E.A. Sports Today

Time to move on

Weaver’s Allison walks away satisfied at the end of a long high school career, area gets 16 non-champion state placers, 21 total
By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today
HUNTSVILLE – Caleb Allison’s final season as a wrestler didn’t end quite the way he’d like, but at least he won what probably will be the last time he steps on the mat.
The Weaver senior finished third in the Class 1A-5A 220 division. He pinned Piedmont’s Logan Smith in the third-place match after his bid for a second straight state title was dashed by St. Clair County’s Skyler Mizzell, the eventual champion, in the semifinals the day before.
“Being my senior it’s hard to go out with a third-place finish, but you’ve got to understand how many people would love to finish third,” he said from the stands as workers below him prepared the mats for the championship round. “It’s hard to wrap my mind around all the stuff I’ve gone through in my life and I’ve been doing this on 17 years now and it’s over. That’s it.”
Allison is still weighing his college options – he’d love to play college football somewhere – and wouldn’t absolutely rule out returning to the mat again, but if Saturday was indeed his last time on the mat he was satisfied with the result.
He may have won only one state title in his six-year career – last year – but he does walk away from it as the winningest wrestler in Calhoun County history. He goes out 324-34 record, three wins more than Alexandria’s Christian Knop, who claimed his fourth straight undefeated state title Saturday. All four of Allison’s wins in the tournament came by pin.
Ironically, he almost didn’t wrestle last year, calling it a career after reaching the top of the mountain last season. But he did come back and won a county championship – where he was most valuable wrestler – a section championship, a couple tournament MVPs, and finished 69-4 on the season.
“It’s been good long journey,” he said. “I want to say I’m happy it’s over, but at the same time I’m not. I’m still trying to take everything in and proud that I came back and finished it.
“A lot of wrestlers, especially the wrestling community, they know people who think they should win it and end up losing a close match they end up taking a dive – it’s either home run or strike out with them – but I’ve been preaching my whole life how to finish, finish, finish. That’s what I did so I’m proud of that.”
Allison was one of 16 non-champion placers (top six) from Calhoun and Cleburne counties at the tournament.
Weaver’s Cody Souder lost in the 132 finals and Travis Bellar was sixth at 106.
White Plains’ Ethan Bozarth (182) and Riley Dothard (195) both finished fifth in their weight classes, the first two state placers in the two-year history of the Wildcats’ program.
Piedmont’s Evan Cooper was fourth at 285 and Alexandria’s Skylar Payne was fifth.
Cleburne County’s Zach Williamson lost in the 152 finals and Mathew Williamson was fifth at 145. Ranburne’s Spencer Jordan was sixth at 160, Christian Smith third at 195 and Ben Buchanan was fifth at 220.
In Class 6A, Oxford’s Landon Burrage lost a 6-0 decision in the 126 final, Wesley Slick was fourth at 132 after taking McAdory’s record-setting undefeated Steven Bell to the wire in the semifinals, and Octavious Adair was third at 195.
Alexandria – Fletcher Swindall (champion 126), Jaden New (champion 132), Christian Knop (champion 195), Skylar Payne (285).
Cleburne County – Matthew Williamson (145), Zach Williamson (152).
Oxford – Jakob Chisolm (champion 145), Reed Hill (champion 152), Landon Burrage (126), Wesley Slick (132), Octavious Adair (195).
Piedmont – Logan Smith (220), Evan Cooper (285).
Ranburne – Spencer Jordan (160), Christian Smith (195), Ben Buchanan (220).
Weaver – Travis Bellar (106), Cody Souder (132), Caleb Allison (220).
White Plains – Ethan Bozarth (182), Riley Dothard (195).

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