Weltzin leads Thompson to state championship

Thompson High Wrestling Coach Shawn Weltzin holds trophies acknowledging the school’s state championship. (Contributed)

By SANDRA THAMES / Community Columnist

Thompson High School finally has another state championship. It’s been many years since this has happened, and it’s happened to the nicest young man in the field of wrestling.

After graduating from the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga in 2005, Shawn Weltzin, 32, was approached by the Alabaster Youth Wrestling Association.

They had a plan to start Shawn with youngsters, and he could move up with the boys into middle school and high school.

Although offered an assistant’s position at UT Chattanooga, Weltzin felt that he needed to move forward with his goal of becoming a coach and teacher.

Moving to the Alabaster area was like “coming home,” as he had graduated from Pelham High School in 1997. He and pregnant wife, the former Jennifer Davis of Calera, took a leap of faith, a small salary and a part-time job at Lowes in returning.

In 2006-07, the Thompson Middle School wrestling program was started.

The team finished fifth, then in 2007-08, the Metro Middle School Championship was theirs, plus Coach Weltzin was named Metro Coach of the Year.

Thompson Middle School was home for three years, then one year at the Thompson Sixth Grade Center and this year at Thompson High.

What a feat for some of these same young men who started in youth wrestling with Coach Weltzin.

Strength training must begin early for the kids to develop discipline and stamina.

In 10 to 12 years, Weltzin hopes to be a head wrestling coach at the college level. His personal goal is to be a better teacher, coach, father and Christian. To be a good role model is very big on his list.

Son Jordan, age 4, and daughter Lynleigh, age 3, share Dad’s love of Chick-Fil-A, Disney, the Muppets and Star Wars. Their home church is First Baptist of Pelham.

Weltzin expects his athletes to be outstanding members of their community, graduate with high GPAs, deal with tough situations and always try to do or be better in everything.

“Time management is the key,” he said.

An only child, born 15 years after his parents were told they could not have children, Weltzin said, “I consider myself blessed. Even when I wasn’t living right, God looked out for me. He has blessed me with an understanding, loving wife, two great children, a great place to live and work and parents who always supported me.”