E.A. Sports Today

Gaining position

Valley Cubs, Jackets both third after the first day of state wrestling championship, area sending 14 wrestlers into Friday’s semifinals, 5 remain undefeated

By East Alabama Sports Today
 
HUNTSVILLE –County champion Oxford and county runner-up Alexandria were both in third place in their respective classifications after Thursday’s first day of the AHSAA Wrestling Championships at the VonBraun Center.
 
The Yellow Jackets scored 62 points and trail Class 6A leader Gardendale (80) and second-place Benjamin Russell (62). They are 3.5 points ahead of fourth-place Wetumpka.
 
The Valley Cubs scored 44 points and trail 1A-5A leader Arab (76.5) and runner-up Jasper (56). They are one point ahead of fourth-place Ranburne. Weaver is ninth (26.5).
 
Alexandria’s Jaden New and Weaver’s Cody Souder remain on track to meet in the 145 final and are among nine wrestlers from the Calhoun-Cleburne-Talladega county area to make it into the semifinals of the 1A-5A championship bracket. The others are Alexandria’s Kaleb Mathews (113), Lincoln’s Austin Creamer (120), Weaver’s Joshua Johannson (132), Cleburne County’s Zachary Williamson (152) and Ranburne’s Christian Smith (195), Carson Hall (220) and Ben Buchanan (285).
 
New won his two bouts by forfeit and pin. Souder won his two by pin and tech fall (15-0). Mathews had a forfeit and a fall. Creamer had a forfeit and a fall. Johannson had a major decision and decision. Williamson had two first-period pins. Among Ranburne’s bloc on the back end, Smith had a pin and a major decision, Hall and Buchanan each scored two pins; the trio is a combined 106-1 this season.
 
Oxford had five wrestlers reach the 6A semifinals – Jakob Chisolm (138), Kendrick Young (145), Chase Hicks (152), Reed Hill (160) and Chanceton Holifield (195). Chisolm had two pins, Young had a major decision and decision, Hicks had a pin and a tech fall, Hill had a pin and a decision, and Holifield had a pin and a decision.
 
Weaver’s Lena Johannson, the second girl ever to qualify for the state tournament (both are from Calhoun County), became the first girl to win a match in the 65-year history of the event when she was awarded a medical forfeit in her first 106 match of the day. She lost her second match in a 10-6 decision.
 
Russell County senior 106 Shelby Fugate became the first girl to win a match on the mat and score the first fall when she pinned Ethan Sharkey of Gulf Shores in 1:47 in her first-round consolation match in 6A.
 
Ten wrestlers remained undefeated through the first two rounds Friday – New (50-0), Williamson (39-0), Smith (33-0), Buchanan (37-0), Chisolm (21-0), Moody 120 Cory Land (54-0) and 132 Ryan Summerlin (41-0), Fort Payne 120 Cote Blalock (33-0), Helena 220 Nathan Dunaway (44-0) and Opelika 285 Michael Dawson (49-0).

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