERY – Travis Bellar admitted he was hesitant at first when the Weaver wrestling coaches approached him a couple weeks ago about dropping back to 106 from the 113 class he was used to competing in.

Travis Bellar (L) stands with Weaver wrestling coach Andy Fulmer after becoming a state sectional champion Saturday.

It was such a hassle, but the junior couldn’t have been happier he pulled the trigger after he won the weight division in the Class 1A-5A South Super Sectionals at the Garrett Coliseum for his first varsity tournament title.
Bellar was the first of eight wrestlers from Calhoun, Cleburne and Talladega counties to bring home titles from here and among 51 wrestlers to qualify for next week’s state championship meet.
He went 5-0 with all first-period pins, none lasting longer than the 1:37 it took to drop Tennison Norton of Saint James in the championship match. He had the most pins in the 1A-5A sectional.
“I’m not going to lie, that’s probably the best I’ve felt I’ve ever wrestled, especially in a tournament,” he said. “I’m still stoked like that happened.”
Bellar did win a junior varsity tournament earlier this year and probably would have qualified for Huntsville even if he hadn’t dropped back a weight class but fate only knows if he would’ve gone as a section champion.
He wrestled at 106 for the first time in the Bearcats’ final duals date of the season and lost both matches to wrestlers from Oxford and Spain Park. Still, he was seeded second in the weight class this weekend.
“I didn’t think I would make it this far,” Bellar said. “A couple months ago I was at 113 just wrestling and coach brought up to me about going to 106. He thought it was a good idea and thought I could do better there.
“Dropping down a weight class sucks. You’ve got to change your meal plan, your body changes and it doesn’t feel good. It took me a minute to accept to do it because I was still on the fence, but being in that moment, in the final match and winning the tournament, let alone a section tournament, it really felt nice.”
Fulmer was “really excited” for Bellar for all the things he has overcome.
“It’s just nice for something like that to happen to a kid who works hard and been so close,” he said. “He committed and sold out to being at that weight and wrestled really good. I’m very proud and I’m hoping it carries over into next week.”
The other individual champions from the area here were Bellar’s Weaver teammate Caleb Allison (220); Alexandria’s triple threat of Fletcher Swindall (126), Jaden New (132) and Christian Knop (195); Cleburne County’s Shane Beason (138) and Zachary Williamson (152); and Piedmont’s Evan Cooper (285).
Alexandria finished second in the team race, 60 points behind champion Saint James and seven points ahead of third-place finisher Ranburne.
New edged Weaver’s Cody Souder 5-4 in one of the best matches of the day. Knop went 4-0 with three first-period pins and his 13-6 decision over Ranburne’s Christian Smith in his final; he now has 317 career wins and 231 in a row. Allison pinned all three of his opponents to extend his career record to 320 wins.
At Garrett Coliseum, Montgomery
Team scores:
St. James 263, Alexandria 203, Ranburne 197, Tallassee 193, Cleburne County 166, Elmore County 148, Weaver 134, Beauregard 130, Piedmont 104.5, Montevallo 85, Pike Road 79.5, Lincoln 78.5, Prattville Christian 76.5, White Plains 75, Montgomery Catholic 64, Shelby County 63, American Christian 58, Thomasville 49.5, ASB 48, Satsuma 44, Wellborn 43, Pleasant Valley 42, Beulah 39, Holtville 33.5, Brewbaker Tech 30, Talladega 27.5, Ohatchee 23, Dadeville 19, Charles Henderson 18, Saks 18, Reeltown 14, Elberta 11, Houston Academy 4.
Championship matches
106: Travis Bellar, Weaver (44-22) pinned Tennison Norton, Saint James (34-7), 1:37
113: Jackson Elder, American Christian (30-1) tech fall over Grant Hall, Tallassee (41-9), 20-5
120: Jemari Harris, Montevallo (38-4) pinned Wes Christie, Saint James (33-8), 5:23
126: Fletcher Swindall, Alexandria (59-1) pinned Jackson Howard, Saint James (32-8), 3:14
132: Jaden New, Alexandria (62-2) dec. over Cody Souder, Weaver (61-10), 5-4
138: Shane Beason, Cleburne County (38-5) dec. over Gabe Robbins, Saint James (39-4), 8-3
145: Trey Gaines, Saint James (26-0) pinned Mathew Williamson, Cleburne County (39-5), 1:33
152: Zachary Williamson, Cleburne County (41-3) pinned Mason Bell, Tallassee (54-8), 1:44
160: Travis Hamilton, Saint James (20-3) dec. over Spencer Jordan, Ranburne (37-9), 6-4
170: Mac Johnson, Saint James (37-3) dec. over Cody Gilson, Tallassee (49-7), 7-6
182: Andy Baker, Tallassee (21-1) dec. over Kyle Hugley, Beauregard (49-3), 7-2
195: Christian Knop, Alexandria (67-0) dec. over Christian Smith, Ranburne (39-5), 13-6
220: Caleb Allison, Weaver (65-3) pinned Ben Buchanan, Ranburne (21-6), 2:51
285: Evan Cooper, Piedmont (39-2) pinned Skylar Payne, Alexandria (41-16), 0:28
State Qualifiers
106: Travis Bellar, Weaver; Tennison Norton, Saint James; Joseph Lomax, Alexandria; Hinds Duncan, Pike Road; Daymian Mccain, Brewbaker Tech; Matthew Thornton, Elmore County; Anthony Champion, Cleburne County; Landen Hillburn, Piedmont

113: Jackson Elder, American Christian; Grant Hall, Tallassee; William Walker, Satsuma; Aden Whittaker, Alexandria; Jamal Whittington, Beauregard; Dylan Melendez, Piedmont; Dawson Stanford, Lincoln; Devante Cantrell, Cleburne County

120: Jemari Harris, Montevallo; Wes Christie, Saint James; Austin Creamer, Lincoln; Bailey Henry, Ranburne; Shamar Heard, Cleburne County; Carter Maddox, Piedmont; Stone Svencer, Elmore County; Christian McCary, Tallassee

126: Fletcher Swindall, Alexandria; Jackson Howard, Saint James; Jacob Taunton, Elmore County; Cody Knight, Beauregard; Jordan Holcombe, Ranburne; Dylan Deloach, Weaver; Caleb Mooney, Shelby County; Preston Tidwell, Tallassee

132: Jaden New, Alexandria; Cody Souder, Weaver; Zack Haynes, Tallassee; Jeffrey Purcell, Elmore County; Hunter Gasaway, Beauregard; Bishop Singleton, Pike Road; Quin Cotten, Lincoln; Hunter Hollis, Ranburne

138: Shane Beason, Cleburne County; Gabe Robbins, Saint James; Dazhoen Finley, Lincoln; Dakota Medders, Alexandria; Frederick Ford, Dadeville; Case Coker, Prattville Christian; Luke Voorhies, Montgomery Catholic; Tanner Wood, Alabama School For The Blind

145: Trey Gaines, Saint James; Mathew Williamson, Cleburne County; Chayanne Sanchez, Elmore County; Colby Nelson, Holtville; Cameron Hodges, Beauregard; Skyler Mcleod, Pleasant Valley; Christian Friday, Montgomery Catholic; Troy Galloway, Ohatchee

152: Zachary Williamson, Cleburne County; Mason Bell, Tallassee; Leland Talbert, Saint JamesOrlando Gildersleeve, Thomasville; Blake Smith, Ranburne; Austin Dunn, Shelby County; Blain Hines, Beulah; Kristian Robinson, Walter Wellborn

160: Travis Hamilton, Saint James;Spencer Jordan, Ranburne;Jack Burt, Montgomery Catholic; Mason Grissett, Prattville Christian; Stefan Kirby, Weaver; Nick Coheley, Piedmont; Trevin Coheley, Pleasant Valley; Taylor Wilkins, Shelby County

170: Mac Johnson, Saint James; Cody Gilson, Tallassee; Geordan Carter, Alabama School For The Blind; Christopher Higgins, Cleburne County; Trenton Brown, Saks; Kurt Reichert, Prattville Christian; Damon Calhoun, Ranburne; Troy Gibson, Satsuma

182: Andy Baker, Tallassee; Kyle Hugley, Beauregard; Peyton Mullenix, American Christian;Ethan Bozarth, White Plains; Jeremiah McCord, Ranburne; Jake Rice, Saint James; Keyshon Townsend, Lincoln; Connor Hall, Alexandria

195: Christian Knop, Alexandria; Christian Smith, Ranburne; Rankin Allen, Montevallo; Garrett Moseley, Elmore County; Riley Dothard, White Plains; Dalton Brooks, Shelby County; Bennett Blankenship, Saint James; Quinton Hale, Beulah

220: Caleb Allison, Weaver; Ben Buchanan, Ranburne; Logan Smith, Piedmont; Matt Prater, Saint James; Hunter Bass, Montevallo; Jacob Bius, Prattville Christian; Caleb Witherspoon, Thomasville; Bailey Nixon, Charles Henderson

285: Evan Cooper, Piedmont; Skylar Payne, Alexandria; Fischer Segrest, Tallassee; Levi Ledbetter, Ranburne; Will Staggs, Prattville Christian; Matt Brown, Elmore County; Corbin Grant, Pike Road; Brandon Herring, Talladega

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