Outside the Lines: Highs and lows of state wrestling finals

This year&8217;s state wrestling tournament at the Pelham Civic Complex had its share of great moments, but it also had a few moments that showed room for improvement. Here is a list of a few highs and lows.

High: Sportsmanship was displayed greatly by our two state finalists from Shelby County. Steven West showed grace and confident poise in celbrating his state title, while D.J. Looney displayed how to lose with style – embracing his opponent and friend Ryan Pugh and the Hoover coaching staff.

Low: While, Hoover&8217;s Tyler Osborn may display great ability and skill on the mat, he also revealed his arrogance and lack of class. Osborn collected his fifth-consecutive state championship with a 1-0 decision in the 152-pound weight class. He chose to celebrate by cocking a hand to one ear and motioning with his other hand to increase the boos being echoed through the arena.

High: Suppport for the state meet was unbelievable, leaving standing room only around the floor. Each team showed great pride in their team, hanging banners and signs for their team and wrestlers.

Low: Despite the championship metals and trophies, the only other sign that this was an AHSAA state championship was a flyer for Applebee&8217;s and T-shirts available in the lobby. One possible suggestion for the state would be to purchase their own wrestling mats with AHSAA logos, or hang AHSAA banners around the arena to balance the team banners.

High: Most coaches showed style throughout the championship round. I&8217;m not just talking about seeing these coaches dressed their best for the day, but many were pausing and cheering for kids from the other schools that they knew.

High: International support was gained for this year&8217;s tournament. Pinson Valley wrestler Juan Zapata&8217;s family flew in from Mexico to watch him compete for the first time.

As you can tell, the highs out weigh the lows.

Despite a few minor lows, which you will always have in sports and life, this year&8217;s meet was a success.

Congratulations to the City of Pelham and the Alabama High School Athletics Association for hosting an event that many enjoyed