AWC claims seven All-Americans

Published 4:29 pm Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Seven wrestlers from the Alabaster-based Alabama Wresling Club reached All-American status last week at the Cadet and Junior National Tournament in Fargo, N.D.

Oak Mountain rising senior Tanner Moon led the group, becoming an All-American in both the Greco-Roman and freestyle divisions for the second-consecutive year. Joining him as a Greco-Roman All-American is Oak Mountain teammate Josh Greer. Both were wrestling up a class at the junior level instead of cadet.

“We’ve known that even in his first year as a junior, Josh Greer wrestling his best is an All-American. Last year he’d rather lose close than stick out there and risk winning. We knew if he’d go for it, he’d be an All-American. He did great. He was one match away from having a chance at finals,” AWC coach Rod Gaddy said.

The goal for the year was to have 10 All-Americans in Fargo this year after having a state-best six last year. While AWC fell short of its goal, seven other wrestlers were one match away from an All-American match.

“What I was pleased with was the kids wrestled better than they ever wrestled before in their life. It’s nice to be able to say we had X number of All-Americans, but everyone top to bottom was great,” Gaddy said.

While he was pleased with the way his 22 wrestlers competed, he feels like there is room for improvement. Gaddy put his club through a 30-day training camp the month before the national tournament. He said that paid off, but there’s still work to be done.

“We got to a place where it was do or die a total of 13 times. Seven times we were successful and six times we weren’t. Some people would call that a bad draw, but I think we’ve got to get better,” he said.

All-Americans were: Henry Carlson of Vestavia Hills, Greer, Moon, Jake Smith, Jesse Smith of Pell City and Brian Walker of Grissom.