E.A. Sports Today

All for Hall

Ranburne legend drops the hammer, drops his shoes on the mat after ending wrestling career with his third state title

By Joe Medley
East Alabama Sports Today

HUNTSVILLE — Carson Hall mimed three sledgehammer swings after winning his third and state wrestling title Saturday.

Then the senior Ranburne heavyweight walked his shoes to the center of the Class 1A-4A championship mat, saying goodbye to the wrestling part of his glorious high school sports career.

Hall was one of two area wrestlers to be crowned a state champion for the third time Saturday, joining Weaver’s J.D. Johannson in the Class 1A-4A division.

Other champions of note in Saturday’s finals of the AHSAA state wrestling finals included White Plains’ Tanner Jarrell and Ohatchee’s Matthew King.

For Hall, who pinned Prattville Christian’s Aiden Cockrell at 1:50 of their 285-pound final, it marked the end of a sports career that also saw him selected to the Alabama Sports Writers Association Class 2A all-state football team four times. He’ll play football while studying pre-medicine at the Air Force Academy.

He called the symbolic laying of the shoes “sad.”

“It’s exciting at the same time, because it’s a new chapter in my life,” he said. “I look forward to it.”

Hall’s first-period pin of Cockrell marked a turn in their recent history. The two went the full three two-minute periods in their last meeting.

“I just tried to wrestle just a little bit more aggressively,” Hall said. “He’s a great wrestler. Me and him have been wrestling since we were in the fifth grade. It’s fun knowing him, and I hope it goes well for him next year,”

As for the end of Hall’s wrestling career, he called it “one of the best things in my life.”

“I’ll remember it forever,” he said. “I thank God for giving me all of this ability and these opportunities to do this.”

Ranburne coach Jason Meeder cited the time Hall put into wrestling and strength training through the years.

“It’s just been a joy, and seeing him go farther in life off these mats with a military career means more to me than anything,” Meeder said. “This right here sets him up to handle adversity down the road and maybe push that work ethic as an officer onto the people that he’ll lead one day.”

Jarrell vs. Hopkins

Jarrell lost all three of their prior meetings this season but flipped the script Saturday, in the biggest match of all.

‘We didn’t get a single takedown in the first period, and then I got a takedown in the second period,” Jarrell said. “After that, it seemed like he kind of freaked out and kept rolling to his back.”

Jarrell said he had no strategy change for their fourth meeting, which came at the end of his first-ever appearance at the state tournament.

“It was just, give it everything I’ve got,” he said. “It was just a mindset thing. …

“I was undefeated the first time I wrestled him, and he beat me. The next time, he beat me even worse because I feel like I’d lost all hope. Third time, I gave it a little more effort.

“This match, it was like, no way. After getting this far, there was no way I was going to lose.”

King for a day

King found the best way to forget the disappointments of last year, when he lost in a close final and Ohatchee finished second to Weaver by one point.


“It feels a lot better than last year,” he said.

King’s first state title and victory over Jones came in true King fashion. He came back from a 6-4 deficit in the third period.

“That’s what Matt’s known for,” Ohatchee coach Chris Findley said. “That’s the third match here where he’s had to come back at the end.

“He never gives up.”

Cover photo: Carson Hall celebrates his victory over Prattville Christian’s Aiden Cockrell in the Class 1A-4A 285-pound state final Saturday in Huntsville.

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