By Robert Carter
North Jefferson News
A total of 36 local wrestlers have qualified for the AHSAA State Wrestling Championships later this week in Huntsville.
The list is led by Pinson Valley and Mortimer Jordan, which each qualified nine wrestlers for state finals. The Indians battled neck and neck with Benjamin Russell to win the Class 5A Section 1 qualifying tournament last weekend at Homewood, with Russell coming out on top by just five points. Jordan finished third.
The Indians had five wrestlers win their weight classes, split between the bottom and top of the weight ranges. Patrick Tenney, Zach Kusiak, Hank Turner, Malik Melton and Jonathan Duke each brought home the gold.
Gardendale, which hosted its own Class 6A sectional on Saturday, qualified seven wrestlers for state. Two of them won their weights: Scotty Clements at 126 pounds and Daniel Adkins at heavyweight.
Fultondale sends a group of six to Huntsville, including a returning state champion. Zac Cummings took the gold last year at 145 pounds, and comes back for another at 152.
Hayden sends just three wrestlers to the finals, but one of them is also a defending state champ. Anthony Scott won last year at 182, and moves up to 195 this year.
Corner qualified two wrestlers, including a state runner-up for 2012. Cody Deason, last year’s silver medalist at Class 1A-4A heavyweight, drops down to 220, where he won his sectional meet.
The state championship gets underway on Thursday with Class 6A first-round and quarterfinal matches. Action in 1A-A and 5A begins Friday, with championships on Saturday.
GARDENDALE: Mac Boackle, 106 pounds (4th); Scott Smith, 120, (4th); Scotty Clements, 126 (1st); Brandon Roberts, 145 (2nd); Clay Sorenson, 152 (4th); Jake Gasuich, 220 (4th); Daniel Adkins, heavyweight (1st).
PINSON VALLEY: Patrick Tenney, 106 (1st); Zach Kusiak, 113 (1st); Hank Turner, 126 (1st); Blake Treglown, 132 (4th); Deon Gregory, 145 (4th); Cory Taylor, 160 (4th); Brandon Adams, 170 (3rd); Malik Melton, 195 (1st); Jonathan Duke, 220 (1st).
MORTIMER JORDAN: Braxton Worthington, 106 (2nd); Cason Jordan, 113 (4th); Andrew Hych, 126 (4th); Lane Lucas, 132 (3rd); Jacob Howse, 138 (3rd); Devyn McCombs, 152 (3rd); William Skinner, 160 (2nd); Auston Underwood, 170 (2nd); Trevor Barber, 182 (2nd).
HAYDEN: Hunter Flowers, 120 (2nd); Parker Sims, 170 (3rd); Anthony Scott, 195 (3rd).
FULTONDALE; Dylan Trice, 106 (3rd); Gabriel Martinez, 132 (3rd); Gerald Smith. 138 (2nd); Zach Cummings, 152 (1st); Dante Stanley, 160 (2nd); Austin Durbin, 182 (3rd).
CORNER: Dalton Absher, 126 (4th); Cody Deason, 220 (1st).