Pelham’s Peerson, Helena’s Alford win 6A sectional championships as Panthers, Huskies qualify for state

Published 10:01 am Tuesday, February 13, 2024

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By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

MONTGOMERY – Under the bright lights of the Garrett Coliseum at the south sectional championships on Feb. 10-11, wrestlers from Pelham and Helena not only qualified for the state championship, they shone bright on the big stage to earn the top spots in their divisions.

Pelham’s Thomas Peerson won the 150-pound sectional championship after a dominant run through the bracket. He qualified for state with a pair of first-period pins in the opening two matches.

In the semifinals, he secured a technical fall over Saraland’s Anthony Rivers after the match was called at the 3:24-mark with Peerson leading 17-2. He won the finals due to a medical forfeit, which set him as the No. 1 seed out of the south sectional.

Helena’s James Alford also won the sectional championship in his division as he claimed first place in the 144-pound division. All four of his wins came by way of a first-period pin as he improved to 20-5 on the season.

Alford qualified for the state championship by winning his first two matches in under a minute. He then defeated Homewood’s Cannon Ford with a pin at the 1:42-mark of their semifinal match before pinning Benjamin Russell’s Jyque Norris at the 1:37-mark to win the title.

Peerson will be joined at the state championship by five of his teammates as Patrick Warner, Walt Calvert, Sam Powell, Brayden Patterson and Ameer Hasty all qualified.

Powell came in third place in the 138-pound division to qualify for state. He won his round of 16 match by a first-period pin and won by disqualification in the quarterfinals.

Following his semifinal loss, he won two consolation matches by second-period pins to earn third place, including a pin four minutes into his third-place match against Baldwin County’s Nick Portis.

Patterson bounced back from his quarterfinals loss to earn third place in the 165-pound division and qualify for the state championship.

He earned two pins and an 8-2 decision to reach the third-place match, and he defeated Spanish Fort’s Aaron Kinslow by a 6-0 decision to earn his fourth consolation bracket win and secure third place.

Calvert reached the semifinals of the 132-pound division after winning his round of 16 match by a pin 59 seconds into the match and taking an 8-3 decision win in the quarterfinals to secure fourth place.

In addition, Hasty qualified in the 215-pound division after he reached the semifinals and took fifth place, and Warner finished in sixth place in the 120-pound division.

Two more Huskies will join Alford in Huntsville as Kenyon Clements qualified out of the 126-pound division and Sami Bratina earned a state championship spot in the 138-pound division.

Clements qualified for the semifinals with a 11-1 major decision win in the quarterfinals. After losing in the semifinals, he won a pair of decisions, including a 6-3 win over McAdory’s Nolan Hinkle to secure third-place.

Bratina bounced back from his quarterfinals loss to win two consolation bracket matches and take sixth place.