Pelham, Helena wrestlers put together noteworthy showing at state

Published 9:30 pm Sunday, February 18, 2024

By ANDREW SIMONSON | Sports Editor

HUNTSVILLE – The Pelham Panthers and Helena Huskies wrapped up the season with strong finishes at the Class 6A wrestling state championship at Huntsville’s Propst Arena at the Von Braun Center on Saturday, Feb. 17.

Thomas Peerson wrapped up his campaign with a second-place finish in the 150-pound division and three of his Panthers teammates and two Huskies wrestlers joined him in the top six.

Peerson won each of his first three matches to reach the finals of his division. He started the week with a 9-0 major decision against Spanish Fort’s Ben Lewis in the first round.

He then defeated Homewood’s Bobby Chamorro by a 6-0 decision in the quarterfinals to advance to the semifinals, where he defeated Austin Campbell of Athens by a 3-1 decision.

While Peerson lost in the finals to Mortimer Jordan’s Cruz Rainwater, he walked away with second-place honors in the field of 150-pound wrestlers.

Sam Powell earned a fourth-place finish for the Panthers in the 138-pound division.

He won his first match by a pin at the 3:03 mark against Russell County’s Julian Anthony, but he hit a bump in the road with a loss in the quarterfinals.

Powell recovered to win his next two matches by a pin at the 2:54 mark against Pell City’s Jacob Wiley and a 9-8 decision against Athens’ Carter Campbell to secure a top-four finish.

Walt Calvert and Brayden Patterson each walked away with a sixth-place finish in their respective divisions.

Calvert won a pair matches in the 132-pound division to earn sixth place. After losing by a pin right at the end of his quarterfinals match, he shut out Gardendale’s Isaac Jones for a 10-0 major decision and defeated Mountain Brook’s Christopher Brown by a 9-4 decision to guarantee a top-six finish.

After Patterson won his first-round match in the 165-pound division by a major decision, he lost in the quarterfinals but recovered to earn a top-six finish.

He defeated Spanish Fort’s Aaron Kinslow by a 5-1 decision and Pinson Valley’s La’Garius Ephraim by a score of 8-3 to reach the consolation semifinals, which secured him sixth place.

Helena had a pair of top five finishes in James Alford in the 144-pound division and Kenyon Clements in the 126-pound division.

Alford came in fourth place thanks to a pair of wins on the week.

He earned a first-round bye and defeated Mortimer Jordan’s Kaiden Smith by a 13-10 decision in the semifinals.

He bounced back from a semifinals loss to edge out Tristan Williams of Oxford in a 6-5 decision in the consolation semifinals, which secured him a top-four finish after going 22-7 on the year.

Clements won three matches en route to earning fifth place.

He lost in his first match of the week in the quarterfinals to Mountain Brook’s Davis Smith, but he reached the consolation semifinals with a 17-2 technical fall over Athens’ Camden Fielder and a 4-1 decision win over Pell City’s Elijah Wilson.

He recovered from a loss in the consolation semifinals to defeat Fort Payne’s Tucker Burkhead in the fifth-place match by an 8-1 decision, which capped off a 40-11 campaign for Clements.