E.A. Sports Today

State champions

Alexandria, Oxford give Calhoun County 5 state wrestling champions; Knop makes history 

By East Alabama Sports Today

HUNTSVILLE — Calhoun County produced five state champions at the AHSAA Wrestling Championships, including two first-time winners and the first four-time undefeated winner in state history.

Alexandria’s Christian Knop completed a record-setting high school career when he pinned Corner sophomore Cole Fuller in the second period for the Class 1A-5A 195 crown. It completed his fourth straight undefeated season.

It was his 321st career victory and 235th in a row, also a state record. His last loss came in the consolation round of the 2015 state tournament as an eighth-grader.

“Great way to finish off high school; I couldn’t think of it ending any better way,” Knop said. “Today is special. Today means more than my first state championship. Always excited to win state, no matter how good you get, but on to bigger and better things and can’t wait for the future.”

Alexandria coach Frank Hartzog called what Knop has accomplished “amazing.”

Knop’s victory was part of a triple play for the Valley Cubs. Fletcher Swindall and Jaden New also won Class 1A-5A crowns. Swindall won his first title with a 7-0 decision over Jackson Howard of St. James at 126. New won for the second year in a row, scoring a 15-3 decision over Weaver’s Cody Souder at 132.

Swindall was named 1A-5A Most Valuable Wrestler; he scored two pins and gave up one point all tournament. Knop won the Most Pins Award, completing the career triple awards crown (best match, MVP, pins); he had four pins in an elapsed time of 8:40.
“When we started our program before we even knew we were going to have a varsity program it was me, Jaden and Christian ever since and to finish like that is pretty awesome,” Swindall said. “I’ve been working with them since I was in third grade and just seeing them all at the top of the podium is awesome.”

New, a freshman, has designs on winning five state titles and becoming the best wrestler in Alexandria history. He would be supplanting Knop to do that.

Oxford didn’t repeat as Class 6A state champs, bringing a 10-man contingent with five first-year qualifiers to the event, but the Yellow Jackets did produce two state winners.

Jakob Chisolm won for the second year in a row with an 8-4 decision over Desmond Pearson of Mae Jemison (145).
Reed Hill won his first state title at virtually the last possible moment, making the winning move in the final 10 seconds to beat Sason Coker of Benjamin Russell 2-0 at 152. The match was voted the best match of the 6A tournament.
Calhoun and Cleburne County schools also produced 12 other placers (top 6) in the 1A-5A and 6A championships. 

Moody won the Class 1A-5A team championship, edging runner-up Arab by 8.5 points.  McAdory won the Class 6A team title; Oxford was fourth.

Look for more at East Alabama Sports Today. 


Team Scores (top 10): Moody 148.5; Arab 140; Scottsboro 122; Alexandria 106.5; Southside-Gadsden 86.5; Saint James 86; Mortimer Jordan 80; Elmore County 69; Ranburne 67; Hayden 65.
106: Cory Land (Moody) 47-0, dec. over Jacob Holland (Arab) 69-6, 8-2
113: Jackson Elder (American Christian) 34-1, dec. over Parker Dodd (Moody) 58-11, 3-2
120: Jacob Dease (Southside) 56-5, maj. dec. over Will Jefcoat (Moody) 34-5, 13-3
126: Fletcher Swindall (Alexandria) 63-1 dec. over Jackson Howard (St. James) 41-3, 7-0.
132: Jaden New (Alexandria) 66-2, maj. dec. over Cody Souder (Weaver) 64-11, 15-3
138: Garrett McClendon (Arab) 67-7, pinned Evan Vieira (New Hope) 35-6, 1:38
145: Sage Hughes (Moody) 66-7, dec. over Zeke Smotherman (Madison County) 30-5, 12-10
152: Rashad Clark (Moody) 66-2, pinned Zachary Williamson (Cleburne County) 44-4, 2:38
160: Jayson Spencer (St. John Paul II Catholic) 39-2, dec. over Colby Hallmark (Hayden) 58-5, 7-6
170: Gerard McArron (St. John Paul II Catholic) 36-2, dec. over Damian Ramirez (Scottsboro) 37-4, SV-1 3-1
182: Kolton Clark (Scottsboro) 36-1, maj. dec. over Andy Baker (Tallassee) 24-2, 12-1
195: Christian Knop (Alexandria) 71-0, Sr. pinned Cole Fuller (Corner) 48-7, 3:21
220: Skyler Mizzell (Saint Clair County) 59-4, dec. over Caleb Anderson (Scottsboro) 31-7, 4-2
285: Michael Barnes (Mortimer Jordan) 40-5, dec. over Ronny Henderson (Dora) 45-7, 3-2
Team scores (top 10):
 McAdory 154; Wetumpka 137.5; Benjamin Russell 136; Oxford 122; Clay-Chalkville 110; Gardendale 90; Mae Jemison 86.5; Gulf Shores 84; Helena 82; Opelika 70.
106: Xander McWilliams (Wetumpka) 68-4, dec. over Blaze Isbell (Pell City) 45-20, 5-0
113: Tyrique Simms (Mae Jemison) 30-12, dec. over Michael Moran (Helena) 45-7, 11-6
120: Kyler Adams (Wetumpka) 65-3, dec. over Gabriel Warren (Spanish Fort) 73-8, 6-3
126: Will Miller (Helena) 50-6, dec. over Landon Burrage (Oxford) 51-11, 6-0
132: Steven Bell (McAdory) 91-0, pinned Robert Graham (Benjamin Russell) 45-15, 2:40
138: Deacon Cowart (Athens) 34-5, maj. dec. over Blake Crocker (Pinson Valley) 26-14, 14-3
145: Jakob Chisolm (Oxford) 59-4, dec. over Desmond Pearson (Mae Jemison) 38-3, 8-4
152: Reed Hill (Oxford) 59-3, dec. over Saxon Coker (Benjamin Russell) 63-9, 3-0
160: Ryan Spradley (Benjamin Russell) 65-10, dec. over Tracy Reed (Pinson Valley) 28-6, 11-8
170: Mason Blackwell (Wetumpka) 72-2, maj. dec. over Hezekiah Hunter (Benjamin Russell) 42-10, 10-2
182: Turner O’Brian Black (McAdory) 90-1, pinned Noah Barclay (Wetumpka) 54-4, 5:24
195: AJ Talton (Clay-Chalkville) 46-1, pinned Braiden Williams (Baldwin County) 44-2, 5:57
220: Carlos Miguel Figueroa (Homewood) 44-0, pinned Nathan Dunaway (Helena) 41-4, 3:18
285: Jack Jones (Clay-Chalkville) 44-1, pinned Curtis Norris (Benjamin Russell) 38-8, 1:34

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