E.A. Sports Today

Extra incentive

Alexandria wrestlers win Golden Bear Classic, dedicate the effort to memory of late assistant coach

By East Alabama Sports Today

LINCOLN – The Alexandria wrestling team went to the mat in its first tournament of the season Saturday with a lot more than confidence in their hearts.

The Valley Cubs won Lincoln’s Golden Bear Classic and did it for more than themselves. They dedicated their effort to Tres Payne, the beloved assistant coach they lost to COVID in September.

“The kids really tried, they just gave some extra effort, especially our older kids,” Cubs coach Frank Hartzog said. “I think they did this for coach Coach Payne. I think they dedicated this to him. When they broke it down today it was, ‘For TP.’

“It wasn’t planned on my part. I liked it. I liked how they were thinking of bigger things and it was impressive. Then to wrestle pretty well on top of that was kind of the icing on the cake.”

The Valley Cubs, who opened their season Thursday with wins over Oxford and Lincoln, scored 32 pins in the tournament, won four weight classes and scored 238.5 points. Cleburne County was a distant second with 165 and host Lincoln was third.

Sophomore Preston Jones (113) and seniors Jaden New (160), Jackson Primm (195) and Connor Hall (220) all won titles for the Valley Cubs. Hayden Hartzog (106), Caden Birchfield (132) and Daniel Finley (195) were runner-ups.

Ranburne won three weight classes, while Cleburne County, Lincoln and New Hope won two each.

“It was a good start to the year,” Hartzog said. “I think everybody was just happy to be at a tournament. It felt so long that we had been at a regular tournament it was just an experience.”

New Hope eighth-grader Layton Pohl scored four pins and was voted the Most Outstanding Wrestler and Hall’s overtime win over Cleburne County’s Russell Clanton in the 220 final was voted the best match.

The Hall-Clanton match ended 1-1 in regulation. Neither wrestler scored in the first overtime. Hall chose down in the second and got an escape to go up 3-1, then rode out his opponent in the third.

“My heart probably stopped a couple times,” Hartzog said. “It was super exciting. I didn’t have to ask anybody to vote. It was definitely the most exciting match we saw in the finals.”

Team scores:
Alexandria 238.5, Cleburne County 165, Lincoln 150, Ranburne 129, New Hope 111, Saks 93.5, Pinson Valley 83, Northridge 34.

Championship matches
106: Fabian Kearse (Linc), pinned Hayden Hartzog (Alex), 4:36
113: Preston Jones (Alex) pinned Brayden Dodd (Saks), 0:37
120: Austen Mayfield (Cleb) pinned Trent Hopkins (Saks), 4:42
126: Shamar Heard (Cleb) pinned Cash Ward (Ranb), 0:28
132: Luke Truett (Ranb) pinned Caden Birchfield (Alex), 4:57
138: Timothy Tremble (PV) dec. over Jaylon Fells (PV), 13-9
145: Layton Pohl (NH) pinned Ayden VanHoose (Saks), 3:59
152: John Caldwell (Ranb) dec. over Noah Morrison (NH), 5-4
160: Jaden New (Alex) pinned Landon McLendon (Linc), 1:56
170: Rhett Walters (Linc) pinned Curtis Daniel (Ranb), 1:44
182: Russell Richards (NH) pinned Nate Lanier (NH), 0:56
195: Jackson Primm (Alex) pinned Daniel Finley (Alex), 1:12
220: Connor Hall (Alex) dec. over Russell Clanton (Cleb), SV-3 3-1
285: Carson Hall (Ranb) dec. over Jayden Joseph (Nor), 4-1

John Carroll 36, Anniston 18
Piedmont 63, John Carroll 12
Piedmont 54, White Plains 30
White Plains 53, John Carroll 18

You must be logged in to post a comment Login