Thompson, Chelsea, Montevallo win wrestling region titles, gear up for AHSAA Wrestling Duals tournament

Published 10:26 am Wednesday, January 12, 2022

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By DAWN HARRISON | Special to the Reporter

Three Shelby County schools advanced to the AHSAA Wrestling Duals tournament, looking to start their trek toward a duals state championship.

With the championship matches scheduled for Bill Harris Arena at the Birmingham Crossplex on Friday, Jan. 21, Chelsea, Montevallo and Thompson will all be looking to put together a run toward the title after winning their region championships.

In the 1A-4A classification, featuring Montevallo, and the 5-6A classification, featuring Chelsea, schools competed in a regional duals championship tournament to determine who would advance, and those two local teams earned a spot.

In Class 7A, wrestlers competed in each dual individually in the regular season to decide the region winners, which led to Thompson having a chance to win its fourth duals state championship in a row.

On Jan. 6, Montevallo faced off against the three schools to determine the Region 3 Dual Champion.

Head coach Garrett Langer led the Bulldogs to victory as they defeated American Christian Academy with a score of 63-18, Oak Grove with a score of 60-24 and Prattville with a score of 45-26.

They won a total of 30 of the 42 individual matches with 12 falls, four decisions and 14 forfeits.

Gavin Monk, Charlie Paracca, Sam Adams, Gabriel Haynie and Cole Dennis all went undefeated with 3-0 records.

The Bulldogs will face Dora to determine who will advance to the semifinal round. This will be the third time Montevallo and Dora have met during the season with Montevallo winning early in the season with a score of 54-30 and Dora winning over Montevallo on Jan. 4 with a score of 54-24.

The two teams are scheduled to meet on Jan. 13 at 6 p.m. in Ashville.

Chelsea’s path to the region title was a difficult one with seven other schools in its region.

The Hornets were forced to square off against five of those schools in two nights to win the championship.

Chelsea dominated both nights going 5-0 with a score of 74-3 over Helena, 42-37 over Pelham, 54-22 over Shelby County, 69-4 over Elmore County and 54-18 over Wetumpka.

They won 53 of the 70 individual matches with 33 pins, seven decisions, one technical fall and 12 forfeits.

Landon Keith and Ian Osborne went 5-0, while Colton Sills, Caiden Conolley and Bear Maxwell went 4-1.

“Our team has really done a good job of locking in all season for competitions,” head coach Heath Butler said. “We’ve been talking about growing as a wrestler and team since the summer. I think last week those things came to fruition. We won the majority of swing matches and had some solid upsets too. It was also nice to see some of our guys fill in some weight classes when needed and perform well. I think we wrestled with a ton of confidence overall. Hopefully, that carries over to the Round of 16 and into quarterfinals.”

Chelsea’s quarterfinal matchup at Jasper is scheduled for Jan. 13 at 5:30 p.m.

“We start off with Jasper who is definitely a quality team this season,” Butler said. “I think we match up well with them. If we perform well and come out with a win, we will take on the winner of McAdory and Wetumpka. For us this Thursday, we have to wrestle well overall as a team along with winning the close match ups. I think our wrestlers will handle all the emotions well. We’re excited for the opportunity Thursday and looking forward to the competition.”

Thompson started its road to being named the Class 7A, Region 1 champion early in December and one by one knocked out all 5 schools cinching the title on Jan. 4 with wins over Central and Auburn.

Thompson only lost 12 individual matches total against the five schools, taking down Prattville with a score of 67-6, Smiths Station 48-27, Hoover 75-3, Auburn 63-12 and Central-Phenix City 62-9.

The Warriors amassed 29 pins, six technical falls, three major decisions, three decisions, 12 forfeits and three medical forfeits across the five duals.

While Carson Freeman and Nathan Black are the only wrestlers who went 5-0, but 12 total went undefeated.

The Warriors will take on Enterprise at home on Wednesday, Jan. 12 at 6 p.m. The semifinals are scheduled for Jan. 18, while the championship is set for Jan. 21 at noon.