E.A. Sports Today

‘Plan B’

Alexandria’s Page improvises defensive move to rally for pin in championship final, helps to power Valley Cubs to third consecutive county wrestling title.

Cover photo: Alexandria’s Tristen Page works his way to a pin after trailing Weaver’s Dashawn Barnes in Wednesday’s Calhoun County 152-pound final at White Plains High School. (Photo by Joe Medley)

2024 Calhoun County wrestling tournament

At White Plains High School

TEAM SCORES: Alexandria 206, Weaver 203, Piedmont 123, Oxford 106, Wellborn 86, White Plains 84, Wellborn 83, Ohatchee 69, Pleasant Valley 59, Saks. 50.

COACH OF THE YEAR: Frank Hartzog, Alexandria.

108: Tristen Garrett (Saks) def. Myles Bailey (Piedmont), Dec. 9-4
115: Ethan Horn (Oxford) def. Hudson Hartzog (Alexandria), Fall, 0:48
122: Mason Hahm (White Plains) def. Haiden Hise (Weaver), Fall, 3:23
128: Preston Jones (Alexandria) def. Dalton Fink (Weaver), MD, 10-0
134: Cayd Sprung (Oxford) def. Gabriel Snyder (Weaver), Dec. 9-2
140: Baron House (Pleasant Valley) def. Corey Owens (Alexandria), MD, 10-2
146: Kaden Deline (Alexandria) def. Noah Screws (Wellborn), MD, 15-0
152: Tristen Page (Alexandria) def. Dashawn Barnes (Weaver), Fall, 3:15
159: Caden Thornton (Weaver) def. Demirits Smart (Piedmont), Dec., 10-3
167: Christopher Thornton (Weaver) def. Caleb Tidwell (Piedmont), Dec., 6-5
177: Bentley Chandler (Piedmont) def. Deacon Engle (Ohatchee), Fall, 0:36
192: John Bussey (Saks) def. Damarkus Williams (Alexandria), Fall, 5:37
217: Brandon Jolliff (Weaver) def. Dean Boxley (Alexandria) Dec., 6-1
287: Caleb Tinner (Oxford) def. Connor Crump (Pleasant Valley), Fall, 0:14

Saks’ John Bussey was the 2024 Calhoun County most valuable wrestler after winning the 192-pound weight class. (Photo by Joe Medley)

By Joe Medley
East Alabama Sports Today

WHITE PLAINS — Tristen Page found himself trailing his Calhoun County 152-pound final, and his coach called out for “Plan B.”

Page found a plan B, good enough to go from trailing Weaver’s Dashawn Barnes to pinning him 3:15 into the match, and that head-to-head victory wound up helping Alexandria win its third consecutive county title.

The Valley Cubs edged Weaver 206-203 on a day that saw the lead change, it seemed, every time Trackwrestling.com entered new match results.

“The kids really battled,” Alexandria coach Frank Hartzog said. “I really like this group. This group has really bought in to picking each other up and fighting back, when they get upset.

“That’s exciting to watch.”

Page had help getting Alexandria back over the top. Seven Valley Cubs made championship finals. Page (152), Preston Jones (128) and Kaden Deline (146) won their weight classes.

Two Alexandria wrestlers won head-to-head battles with Weaver in the finals. Page pinned Barnes, and Preston Jones won a 10-0 major decision over Dalton Fink.

Dean Boxley (217) lost a 6-1 decision to Brandon Jolliff but avoided a pin, which would’ve given Weaver three more points … enough points to finish in a tie.

“It’s crazy,” Boxley said. “We came in knowing we were the underdogs, technically. They (Weaver) had a much better run-up to this tournament than we did.”

Page’s victory set the tone.

“He was struggling in the match and turned around and pulled that pin out of his butt,” Hartog said. “I think that probably put us in position to win … along with other wins, but that one, I don’t think any one of us was counting on, and that was a head-to-head victory against Weaver.”

So, what was “Plan B?”

Page said he doesn’t really know. What he knows is, he improvised a defensive move.

“I’ve been working on that move for awhile, so I just saw it was there, and I did it,” he said. 

Page said he knows no name for the move he made to turn his match with Barnes.

“When they get the single leg, I get the headlock and get under the arm,” he said. “I kind of roll back with it while kicking.

“I kind of kick over my head so I can get them on their back or at least get out of that situation.”

Page called the move “Plan A.”

“I was just trying to not get taken down when he had me and trying to get where I can take a shot,” he said. “It was just improvising, trying to not let myself get discouraged if I get taken down.”

Page has been wrestling for seven years, covering Alexandria’s stretch of three consecutive county titles. Hartzog said the three county titles have been “different every year.”

“This year, I feel like we snuck out,” he said. “Last year, they (Weaver) had two kids bust weight. You kind of feel like, I don’t want to say it was given to us, but that definitely made a big difference in allowing us to get that victory last year,

“This year, they were at full strength, and I was scared to death. I feel like we wrestled well today, and we had some upsets, but we also got upset, so I was happy with how they performed.”

Alexandria celebrates the school’s third consecutive Calhoun County title in boys’ wrestling Wednesday at White Plains High School. (Photo by Joe Medley)

You must be logged in to post a comment Login