Oak Mountain sweeps foes on senior night

Oak Mountain High School wrestling coach Steve Burrough learned a lot about his team late in a meet against Smiths Station on senior night Jan. 28.

The Eagles, who entered the meet 36-1 in head-to-head team competitions during the 2009-2010 season, were seemingly headed for their second loss of the season.

Oak Mountain needed back-to-back pins by 215-pounder Adam Beaton and heavyweight Whit Whitfield to secure a last-minute win.

Beaton and Whitfield came through with a pin each for the Eagles, who escaped with a 37-34 win over Smiths Station.

Burrough said the victory gives his Eagles even more confidence heading into a Class 6A sectional tournament Feb. 6 at Hewitt-Trussville High School.

“We’re strong top-to-bottom,” Burrough said.

Oak Mountain, which also defeated perennial Class 3A power Walter Wellborn 66-6 on senior night, saw seven wrestlers pick up wins against Smiths Station.

Jesse Smith, the Eagles’ 103-pounder, started the meet with a 13-0 major decision over his Smiths Station opponent. After Oak Mountain’s 112-pounder Jake Smith was pinned, Tanner Moon responded with a pin in 24 seconds of his 119-pound opponent and 125-pounder Jacob Parker earned a 6-4 decision in overtime against his Panther opponent.

Oak Mountain forfeited both the 130-pound and 135-pound matches. Vincent Kimbrough, the Eagles’ 140-pounder, and his 145-pound brother Victor Kimbrough each fell to their Smiths Station opponent. Vincent lost a close 6-4 match, while Victor fell 9-1 in a major decision.

Jared Woodall, Oak Mountain’s 152-pounder, and his 160-pound brother Justin Woodall turned the momentum in the Eagles’ favor with back-to-back pins. Jared pinned his opponent in 28 seconds, while Justin took 1:28 to drop his Smiths Station foe.

Oak Mountain’s Bradley Kirkpatrick was pinned in 4:25 by his Panther opponent in the 171-pound match. The Eagles’ 189-pounder, Adam Hicks, dropped a 7-4 decision to his Smiths Station opponent, which set the stage for two dramatic final matches.

Beaton pinned his Panther foe in 3:15 in the 215-pound match and Whitfield sealed the win with a pin in 36 seconds in the heavyweight match.

Burrough said he thinks 12 of his wrestlers have a chance to qualify for the Class 6A state tournament Feb. 11-13 at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, which would give the Eagles a good chance to win a team championship.

“I’ve got more than just my star wrestlers,” Burrough said. “I’ve got a lot of guys that can win and score some points.”

Six Oak Mountain wrestlers won by pin against Walter Wellborn as the Eagles claimed the meet, 66-6. Oak Mountain forfeited both the 130-pound and 135-pound matches, which accounted for all six of Walter Wellborn’s points.

Smith opened the meet with a pin in 15 seconds against his Walter Wellborn opponent in the 103-pound match. Parker followed with a pin in 26 seconds in the 125-pound match.

Victor Kimbrough recorded a pin in 35 seconds in the 145-pound match and Jared Woodall earned a pin in 1:28 in the 152-pound match.

Kirkpatrick picked up a pin in 33 seconds in the 171-pound match. Beaton closed the meet with a pin in 41 seconds in the 215-pound match.

Walter Wellborn forfeited six matches in the meet.