By Robert Carter
North Jefferson News
HUNTSVILLE — Two state champions emerged from three dozen local wrestlers who advanced to the AHSAA 2013 State Wrestling Championship.
Pinson Valley’s Jonathan Duke won his gold medal in fairly easy fashion, pinning all three of his opponents. He won the Class 5A 220-lb. title by pinning Matthew Franko of Scottsboro in 61 seconds, his quickest pin of the tournament.
And in in Class 1A-4A, Fultondale’s Zach Cummings won his second state championship, this one at 152 pounds. He scored a reversal in the third period to break a 4-4 tie with Dylan Bishop of Susan Moore, winning the match by a 6-4 score.
Duke’s win helped push the Indians into fifth place in the overall team standings, just 1½ points behind Benjamin Russell. Fultondale finished fourth in 1A-4A, with Cummings’ victory pushing his team past Weaver and Susan Moore.
Arab edged Scottsboro for the 5A championship, St. James won the blue trophy in 1A-4A, and Thompson won its third straight state team championship in 6A.
For the rest of the local contingent of wrestlers, it was a mixed bag of results.
Pinson brought nine wrestlers to the Von Braun Center, but just three made the medals platform. Patrick Tenney lost in the 106-lb. finals to place second, while Hank Turner was third at 126.
Hayden only qualified three wrestlers, but all three won medals. Hunter Flowers lost the 5A 120-lb. final in an overtime heartbreaker and settled for the silver medal. Parker Sims at 170 and Anthony Scott at 195 each placed third.
Four of Fultondale’s six entrants placed. Besides Cummings, Gerald Smith was second at 138 after losing a squeaker to Chase Collins of St. James, whose third-period two-point reversal won him the gold medal. Dylan Trice was third at 106, and Dante Stanley fourth at 160.
Corner’s Cody Deason, one of only two Yellow Jackets to make the trip north, lost in the 220-lb. finals when he conceded a reversal with 18 seconds left.
Mortimer Jordan failed to place a wrestler in the final bouts for the first time in at least five years. Braxton Worthington won bronze at 106, and Jacob Howse was fourth at 138.
Gardendale was also shut out of the final bouts, with heavyweight Daniel Adkins the only medalist. He took bronze with an overtime win over Darius Pryer of Carver-Montgomery.