Oak Mountains Steven West wins state title, finishes season 45-0
Published 12:00 am Tuesday, February 7, 2006
Steven West knew the state championship was his before he even set foot on the mat Saturday.
The Oak Mountain sophomore wrestler dominated Grissom&8217;s Logan Matthews from the start of the 112-pound 6A state title match, eventually winning by technical fall two minutes and 44 seconds into the match.
&8220;I felt confident going in,&8221; West said. &8220;I had faced him (Matthews) before and knew that I had worked harder then he had.&8221;
West topped off a perfect season with the victory, finishing with a 45-0 record.
&8220;He was the hardest worker we had on the team this season,&8221; Oak Mountain head coach Cody Merrill said. &8220;He&8217;s always been very open to advice and does everything we ask him to.&8221;
The Eagles&8217; top wrestler scored points early and often in the match, finishing with a 15-0 lead. West said his coach told him before the match that the title already belonged to him.
&8220;Coach told me that there was one guy left between me and the title and that it belonged to me,&8221; he said. &8220;After I finished the first period, I felt like I had it won.&8221;
Merrill noted how quickly West jumped on Matthews early in the match.
&8220;He really wore him down quick,&8221; he said. &8220;He took off and never really gave the other guy a chance.&8221;
The Eagle wrestler defeated Ben Jackson of Bob Jones in the first round of the state tourney, pinning Jackson only 59 seconds into their match. West&8217;s semifinal victory came over Vestavia Hills&8217; David Perry by a 19-6 decision to advance him to the championship round.
The 112-pounder&8217;s crown was only the second wrestling title in Oak Mountain school history and the first since the school moved to Class 6A.
&8220;As a sophomore, this is going to be very big for him and his work ethic over the next few years,&8221; Merrill said. &8220;He&8217;s got a lot of good wrestling ahead of him.&8221;
Three other Shelby County wrestlers made it to the championship round of the state meet Saturday including Spain Park&8217;s Chris Goodman, Pelham&8217;s Kevin Hendricks and Chelsea&8217;s Evan Waters.
Goodman battled hard against undefeated Jordan Countryman of Prattville in the 140-pound division before losing by a 5-1 decision.
Kevin Hendricks took the mat later on in the 152-pound division against Hayden Countryman, who was also undefeated at 41-0. Hendricks lost by a 7-2 decision to take second place in the meet.
Chelsea&8217;s Evan Waters improved on his fourth-place finish in the 2005 state championships, making an appearance for the first time in the Class 1A-4A, 171-pound state title match Saturday.
Waters held on to a one-point lead at 3-2 going into the final period against Walter Welborn&8217;s Dustin Screws but fell behind in the final 30 seconds and eventually lost by a 6-4 decision.
&8220;I&8217;m really proud of him for what he&8217;s done this season,&8221; Chelsea wrestling coach Mac McGuire said. &8220;He&8217;s worked hard since starting only five years ago. He&8217;s battled through injuries this season and it&8217;s impressive that he made it this far.&8221;
Five county wrestlers advanced to the consolation round of the state meet after losing a match in the championship round on Friday.
Pelham&8217;s Tucker Burleson earned a third-place finish with a 6-4 decision in the Class 6A, 130-pound division over Grissom&8217;s Cole Sterling.
Burleson&8217;s teammate Jeff Malone fell short against Hoover&8217;s David Kennedy in the Class 6A, 171-pound division, losing by a 20-11 decision for a fourth-place finish.
Spain Park&8217;s Matt Noto took home fourth place in the Class 6A, 215-pound division, getting pinned by Vestavia&8217;s John Michael Clay in the consolation finals.
Oak Mountain&8217;s D.J. Looney advanced to the Class 6A, 275-pound consolation finals with a win over Spain Park&8217;s Ryan Pugh early Saturday, but fell against Clay-Chalkville&8217;s Jeff Jones by a pin for a fourth-place finish