Thompson claims first wrestling title

The Thompson High School wrestling team won its first ever Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 6A wrestling championship Feb. 19 at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville. (Contributed/Kristi Ingram)

By WESLEY HALLMAN / Sports Editor

Winning a state championship may have seemed like an unrealistic goal for Thompson High School senior Jimmy Miller during his high school wrestling career.

Miller, who stepped on the mat with his teammates against wrestling powerhouse teams like Vestavia Hills and Hoover in the Warriors’ first season of varsity wrestling a short four years ago, didn’t listen to any detractors despite the fact Thompson finished 26th out of 26 teams in the 2008 Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 6A state tournament.

There were certainly none in the crowd Feb. 19 at the Von Braun Center to witness Thompson win its first ever AHSAA Class 6A state championship. The wrestling championship is the school’s first championship in any sport in more than a decade.

Thompson High School coach Shawn Weltzin said committed wrestlers like Miller, who finished fifth in the 215-pound weight division, paved the way for the Warriors to reach the top in such a short amount of time.

“(Miller) didn’t grow up wrestling,” Weltzin said. “He kind of came out because a couple of his friends did. I’m glad to see him reap the benefit of his hard work. It’s really the parents and the kids that came in and bought into the program that contributed to the success.”

Miller and his teammates were able to wrap up the AHSAA Class 6A team championship before the state tournament ended thanks to junior John Austin (J.A.) Jones.

Thompson High School junior John Austin (J.A.) Jones battles Jimmy Whitt of Vestavia Hills in the Alabama High School Athletic Association Class 6A 145-pound championship match Feb. 19 at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville. (Contributed/Kristi Ingram)

Jones clinched the team championship and an individual championship in the same moment as he pinned Jimmy Whitt of Vestavia Hills in 2:42 in the 145-pound weight division championship match. Jones’ victory made it mathematically impossible for second-place Hoover, which finished 10 points behind the Warriors, to win the title.

Thompson racked up 154 team points during the state tournament.

“(Jones’) win in the final was what sealed it for us and locked it in,” Weltzin said. “That’s why we were able to sit back and relax.”

Jones was one of two Thompson wrestlers who reached a championship match. Sophomore Reed Jacks reached the 119-pound weight division championship match before dropping a 3-2 decision to Michael Jordan of Auburn in his final match.

Five Thompson wrestlers in addition to Jones and Jacks earned a spot on the podium in the final round of the AHSAA Class 6A state tournament Feb. 19.

Sophomore Austin Gould finished sixth in the 112-pound weight division after dropping a 6-4 decision to Byron Rhodes of Central-Phenix City in his final match. Sophomore DeMario Haynes finished fifth in the 125-pound weight division won his final match against Connor Hayman of Gardendale by forfeit.

Freshman Brewer Gilliland finished fourth in the 130-pound weight division after dropping a 2-1 decision to Ashton Jones of Clay-Chalkville in his final match. Junior Cody Albarado finished fourth in the 140-pound weight division after dropping a 10-3 decision to Kendrick Hammond of Lee-Montgomery in his final match.

Sophomore Nick Hall finished fourth in the 152-pound weight division after dropping a 5-3 decision in overtime to Deyonta Smith of Lee-Montgomery in his final match. Junior Jesse Masters finished fourth in the 189-pound weight division after being pinned by Teryence Glaze of Hoover in 4:09 in his final match.

Miller finished fifth in the 215-pound weight division after pinning Quin Allen of Benjamin Russell in 30 seconds in his final match.

Complete results from the AHSAA Class 6A state tournament are below.

Thompson

6A 103 – Matt Gilson’s place is unknown and has scored 2.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Brian White (Opelika) 43-1 won by major decision over Matt Gilson (Thompson) 18-16 (Maj 14-5)
Cons. Round 1 – Matt Gilson (Thompson) 18-16 won by major decision over Spencer McChesney (Hewitt-Trussville) 19-25 (Maj 12-2)
Cons. Round 2 – Payton Garlington (Hoover) 44-7 won by decision over Matt Gilson (Thompson) 18-16 (Dec 6-1)

6A 112 – Austin Gould’s place is 6th and has scored 11.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Austin Gould (Thompson) 49-19 won by pin over Austin Clark (Bob Jones) 10-6 (Pin 4:58)
Quarterfinal – Jesse Smith (Pell City) 39-4 won by pin over Austin Gould (Thompson) 49-19 (Pin 4:13)
Cons. Round 2 – Austin Gould (Thompson) 49-19 won by pin over Evan Nipper (Mountain Brook) 32-16 (Pin 4:51)
Cons. Round 3 – Austin Gould (Thompson) 49-19 won by decision over Jacob Shake (Oxford) 35-16 (Dec 7-5)
Cons. Semi – Brian Hancock (Tuscaloosa County) 35-5 won by pin over Austin Gould (Thompson) 49-19 (Pin 1:57)
5th Place Match – Byron Rhodes (Central-Phenix City) 35-13 won by decision over Austin Gould (Thompson) 49-19 (Dec 6-4)

6A 119 – Reed Jacks’s place is 2nd and has scored 22.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Reed Jacks (Thompson) 50-6 won by pin over Clay Downer (Gardendale) 10-42 (Pin 2:18)
Quarterfinal – Reed Jacks (Thompson) 50-6 won by decision over Austin Holt (Grissom) 55-16 (Dec 11-8)
Semifinal – Reed Jacks (Thompson) 50-6 won by pin over Will Knox (Vestavia Hills) 31-31 (Pin 4:40)
1st Place Match – Michael Jordan (Auburn) 43-0 won by decision over Reed Jacks (Thompson) 50-6 (Dec 3-2)

6A 125 – Mario Haynes’s place is 5th and has scored 11.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Mario Haynes (Thompson) 38-25 won by decision over Caleb Ellerbee (Lee-Montgomery) 28-5 (Dec 9-7)
Quarterfinal – Mario Haynes (Thompson) 38-25 won by decision over Jared Godfrey (Oak Mountain) 57-21 (Dec 3-1)
Semifinal – Josh Brown (Vestavia Hills) 30-17 won by decision over Mario Haynes (Thompson) 38-25 (Dec 3-1)
Cons. Semi – Corley Sims (Auburn) 51-6 won by decision over Mario Haynes (Thompson) 38-25 (Dec 7-5)
5th Place Match – Mario Haynes (Thompson) 38-25 won by forfeit over Connor Hayman (Gardendale) 25-5 (FF)

6A 130 – Brewer Gilliland’s place is 4th and has scored 14.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Corey Parker (Buckhorn) 56-11 won by decision over Brewer Gilliland (Thompson) 52-16 (Dec 3-2)
Cons. Round 1 – Brewer Gilliland (Thompson) 52-16 won by decision over Dylan Spurlock (Auburn) 37-16 (Dec 7-0)
Cons. Round 2 – Brewer Gilliland (Thompson) 52-16 won by decision over Cody Johnson (Bob Jones) 19-8 (Dec 5-3)
Cons. Round 3 – Brewer Gilliland (Thompson) 52-16 won by pin over Gil Collar (Wetumpka) 38-4 (Pin 3:51)
Cons. Semi – Brewer Gilliland (Thompson) 52-16 won by major decision over Corey Parker (Buckhorn) 56-11 (Maj 13-2)
3rd Place Match – Ashton Jones (Clay-Chalkville) 53-4 won by decision over Brewer Gilliland (Thompson) 52-16 (Dec 2-1)

6A 135 – Nick Lowe’s place is unknown and has scored 0.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Trent Peters (Mountain Brook) 32-23 won by decision over Nick Lowe (Thompson) 18-21 (Dec 4-2)
Cons. Round 1 – David Baumhol (Grissom) 12-8 won by decision over Nick Lowe (Thompson) 18-21 (Dec 8-6)

6A 140 – Cody Albarado’s place is 4th and has scored 13.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Cody Albarado (Thompson) 33-7 won by decision over DJ Richardson (Opelika) 37-8 (Dec 10-5)
Quarterfinal – Cody Albarado (Thompson) 33-7 won by major decision over Jake Gord (Buckhorn) 24-6 (Maj 9-1)
Semifinal – Zach Smith (Pell City) 49-5 won by pin over Cody Albarado (Thompson) 33-7 (Pin 1:22)
Cons. Semi – Cody Albarado (Thompson) 33-7 won by decision over Austin Taylor (Hewitt-Trussville) 42-7 (Dec 4-3)
3rd Place Match – Kendrick Hammond (Lee-Montgomery) 42-2 won by decision over Cody Albarado (Thompson) 33-7 (Dec 10-3)

6A 145 – JA Jones’s place is 1st and has scored 30.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – JA Jones (Thompson) 67-5 won by pin over Micah McGlathery (Sparkman) 14-20 (Pin 0:28)
Quarterfinal – JA Jones (Thompson) 67-5 won by pin over John David Grissom (Clay-Chalkville) 31-9 (Pin 1:23)
Semifinal – JA Jones (Thompson) 67-5 won by pin over Patrick McDaniel (Huntsville) 27-18 (Pin 2:39)
1st Place Match – JA Jones (Thompson) 67-5 won by pin over Jimmy Whitt (Vestavia Hills) 20-6 (Pin 2:42)

6A 152 – Nick Hall’s place is 4th and has scored 15.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Nick Hall (Thompson) 60-5 won by pin over Mitchell McFarling (Clay-Chalkville) 30-21 (Pin 2:23)
Quarterfinal – Nick Hall (Thompson) 60-5 won by major decision over Rich McClellan (Benjamin Russell) 32-9 (Maj 15-4)
Semifinal – William Byrd (Mountain Brook) 57-2 won by decision over Nick Hall (Thompson) 60-5 (Dec 2-1)
Cons. Semi – Nick Hall (Thompson) 60-5 won by decision over Killian Hoyt (Grissom) 58-11 (Dec 8-3)
3rd Place Match – Deyonta Smith (Lee-Montgomery) 38-5 won in overtime over Nick Hall (Thompson) 60-5 (OT 5-3)

6A 160 – Josh Gillaspie’s place is unknown and has scored 3.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Josh Gillaspie (Thompson) 39-11 won by decision over Blake Dean (Benjamin Russell) 29-12 (Dec 6-2)
Quarterfinal – Marcus Elkins (Hewitt-Trussville) 45-8 won by decision over Josh Gillaspie (Thompson) 39-11 (Dec 5-4)
Cons. Round 2 – Josh Gillaspie (Thompson) 39-11 won by decision over Marquis Wright (Opelika) 19-22 (Dec 7-2)
Cons. Round 3 – Gerald McRath (Oxford) 10-4 won by decision over Josh Gillaspie (Thompson) 39-11 (Dec 3-2)

6A 171 – Cahmon Holder’s place is unknown and has scored 0.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Benny Bradford (Grissom) 58-4 won by pin over Cahmon Holder (Thompson) 32-29 (Pin 3:52)
Cons. Round 1 – Alex Hopson (Pell City) 32-18 won by pin over Cahmon Holder (Thompson) 32-29 (Pin 1:28)

6A 189 – Jesse Masters’s place is 4th and has scored 18.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Jesse Masters (Thompson) 52-18 won by pin over Fred Dunn (Clay-Chalkville) 25-16 (Pin 3:33)
Quarterfinal – Jesse Masters (Thompson) 52-18 won by pin over Antone Robinson (Wetumpka) 36-9 (Pin 3:14)
Semifinal – Terrence Smith (Lee-Montgomery) 42-1 won by major decision over Jesse Masters (Thompson) 52-18 (Maj 15-4)
Cons. Semi – Jesse Masters (Thompson) 52-18 won by pin over Xavier Drake (Opelika) 45-17 (Pin 1:28)
3rd Place Match – Teryence Glaze (Hoover) 27-2 won by pin over Jesse Masters (Thompson) 52-18 (Pin 4:09)

6A 215 – Jimmy Miller’s place is 5th and has scored 15.00 team points.
Champ. Round 1 – Jimmy Miller (Thompson) 64-8 won by pin over Ryley Randolph (Prattville) 24-18 (Pin 3:32)
Quarterfinal – Brian Walker (Grissom) 64-3 won by decision over Jimmy Miller (Thompson) 64-8 (Dec 6-5)
Cons. Round 2 – Jimmy Miller (Thompson) 64-8 won by decision over Jose Casanova (Vestavia Hills) 28-21 (Dec 8-1)
Cons. Round 3 – Jimmy Miller (Thompson) 64-8 won by pin over Kris Leong (Pell City) 33-21 (Pin 2:30)
Cons. Semi – Brett Brown (Tuscaloosa County) 56-2 won by decision over Jimmy Miller (Thompson) 64-8 (Dec 5-4)
5th Place Match – Jimmy Miller (Thompson) 64-8 won by pin over Quin Allen (Benjamin Russell) 24-7 (Pin 0:30)