Pinson Valley captured its second straight Jefferson County Schools Wrestling Championship on Saturday, dominating the lighter weight classes and running away from the field at Clay-Chalkville Middle School.
The Indians built an early points lead and maintained it as the brackets advanced, outscoring runner-up Fultondale by 34 points. Indeed, the only suspense in the team standings during the late going was whether the Wildcats would hang on to a slim advantage over Mortimer Jordan, which they did.
The Indians took gold medals in three of the four lightest weight classes, with Patrick Tenney winning the 106-pound class, Tate Brannon taking gold at 120, and Hank Turner matching them at 126. Pinson also claimed gold at 220 by default, as both of their entries in the class — Jonathan Duke and Christian Raney — made it to the final bout. Coach Gene Richardson had Duke declared the winner in a forfeit, as Raney was a non-scoring entry who would have actually cost the team points had he won.
Richardson will have to decide which of the two will represent the team by Feb. 8, when the Class 5A sectional playoffs take place at Homewood, and teams are restricted to one entry per weight class. When asked which wrestler has the edge, Richardson chuckled and said, “No comment.”
Fultondale brought home the team silver largely due to winning three classes on the heavy end of the scale. Zach Cummings won the 152-pound class, Mitch Holcomb took 195 and Austin Durbin won at 182. Gabriel Martinez was runner-up at 132, as was Gerald Smith at 138.
Jordan’s lone gold medalist was William Skinner at 160. Braxton Worthington took second at 106, as did Devin McCombs at 152 and Trevor Barber at 182.
Gardendale placed sixth in the team standings, with heavyweight Daniel Adkins winning gold in his class. Three other Rockets took medals.