Thompson sends record number to state wrestling tournament

If an award for the most improved high school wrestling team in the state of Alabama existed, it would have to belong to the Thompson Warriors.

In only the program’s third season of existence, the Warriors joined the ranks of powers Hoover and Vestavia Hills with double-digit qualifiers for the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 6A state tournament.

A school-record 11 wrestlers qualified for the state tournament Feb. 11-13 at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville with standout performances at a Class 6A sectional tournament Feb. 6 at Hoover High School.

The Warriors were led by 140-pound freshman Nick Hall and 152-pound sophomore Josh Gillaspie, who each became the first Thompson wrestlers to capture a sectional title Feb. 5.

“That’s something nobody can ever take away from them,” said Thompson coach Shawn Weltzin. “That’s huge. I had to wait until my senior year to win a sectional. They’re doing it as sophomores and freshmen.”

Thompson had two wrestlers, including Hall, qualify for the state tournament in 2008 in their first varsity wrestling season. That number jumped to seven last year in the program’s second year of existence.

Thompson capped a third-place finish at the sectional with 11 wrestlers sealing state tournament bids at Hoover.

“It’s really big for the program,” Weltzin said. “It’s huge because they can actually see the results. We’re getting there.”

In addition to Hall and Gillaspie, Matt Gilson, Reed Jacks, Brewer Gilliland, John Austin Jones, Chris Walker, Nick Gentile, Jesse Masters, Jimmy Miller and Nick Parten also qualified for the state tournament.

Hall (49-6) recorded a technical fall and a pin before picking up a 9-2 decision over Hoover’s Rush Hall in the championship match. Gillaspie (44-11) earned decisions over Hoover’s Spencer Reynolds and Pelham’s Hudson Pitts on his way to the 152-pound title.

Jacks, Walker, Masters and Parten each finished runner-up at the Class 6A sectional.

Pelham was next in line with eight wrestlers qualifying for the state tournament. Freshman Zach Freeze led the way by winning the 119-pound sectional title.

Freeze (46-4) earned a technical fall and an overtime decision before topping Tuscaloosa County’s Makade Archibald in the sectional championship match.

Taylor Anchors and Hudson Pitts each finished runner-up at the sectional. Logan Huey, Cody Wehunt, P.J. Williams, Drew Myers and Jordan Ward also qualified for the state tournament.

First-year Pelham coach Eric Pollard was pleased the Panthers capped the season with eight wrestlers qualifying for the state tournament on a youthful squad.

“I’m excited with it being my first year,” Pollard said. “That’s pretty good considering we had two seventh-graders and two freshmen.”

Pollard said he was proud of Freeze, who captured his first-ever sectional championship.

“That’s excellent for him,” Pollard said. “He’s top notch. He’s a very methodical wrestler.”

Senior Geoffrey Bostany and sophomore Tommy Bostany each captured a sectional title for Spain Park. The Bostany brothers were the only two Jaguars who qualified for the state tournament.

Geoffrey (46-3) recorded two pins before earning a 1-0 decision over Hoover’s Parker Grissom in the 135-pound championship match. Tommy (57-2) picked up two pins before downing Thompson’s Reed Jacks 6-3 for the 112-pound sectional title.

Winning the third sectional title in his four years at Spain Park was nice, but Geoffrey, who has committed to wrestle at the University of Pennsylvania next year, has his mind focused on capping his final high school wrestling season with a state championship.

“It’s cool, but it really doesn’t mean as much as the state tournament,” Geoffrey Bostany said. “A state championship is the only thing that matters.”

For complete results from the Class 6A sectional at Hoover, visit Trackwrestling.com.

Oak Mountain had 11 wrestlers qualify for the AHSAA state tournament at a Class 6A sectional Feb. 6 at Hewitt-Trussville High School.

Jesse Smith, Jake Smith, Tanner Moon, Reid Bishop, Victor Kimbrough, Jared Woodall, Justin Woodall, Bradley Kirkpatrick, Josh Greer, Adam Beaton and Whit Whitfield each qualified for the state tournament.

Tanner Moon (52-2) claimed the 119-pound championship and Reid Bishop (60-3) won the 130-pound sectional title at Hewitt-Trussville. Jared Woodall (40-1) won the 152-pound championship, Justin Woodall (43-8) claimed first place in the 160-pound division and Whit Whitfield (54-3) captured the heavyweight title.

Moon, who pinned Clay-Chalkville’s John David Grissom in the 119-pound title match, recorded two pins and a technical fall to earn the Class 6A sectional’s most valuable wrestler award as the Eagles captured the sectional title.

Jesse Smith, Jake Smith, Josh Greer, Victor Kimbrough and Bradley Kirkpatrick each finished runner-up in their respective weight divisions.