Shelby County wrestling teams sending 51 to state tournament

Published 12:51 pm Sunday, February 13, 2022

By DAWN HARRISON | Special to the Reporter

The 2022 state wrestling tournament will be loaded with Shelby County wrestlers after eight local teams competed at the Super Sectional wrestling tournaments in Birmingham and Montgomery Feb. 11-12.

In both the 1A-4A and 7A classifications, the top four in both the North and South Sectionals advance to the State Tournament, while the top eight advance in each sectional for the 5A-6A classification.

The Shelby County wrestlers brought home 18 first place medals, 10 second place finishes, five third place finishes, eight fourth place finishes, one fifth place finish, two sixth place finishes, four seventh place finishes and three eighth place finishes.

Of the eight teams, Thompson was the only team to win a sectional tournament, claiming the South Super Sectional and sending 14 wrestlers to the state tournament.

Outside of the Warriors, however, three other teams finished inside the top five at their respective sectional tournament.

Those included Montevallo, Chelsea and Spain Park, while Oak Mountain, Pelham, Shelby County and Helena all will be sending multiple wrestlers to the state tournament as well.

As for the Warriors, they’ll be looking to get back on top of the state with their 14 wrestlers heading to the state meet.

Thompson won this year’s duals state championship for the fourth year in a row, but the Warriors had three straight years of winning the overall state title snapped last year, finishing behind Vestavia Hills in the state tournament.

At the sectional tournament, Thompson had eight finish in first, three others finish in second, two finish third and one finish fourth.

Those heading to the state meet in hopes of redemption for the Warriors include:

  • 106 Thomas Giere (First at sectionals)
  • 113 Kiowa Vines (First at sectionals)
  • 120 Cory Jones (Second at sectionals)
  • 126 Yanni Vines (First at sectionals)
  • 132 Nic Dempsey (First at sectionals)
  • 128 Parker Edmonson (Second at sectionals)
  • 145 James Latona (First at sectionals)
  • 152 Paxton Miller (Second at sectionals)
  • 160 Will Miller (First at sectionals)
  • 170 Carson Freeman (First at sectionals)
  • 182 Nathan Black (Third at sectionals)
  • 195 Jeffery Tubbs (First at sectionals)
  • 220 Barron Criddle (Third at sectionals)
  • 285 William Cholewinski (Fourth at sectionals)

The next highest finish as a team came from the Montevallo Bulldogs in the 1A-4A classification.

The Bulldogs finished fourth as a team in the South Super Sectional and qualified five wrestlers for the state meet. Of those five, two finished in first, two finished second and one finished fourth.

Montevallo’s wrestlers to qualify for state are below:

  • 126 Gavin Monk (First at sectionals)
  • 132 Charlie Paracca (First at sectionals)
  • 138 Sam Adams (Second at sectionals)
  • 220 Charles Adams (Fourth at sectionals)
  • 285 Cole Dennis (Second at sectionals)

The Spain Park Jaguars and Chelsea Hornets finished in the top five of their sectionals as well, with the Jags claiming fifth at the North Super Sectional and the Hornets doing so in the South Super Sectional.

In addition to the Jaguars at the 7A North Super Sectional tournament, Oak Mountain also performed well to finish sixth.

Both the Jags and Eagles qualified five wrestlers for the state tournament, including the following:

  • 113 Oak Mountain’s Camden Tipton (Second at sectionals)
  • 120 Oak Mountain’s Kirk Smitherman (First at sectionals)
  • 126 Spain Park’s Bradley Williams (First at sectionals)
  • 132 Oak Mountain’s Austin Buird (First at sectionals)
  • 138 Spain Park’s Brad Cummings (Fourth at sectionals)
  • 160 Oak Mountain’s Zack Hauck (Fourth at sectionals)
  • 170 Spain Park’s Jackson Mitchell (Third at sectionals)
  • 182 Spain Park’s Will Conlon (First at sectionals)
  • 285 Spain Park’s Rayshod Burts (First at sectionals)
  • 285 Oak Mountain’s Nic Rigdon (Fourth at sectionals)

In the 5A-6A classification, outside of Chelsea, Pelham placed seventh, Shelby County placed eighth and Helena placed 10th.

With that, Chelsea qualified seven wrestlers for state, Pelham qualified six wrestlers, Shelby County qualified four wrestlers and Helena qualified five wrestlers.

Those to advance to the 5A-6A state meet from each of the teams include:

  • -106 Pelham’s Trae Peeler (First at sectionals)
  • 106 Shelby County’s Nick Sykes (Third at sectionals)
  • 120 Chelsea’s Landon Keith (Third at sectionals)
  • 120 Helena’s Joseph Bratina (Fifth at sectionals)
  • 126 Shelby County’s Caleb Mooney (Sixth at sectionals)
  • 126 Pelham’s Thomas Peerson (Seventh at sectionals)
  • 132 Chelsea’s Tyler Rayford (Sixth at sectionals)
  • 138 Pelham’s Noah Schilleci (First at sectionals)
  • 145 Pelham’s Bryce Wanagat (Second at sectionals)
  • 145 Chelsea’s Bear Maxwell (Eighth at sectionals)
  • 152 Shelby County’s Cole Sykes (First at sectionals)
  • 152 Chelsea’s Harrison Brakefield (Seventh at sectionals)
  • 152 Pelham’s Stone Peerson (Eighth at sectionals)
  • 160 Chelsea’s Collin Burroughs (Fourth at sectionals)
  • 170 Helena’s Justin Yunke (Third at sectionals)
  • 182 Chelsea’s Kalob Johnstone (Second at sectionals)
  • 182 Helena’ Matthew McFall (Third at sectionals)
  • 195 Pelham’s Zander Terry (Second at sectionals)
  • 220 Helena’s Owen Campbell (Seventh at sectionals)
  • 285 Shelby County’s Tanner Stogner (Fourth at sectionals)
  • 285 Helena’s Taylor McElroy (Eighth at sectionals)

The state tournament will begin Thursday, Feb. 17 for the 5A-6A classification with a 16-man bracket, while 1A-4A and 7A will join on Friday with an eight-man bracket before the state tournament comes to an end on Saturday with champions crowned.