Wrestlers hit the mats

Six Oak Mountain wrestlers placed in their respective weight divisions as the Eagles claimed second place in the Panther Classic last weekend at Pelham High School.

Fifteen teams from across the state and one from Tennessee participated in the tournament.

&uot;The team championship was not decided until the very last match,&uot; said Pelham wrestling coach Bob Parker. &uot; It was exciting.&uot;

Pelham finished fifth in the tournament with 140.5 team points while Oak Mountain’s 159.5 points landed them the runner up spot behind Benjamin Russell.

Pelham’s record stands at 2-3-1.

&uot;As a team, we are getting off to a slow start,&uot; Parker said. &uot;However, due to the youth of the team I beefed up the schedule to get us ready for sectionals and state.&uot;

Pelham’s Ben Johnson was named Most Outstanding Wrestler in the tournament after placing first in the 189-pound weight class with a perfect 4-0 record.

Sophomore Kevin Hendricks (140-pound) and Tyler Burger (124-pound) also placed first in their divisions with 4-0 records.

&uot;My team wrestled well … (Burger) wrestled his smartest match and (Hendricks) wrestled really strong,&uot; Parker said.

Also placing for Pelham were Nathan Richey, who took third with a 5-1 record in the 171-pound weight class, Ben Praytor and Cody Browning, who finished third and fourth respectively in the 275-pound class.

For Oak Mountain, Matt Vinyard (2-2) took fourth place in the 112 class, Andrew Bell (2-1) took second in the 119 class, J.R. Long (3-1) finished third in the 145 class, Dennis Hillman (3-1) took second in 152 class, Brandon Lambert (4-0) won the 160 class and Kyle Stevenson posted a 3-1 mark to claim second place in the 189-pound weight class.

Chelsea’s Evan Waters finished in fourth place in the 119-pound weight class with a 2-2 record.

Parker said the tournament was a success because of the caliber of teams that participated.

&uot;I would like to thank my parents, the mat maids, cheerleaders and their sponsors, and Ryan Dye, my assistant, because without them this tournament would have been a flop.&uot;

More information on Pelham wrestling can be found on the internet at www.pelhamwrestling.com