Area wrestlers bring home medals from Spartan Invitational

Published 5:32 pm Tuesday, December 12, 2023

By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

MOUNTAIN BROOK – Wrestlers from the Pelham Panthers, Shelby County Wildcats, Chelsea Hornets, Oak Mountain Eagles and Indian Springs School turned in solid performances at the Spartan Invitational on Saturday, Dec. 9 at Mountain Brook High School.

Thomas Peerson of Pelham won the 150-pound division with a 4-0 record on the day. After winning a pair of decisions to advance to the finals, he took two falls in less than a minute to win the title.

Peerson pinned Mountain Brook’s Robert Richey just 19 seconds into the match in the semifinals, and then he beat Houston’s Caden Borneman 47 seconds in to take first place.

Shelby County’s Nick Sykes won the 175-pound division with a solid showing. He kicked off the day with two first period pins, and then he won the title with a 9-2 decision over Mountain Brook’s Davis Smith in the semifinals before shutting out Jasper’s Antonio Nash 4-0 in the finals.

Portor Schott of Chelsea came in second place in the 190-pound division after making a run to the finals.

He started the day with a 59-second pin in the first round before taking back-to-back decisions in his next two matchups, only allowing one point in those matches combined to reach the first-place match.

Keith Castleberry of Shelby County came in second place in the 215-pound division. He reached the finals by earning three straight pins, including two in the first minute of the match to kick off the tournament.

Pelham’s Cash Tatum finished as the runner-up in the 285-pound division. He started the tournament off with three straight wins by pinfall to reach the first-place match, the first coming at the 1:15 mark, the quarterfinals win at 4:57 and the semifinals victory at just 1:06.

Tatum narrowly missed out on a gold medal, losing to Villa Rica’s Austin Presley 1-0, but still picked up a trio of match wins on the day.

Patrick Warner of Pelham worked his way out of the consolation bracket to finish in third place in the 120-pound division.

After winning by a 39-second pin to start the day, he lost an 8-2 decision in the quarterfinals, but won three straight matches to reach the third-place match, which he won by an 8-4 decision over Houston’s Daniel Guerrero.

Xander Shook of Shelby County earned third place in the 165-pound division. He won three straight matches by a first-period fall to reach the semifinals.

While Shook lost a 5-2 decision in the semifinals, he won a pair of matches to claim third place, including a pin at the 2:52 mark of his match against Houston’s Jonah Little.

Chelsea’s Tyler Kirkland made the semifinals in the 157-pound division thanks to a pair of first-period pins and an 8-4 decision win over Jasper’s Javen Butler in the quarterfinals.

Also for the Hornets, Tyler Rayford took third place in the 150-pound division, taking advantage of a pair of byes to defeat Mountain Brook’s Payne Pennebaker with a pin at the 3:31 mark of their quarterfinals match.

He bounced back from a semifinals loss to earn an 8-4 decision win in the consolation semifinals and beat Scottsboro’s JJ Ake with a pin coming at the 3:41 mark to earn third place.

Walt Calvert of Pelham reached the semifinals of the 138-pound division after he took a 48-second pinfall victory in the second round and a 4-1 decision win over Mountain Brook’s Christopher Brown in the quarterfinals.

Indian Springs’ Will Mashburn made it to the semifinals of the 120-pound division after defeating Vestavia Hills’ Robert Sasser in the first round with a 17-2 technical fall at the 3:34 mark and a pin against Jasper’s Ethan Cummings 4:48 into their quarterfinal match.

Ben Thomas and Trey Foster both posted the best finishes of the day for Oak Mountain as each Eagle earned three wins to reach the fourth consolation round, with Foster’s performance coming in the 165-pound division and Thomas’ coming in the 215-pound division.

In addition, James Pihakis also reached the fourth consolation round for Oak Mountain after taking two wins.