Peerson wins Pelham Invitational, others secure top finishes

Published 4:12 pm Tuesday, December 19, 2023

By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

PELHAM – Pelham High School hosted many of the top wrestlers from the region for the Pelham Invitational on December 15 and 16, and athletes from Pelham, Helena, Chelsea and Indian Springs gave it their all to make deep runs in the tournament.

The Panthers took home one title from the meet, as Thomas Peerson won the 150-pound division. After receiving a bye to start the tournament, he won a major decision in the second round, a decision in the quarterfinals and a technical fall in the semifinals.

In the first-place match, Peerson was locked in a tight battle with Fort Walton Beach High’s JJ Martinez, but he edged out a 4-3 decision to take the gold.

Pelham’s Cash Tatum came in second place in the 285-pound division. He won three straight matches to start the tournament thanks to a decision in the second round, a second-period fall in the quarterfinals and a 2-1 tiebreaker win in the semifinals.

Pelham’s Maddox McDaniel secured fourth place in the 106-pound division thanks to his three wins in the tournament. He won a major decision in the second round and earned a fall in the second period of his quarterfinal match.

While he lost his semifinal match, he took a 6-2 decision in the consolation semifinals over Pell City’s Trent Ledlow to reach the third-place match.

Kenyon Clements from the Helena Huskies earned fourth place in the 126-pound division. He cruised to a pair of decisions in his first two matches, including a major decision in the second round, before falling in the semifinals.

However, Clements bounced back in a big way with a 4-3 win in sudden victory over CJ Helveston of Saraland to guarantee himself fourth place.

Sami Bratina also gave Helena another fourth-place finisher, this time in the 138-pound division. He earned a pair of first-period falls to reach the semifinals, and despite losing a major decision in that round, he secured his third fall of the tournament in the consolation semifinals to reach the third-place match.

Chelsea’s William Hartsfield took a fifth-place finish in the 132-pound division after reaching the semifinals. He won his first three matches by falls, including a pair of first-period falls, to make it to the semifinals.

While he lost in both the semifinals and consolation semifinals, he ended the weekend on a high note by securing a fall over Mountain Brook’s Jack Edmunds with four seconds left in the second period.

The Huskies’ James Alford bounced back from a quarterfinal loss to take a fifth-place finish in the 144-pound division. He secured a pin at the 2:30 mark in his second-round match, and he won a pair of matches by first-period pins following his defeat in the quarterfinals to reach the consolation semifinals.

Despite losing in the consolation semifinals, he secured fifth place with another quick fall, this one coming at the 1:02 point in his match with Pell City’s Talan McNutt.

Cayden Thomas of Helena secured a sixth-place finish in the 157-pound division. While he lost in the second round, he made a run through the consolation bracket with four straight wins including three by pinfall and a decision win in the fifth round that secured him sixth place.

Chelsea’s Harrison Brakefield earned sixth place in the 165-pound division thanks to a pair of wins. He won a first-period fall in the second round over Homewood’s Noah Witten before defeating Hewitt-Trussville’s Eli Abney in the quarterfinals. While Brakefield had to medically forfeit his remaining matches, his semifinals berth secured him a sixth-place finish.

Indian Springs’ Will Mashburn reached the quarterfinals in the 120-pound division. He won his second round match by a third-period fall to reach the quarterfinals, and he won a major decision over Homewood’s Graham Jourdan in the fourth round of the consolation bracket.