Thompson wrestling gathers 500th dual win

Published 11:22 am Wednesday, January 23, 2019

By ALEC ETHEREDGE | Sports Editor

ALABASTER – The dynasty added another milestone on Tuesday, Jan. 22, as the Thompson Warriors wrestling team picked up its 500th dual win in school history thanks to a dominant 57-7 victory against the Hoover Buccaneers in the semifinals of the AHSAA State Duals tournament.

It was a special moment in a special season where Thompson has a strong chance to repeat as state champions and win its seventh state championship in the last nine years.

Throughout the 2018-19 season, the Warriors have shown both locally and nationally that they are one of the best teams this season when their entire varsity squad is wrestling in an event.

It led to the Warriors being named Gulf Coast Clash champions, St. Nick Invitational champions, Warrior Invitational champions and Southeaster Pools champions, as well as three top seven finishes in national tournaments The Clash XVII, the US Army Indian Classic and the Knockout Christmas Classic, and a second-place finish in the Huntsville Invitational.

The only team across the state even close to the level of the Warriors has been Bob Jones and that’s who Thompson will face in the Class 7A Duals State Championship on Friday, Jan. 25, and the two will likely be favorites to win the overall state championship in February as well.

Hoover, however, was no match for the Warriors on their historic night as Thompson allowed just seven points losing one major decision match and one decision match in the 132-pound weight class and 195-pound weight class, respectively.

Thompson didn’t pick up a pin until the fifth match of the night, but won the first five weight classes to take a commanding 20-0 lead.

It started in the 145-pound division where Braydon Gray picked up a 9-8 decision victory to put three points on the board for the Warriors.

That was followed by another three points from Josiah Campbell in the 152-pound weight class thanks to a 3-0 decision.

Derek Hussey added the first large chunk of points thanks to a technical-fall win in the 160-pound division to post five more points for Thompson.

Ashunti Perry then added another one-point decision win the 170-pound weight class with a 3-2 victory.

Then Tyler Gilson stepped up and picked up the Warriors’ first pin of the night in the 182-pound weight class to put their first full six points on the board to give the team a 20-0 advantage.

After losing the 195-pound weight class via decision, Thompson bounced back with 33 consecutive points thanks to three pins, two forfeits and one decision victory.

Isaac McAdams (220), Yanni Vines (106) and James Latona (120) were able to pick up pins, while Dylan Lesueur added a 6-4 decision win to put the Warriors on top 53-3.

That was followed by trading off major decision victories in the next two weight classes as Hoover won the 132-pound division before Gabe Hixenbaugh closed Thompson’s successful night out with a 13-3 victory in the 138-pound weight class for the 57-7 win.

The Warriors will look to win the Duals State Championship on Friday before competing in sectionals on Saturday, Feb. 9, and then the state championship starting Thursday, Feb. 14.