Burger braces for state meet

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Pelham wrestler Tyler Burger knows the drill. He’s been to the last few state wrestling meets at the Pelham Civic Complex.

This weekend will be his last.

Burger, a senior leader on coach Bob Parker’s PHS squad, finished second in the 147-pound weight class at Saturday’s AHSAA Class 6A, Section 1 tournament.

This weekend, he will be one of four Panthers to represent the Pelham wrestling team at the state meet.

Burger would like to go out on top, winning a state crown in his weight class.

But to reach that goal he’ll likely have to go through Prattville’s Derek Carmichael, the wrestler who edged him by

five points in Saturday’s championship match.

&uot;I’ve just got to wrestle quicker and not get off balance,&uot; Burger said of his preparations for the state meet. &uot;I’ll have to get my mind right and try to stay calm and relaxed. That’s one of my worst things.&uot;

If it’s his weakness, few opponents have been able to exploit it this season. Burger enters the weekend with a 38-4 record.

Pelham, who finished fifth at sectionals with 77 points, also qualified seniors Brock Tuck (23-12) and Kyle Mullins (18-7). Tuck will compete in the 142-pound class while Mullins will wrestle at 217.

Junior Kevin Hendricks (38-7) will compete for the Panthers in the 154-pound class.

Finishing just behind Pelham at sectionals was Oak Mountain, who finished with 75 team points and had five wrestlers qualify for the state meet.

Qualifying for the Eagles were: Steven West (33-11), 114-pound; Andrew Bell (21-8), 121-pound; Will Pierce (21-12), 162-pound; Mitch Ray (35-11), 191-pound; and D.J. Looney (30-11), heavyweight.

Spain Park finished second at the sectional tournament with 158 points, behind Hoover who won claimed the meet with 218.

The Jaguars will send nine wrestlers to state competition