Thompson cruises to win over McAdory in season opener at Montevallo

Published 1:32 pm Friday, November 17, 2023

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

MONTEVALLO – Ahead of the University of Montevallo’s first home dual on Wednesday, Nov. 15, the Thompson Warriors got a chance to shine on the Trustmark Arena mat and earn a big win over the reigning Class 6A state champion McAdory Yellow Jackets, 53-16.

The Warriors jumped ahead to a dominant lead by winning 10 of the first 11 matches and earning falls in many of them, and that helped them secure the early season victory on a neutral site.

Braylon Johnson started the dual off strong, cruising to a 17-3 lead and forcing a technical fall at the 3:16 mark of the 106-pound match.

Skylar Mobley of McAdory won the 113-pound match by a 10-2 major decision, but that one-point deficit would be the closest the Jackets got to leading.

Will Atkinson dominated his 120-pound match, pinning Jalen Howard of McAdory in just 53 seconds, and Austin Owen nearly secured a major decision with a 17-10 win.

Then, Thompson pulled away for the win with four straight pins. Jordan Weltzin won 2:41 into his 132-pound match, and right afterwards, Kiowa Vines and Turner Hutson both secured first-period pins. Henry Betke also earned a pin 2:20 into the second period.

Nick Dempsey took a 15-5 major decision over Jeffery Locke in the 157-pound match, and then Paxton Miller extended the lead to 48-4 with a pin just 1:05 into the match.

From there, McAdory won three of the final four matches, but it wouldn’t matter as Thompson had already secured the victory.

Wyatt Massey of Thompson dropped a 15-3 major decision to Christion Griggs in the 175-pound match, McAdory’s Erik Lessears earned a technical fall with a 22-7 lead at 4:25 in the 190-pound match against Rylan Davis and Timothy Wilson edged out a 7-3 decision over Marley Cholewinski in the 285-pound match.

The Warriors would win one more match in the final portion of the dual, as Avery Clark jumped out to an early lead over Jourdan Godwin to score a technical fall after building up a 16-1 lead just 3:33 into the match.

That closed out a phenomenal day for the Thompson wrestlers, who won 11 matches on the night to start out the season strong with a 53-16 victory.

Beyond securing a dominant win over the reigning state champions, the Thompson Warriors had the chance to showcase their skills to the local wrestling community that had gathered to watch the Montevallo vs. Midway match following their dual and to college coaches.

Montevallo coach Daniel Ownbey said that this combined meet was a phenomenal opportunity for the Thompson and McAdory wrestlers and was even more special given that multiple former Warriors and Jackets now compete for the Falcons.

“I think that giving them an opportunity, to wrestle in a college gym on a college mat in front of a college crowd was definitely something that I think could be a highlight of their high school career,” Ownbey said. “It shows them that they can get up to the next level, being able to wrestle in front of a couple of college coaches and show what they have.

“I think it was just a cool atmosphere. It was a cool idea. I love the fact that both Coach Weltzin and Coach Dutton agreed to do it, and it just brought more energy and more electricity and more passion of wrestling to Montevallo today.”

Thompson then kept the momentum rolling with a sweep in their quad match with Fairhope, Foley and Spanish Fort ahead of the Gulf Coast Clash. Thompson beat Fairhope 77-6 before winning 65-18 against Foley, and the Warriors finished out the day with a 78-6 win over Spanish Fort, with Fairhope and Spanish Fort’s lone wins coming off forfeits.