Recapping the Over the Mountain wrestling duals

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

While football is ending and basketball has started up, a lot of people forget that wrestling season has kicked off as well, but for Shelby County it tends to be one of the better sports that does not go unnoticed.

Chelsea, Oak Mountain, Pelham, Spain Park and Thompson all competed in the Over the Mountain Duals on Tuesday, Nov. 28, in one of the first wrestling matches of the 2017 season as teams get back into the swing of things.

It marked an event where several teams were competing with their JV wrestlers in the early stages of the season mixed in with some of their regular starters.

Each team competed against two other teams in the match with Spain Park going 1-1, Oak Mountain going 1-1, Chelsea going 1-1, Thompson going 0-2 and Pelham going 0-2.

Starting with Spain Park, the Jaguars lost their first match against Vestavia Hills, who finished 2-0, 51-28.

The highlights for SPHS came in some of the lighter weight classes. Jack Rivers topped Leighton Reese with a fall at the 1:07 mark in the 120 weight division to give the Jags six points.

In the 126 class, Caelan March beat Luke Maluff thanks to a fall at the 2:41 mark. Emmanuel Thuo and Gaven Pudlik also won by way of fall in the 132 and 138 weight classes, respectively, to give the Jags 12 more points.

The only other Jaguar wrestler to win was Dylan Adair in the 145 division thanks to a major decision, which gave Spain Park four points.

The second of the Jags’ matches pitted them against county foe Pelham, where they were able to pick up an easy 57-6 win.

Jack Rivers, March, Pudlik, Ashton Nichols, Dash Rush and Steven Olson all got pins in the match to lead the Jaguars. Jacob Sharpe got a 14-8 decision as well. The lone Pelham Panther to score was Jordan Copeland with a pin in the 152-pound weight class.

Pelham’s other match saw them square off against the Oak Mountain Eagles to start the dual, which didn’t go much better as the Eagles picked up their lone win of the night with an easy 80-0 victory.

The Eagles got forfeit wins in six different weight classifications, which automatically set them up in good shape moving forward.

Other than that, they got pins from Joseph Tolbert, Jace Sproull, Camon Clark, Barrett Blakely, Jacob Payne and Andrew Lee. The most closely contested matches were between Sullivan Tipton and Bryce Wanagat and Harrison Kinsey and Nicholas Coutess.

Tipton beat Wanagat thanks to a technical fall at the 4:00 mark, while Kinsey beat Coutess with an 11-5 decision.

Oak Mountain lost its other match in the dual thanks to a tightly contested bout with the Chelsea Hornets. It was the second match of the event for each team and didn’t disappoint as the Hornets held on for a 36-33 win.

The highlights for Chelsea, and what helped them sneak out a win, were pins from Gavin Rigor, Clint Glaze Hakeem Stanford and Jackson Jones. It helped the Hornets stay level with the Eagles as they got four pins from Jordan Davis, Blakely, Justin Evans and Brett Cruce.

Oak Mountain also got a forfeit in the 106-pound weight class, which gave Patrick Neal a win and the Eagles six additional points for the advantage.

Chelsea, however, won all but one decision taking four of five decisions in the match to pull off the 36-33 win over the Eagles.

The Hornets started the event with a tough 45-19 loss to a good Hoover team. Chelsea got a forfeit for six points in the 120-pound weight class, but only picked up one pin as Jones took down Sebastian Nazario in the 285-pound division.

Other than that, they got one major decision from Brantley Ledbetter and one decision from Stanford.

Thompson also competed in the dual and surprisingly struggled as the Warriors finished 0-2. That being said, they took on two of the toughest wrestling teams in the state in Mountain Brook and Vestavia Hills.

The Warriors opened up with a 42-27 loss to Mountain Brook as they got just one pin from Jack McDonald compared to six pins from the Spartans.

Wilson Kennedy, Harrison Ousley and Michael Jackson all got decisions, but it wasn’t enough to spark a winning effort.

Against Vestavia, Thompson got one additional pin for a total of 12 points as Ousley and Jackson both got pins, but just one other decision gave them a total of 15 points in the match.

Behind nine pins, the Rebels were able to go on to a dominating 60-15 victory in the match to go 2-0 at the event.

Editors note: Now that wrestling season is underway, we should have weekly updates throughout the season on events featuring each of these team’s full varsity rosters starting next week.