After posting a perfect 45-0 record to capture his first state wrestling title last season, Oak Mountain&8217;s Steven West has done it again.
West entered the 2006-07 state wrestling finals at the Pelham Civic Complex over the weekend with the same attitude he&8217;s carried through his championship runs.
His confidence came through his experience, despite being humbled by one loss early in the season.
&8220;It feels good to win it again,&8221; West said. &8220;That one loss helped prepare me to get here.&8221;
West swept through the state meet, starting with a pin of Spain Park&8217;s Taylor Bell just 1:06 into the match.
He continued to defeat Grissom&8217;s Ryan Prince 14-2 and pined Huntsville&8217;s Chris Roberts in 3:58 to advance to the championship with David Perry of Vestavia Hills.
West used his talent to quickly collect six points on Perry on his way to a 6-0 championship win.
Perry chose top entering the final two minutes of the match and came close to getting West&8217;s shoulders on the mat with less than a minute to go, but West would not allow it.
&8220;I knew he was going to choose top when he got the chance. He made a good move, but I was able to get out and keep him away,&8221; West said.
After time expired, the man with the red band wrapped around his ankle pumped both fists into the air once before turning to display his poise and sportsmanship to the Vestavia Hills coaching staff. That followed with an embrace by teammate and fellow state finalist D.J. Looney.
&8220;He’s an amazing guy in and outside of wrestling. He’s the hardest worker I think in the state. He’s a great wrestler, and that’s because he is so humble. No matter how he does he always knows he can do better,&8221; said Looney. &8220;He’s just a great wrestler and I love him dearly.&8221;
The championship is special to first-year Oak Mountain coach Steve Burrough, as West became his first wrestler to win a state title. The closest he came before in his coaching career was a runner-up last season while coaching at Moody.
&8220;He’s a clutch guy and has been a leader on and off the mat. We know we can count on him to be the back bone of our team,&8221; Burrough said.
Looney wrestled friend and former teammate Ryan Pugh, now of Hoover, in the heavy weight division, finishing as runner up in a 2-1 decision.
Looney jumped out to an early 1-0 lead, but Pugh battled back to win in overtime.
&8220;I wish I could have taken home first but it was an awesome match. If I could lose to anybody, I’d want it to be him,&8221; Looney said of Pugh, whom he credits for getting his own wrestling career started at Oak Mountain