E.A. Sports Today

Perfect time to peak

Alexandria wins 1A-5A South sectional, Oxford second in 6A North; area qualifies 62 wrestlers to Huntsville; Weaver makes some history

By Al Muskewitz
East Alabama Sports Today

As a coach, Frank Hartzog has often heard the notion of getting your team to peak at just the right time in the season, but, frankly, he’s never really seen it come to fruition — until Saturday.

His Alexandria wrestling team couldn’t have picked a better time to be making its best moves on the mat.
The Valley Cubs won the Class 1A-5A South Super Sectional wrestling title in Montgomery Saturday, leading eight programs from Calhoun County and 12 from the tri-county area into the state meet later this week in Huntsville. County champion Oxford finished second in the Class 6A North Super Sectional in Birmingham.
The Cubs and Yellow Jackets both qualified 11 wrestlers to the state meet at the VonBraun Center. Overall, teams from Calhoun, Cleburne and Talladega counties will be sending 62 wrestlers to Huntsville.

Alexandria produced two sectional champions – Kaleb Mathews (113) and undefeated Jaden New (145). Oxford produced three – undefeated Jakob Chisolm (138), Reed Hill (160) and Chanceton Holifield (195).
Hartzog couldn’t be happier with what he got from his wrestlers in the Garrett Coliseum.
“It’s the best they’ve wrestled all season,” he said. “I just think they were motivated.
“I’ve always heard you’ve got to get your team to peak at the right time and I’ve never really seen it happen until this weekend. This is the best they’ve looked ever. It was exciting to see them do so well. We had a lot of things go our way.”
The Cubs got points throughout their lineup and scored 274.5 as a team, 70 better than section runner-up Ranburne. Lincoln finished fifth, Weaver was sixth and Cleburne County eighth. Saks was just outside the top 10. Oxford, meanwhile scored 196 points at the Bill Harris Arena, 52 behind winner Gardendale, the team it lost to in the State Duals two weeks ago, and nearly 40 ahead of third-place Homewood.
Junior Caleb McCulley and Connor Norris were among Alexandria’s most pleasant surprises. McCulley, in basically his first year of wrestling after suffering a broken ankle last year, made the 220 finals, where he was pinned by Ranburne’s once-beaten Carson Hall. Norris finished third at 160, pinning Jake Debardelaben of Tallassee in the first period of the third-place match.
“He’s a good kid, a hard worker, no doubt, but to make the finals I just thought you’ve reached your potential, son,” Hartzog said of McCulley.
On Norris he said “he put stuff together I haven’t seen all year. He was on fire. He’s a senior; he’s motivated. I’m very happy for them that they can go out with the knowledge we went out and we wrestled well our senior year.”
Now he’s hoping what happened in Montgomery will motivate the entire team to show out in Huntsville, where they’ll have to contend with North juggernauts Arab and Jasper. Those teams finished 1-2 in the North, 18 points apart and 90 points ahead of the closest competition. Arab had three sectional champions and three runner-ups, while Jasper produced three winners.
“As far as having a chance, we have a chance,” Hartzog said. “If we wouldn’t have done well this weekend there’s no chance. So, they put themselves in a position that they have a chance. You can’t ask for more than that.
“Now, are we going to pull off a miracle; I don’t know. But I’m just so proud of them for putting themselves in a position that if things go really well and things maybe don’t go so well for them they do have a shot. I’m a little pumped about that.”
Weaver will have the first brother-sister qualifiers in state wrestling tournament history as Joshua Johannson (132) and sister Lena (106) both posted top-3 finishes in their respective South 1A-5A weight classes.

Lena, a seventh-grader, is just the second girl ever to qualify for the state wrestling championship, joining former Gadsden City and Ohatchee wrestler Hannah Gladden (2012-2013). 

(At Garrett Coliseum, Montgomery)
Team scores: Alexandria 274.5, Ranburne 204.5, Tallassee 170, Beauregard 151, Lincoln 144.5, Weaver 138, Pike road 126, Cleburne County 120, Satsuma 119, St. James 104, Saks 103, Elmore County 101.5, Piedmont 95, Shelby County 92.5, Montevallo 84, Thomasville 80, Montgomery Catholic 79, TR Miller 72, Pleasant Valley 7-.5, Ohatchee 70, WS Neal 65, White Plains 55.5, Reeltown 51, Prattville Christian 47.5, ASB 46.5, Elberta 44, Beulah 40, Holtville 34.5, Brewbaker Tech 26, Wellborn 23, Houston Academy 19, Charles Henderson 18.
Championship matches
106: Hinds Duncan, Pike Road (39-3) dec. Preston Jones, Alexandria (42-8), 8-2.
113: Kaleb Mathews, Alexandria (46-4) pinned Dylan Melendez, Piedmont, 3:46.
120: William Walker, Satsuma (52-1) pinned Jamal Whittington, Beauregard (39-4), 0:59.
126: Zack Haynes, Tallassee (39-3) pinned Jemari Harris, Montevallo (44-4), 0:52.
132: Cole Sykes, Shelby County (49-5) dec. Joshua Johannson, Weaver (38-10), 7-6.
138: Daazhoen Finley, Lincoln (49-3) dec. Dakota Medders, Alexandria (40-9), 7-0.
145: Jaden New, Alexandria (48-0) dec. Cody Souder, Weaver (37-6), 5-4.
152: Zachary Williamson, Cleburne County (37-0) maj. dec. over Mason Bell, Tallassee (58-4), 11-1.
160: Jack Burt, Montgomery Catholic (40-2) dec. Spencer Jordan, Ranburne (30-5), 7-3.
170: Troy Gibson, Satsuma (38-6) dec. Trenton Brown, Saks (37-7), 5-3.
182: Kurt Reichert, Prattville Christian (37-3) dec. Devin Anderson, Weaver (31-5), 6-2.
195: Christian Smith, Ranburne (31-0) dec. Connor Hall, Alexandria (47-8), 12-6.
220: Carson Hall, Ranburne (34-1) pinned Caleb McCulley, Alexandria (47-11), 3:33.
285: Ben Buchanan, Ranburne (35-0) dec. Trent Pate, Cleburne County (30-6), 7-0.
Local qualifiers
(From Calhoun, Cleburne, Talladega counties)
106: 2. Preston Jones, Alexandria; 3. Lena Johannson, Weaver; 5. Matthew Kenneway, Saks; 7. Izak Duke, Piedmont; 8. Jaden Cheatwood, Pleasant Valley.
113: 1. Kaleb Mathews, Alexandria; 2. Dylan Melendez, Piedmont; 5. Jamichael Finley, Lincoln; 7. Kasin Bramlett, Ohatchee.
120: 4. Joseph Lomax, Alexandria; 7. Austin Creamer, Lincoln.
126: 3. Aden Whittaker, Alexandria; 7. Travis Bellar, Weaver.
132: 2. Joshua Johannson, Weaver; 6. Carter Maddox, Piedmont; 8. Lavont Finley, Lincoln.
138: 1. Dazhoen Finley, Lincoln; 2. Dakota Medders, Alexandria; 3. Tanner Wood, ASB; 5. Hunter Hollis, Ranburne; 8. Anthony Usry, Weaver.
145: 1. Jaden New, Alexandria; 2. Cody Souder, Weaver; 4. Quin Cotton, Lincoln; 5. Timothy Thurman, Saks; 6. Jaylen Thomas, White Plains.
152: 1. Zachary Williamson, Cleburne County; 3. Donovan Lomax, Alexandria; 8. Brennen Barber, Lincoln.
160: 2. Spencer Jordan, Ranburne; 3. Connor Norris, Alexandria; 7. Kaleb Thomason, Piedmont; 8. Landon McLendon, Lincoln
170: 2. Trenton Brown, Saks; 3. Troy Galloway, Ohatchee; 4. Damon Calhoun, Ranburne; 8. Hunter Sallee, Pleasant Valley.
182: 2. Devin Anderson, Weaver; 3. Jeremiah McCord, Ranburne; 6. Zachary Salter, Cleburne County.
195: 1. Christian Smith, Ranburne; 2. Connor Hall, Alexandria; 4. Keyshon Townsend, Lincoln; 7. Matthew Nolen, Cleburne County.
220: 1. Carson Hall, Ranburne; 2. Caleb McCulley, Alexandria; 4. Treveon Bolton, Saks; 7. Russell Clanton, Cleburne County.
285: 1. Ben Buchanan, Ranburne; 2. Trent Pate, Cleburne County; 5. Jonathan Evans, Pleasant Valley; 7. Juddson Cromer, Alexandria.
(At Bill Harris Arena, Birmingham)
Team scores: Gardendale 248, Oxford 196, Homewood 157.5, Fort Payne 151, Shades Valley 140.5, Clay-Chalkville 125, Pell City 111, Mae Jemison 104.5, Buckhorn 80, Hartselle 76.5, Athens 66, Pinson Valley 64, Decatur 63, Minor 56, Hueytown 41.5, Carver-B’ham 36, Muscle Shoals 28, Hazel Green 24, Huffman 3, Lee-Huntsville 3, Columbia 0.
Championship matches
106: David Miguel, Fort Payne (24-3) dec. Donelle Young, Shades Valaley (36-14), 10-4.
113: Isaiah Powe, Gardendale (46-2) tech. fall over Graham Miner, Homewood (39-13), 19-2 (TF-1.5 4:30).
120: Cote Blalock, Fort Payne (31-0) dec. Lincoln Bryant, Hartselle (38-9), 4-2.
126: Corey Jones, Shades Valley (34-6) dec. Brody Scoggins, Gardendale (31-20), 7-2.
132: Gabe Sweat, Buckhorn (45-4) maj. dec. over Luis Sanchez, Gardendale (38-7), 13-4.
138: Jakob Chisolm, Oxford (19-0) pinned Jagger Thurman, Hazel Green (22-2), 0:43.
145: Brandon Seawright, Minor (42-1) tech. fall over Kendrick Young, Oxford (38-9), 19-4 (TF-1.5 4:49).
152: Desmond Pearson, Mae Jemison (44-2) tech. fall over Jordyn Johnson, Clay-Chalkville (46-3), 21-4 (TF-1.5 5:40).
160: Reed Hill, Oxford (53-2) dec. Carson Kim, Gardendale (37-3), 5-1.
170: Derrick Orvik, Gardendale (20-3) dec. Levi Miller, Homewood (7-4), 7-2.
182: John-Mark Crocker, Homewood (22-3) maj. dec. over Kennedy Wyatt, Gardendale (41-13), 11-1.
195: Chanceton Holifield, Oxford (21-8) dec. Elias Trejo, Homewood (30-12), 3-2.
220: Daion Campbell, Mae Jemison (29-3) pinned Micah Burrow, Shaades Valley (36-13), 5:54.
285: Izziah Williams, Clay-Chalkville (41-6) dec. Dylan Daring, Shades Valley (41-6), 3-2.
Calhoun County qualifiers
106: None
113: 3. Caleb Shelton, Oxford.
120: 8. Michael Howell, Oxford.
126: None
132: None
138: 1. Jakob Chisolm, Oxford.
145: 2. Kendrick Young, Oxford.
152: 4. Chase Hicks, Oxford.
160: 1. Reed Hill, Oxford.
170: 7. Tristen Latham, Oxford.
182: 4. Keeshon Siaosi, Oxford.
195: 1. Chanceton Holifield, Oxford.
220: 5. Octavius Adair, Oxford.
285: 4. Kobe Shumaker, Oxford.

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