By Charles Prince
The North Jefferson News
HUNTSVILLE — Alec Williams winning streak finally came to an end Saturday at 102 matches. No, he didn’t lose. Williams won his third straight state title, but the Fultondale senior is scheduled to graduate in May, so thankfully for his competitors, his streak of 102 straight wins won’t grow any longer.
“I think I’ll remember the winning streak, but more than that, I’ll remember pinning the guy in my last high school match and winning another state title,” Williams said. “I wish I had another year of high school wrestling left to kept it going.”
Williams pinned Walter Welborn’s Chris Smith 55 seconds into the second period of their 1A-4A, 152-pound state championship match.
Williams was leading 13-4 at the time of the pin, scoring takedown after takedown, but letting Smith up after each one.
“It’s a strategy I like to use against tough opponents,” Williams said. “You get in the neutral position and take them down and let them up. Then you take them down again. After a while, they’ll have their tail between their legs and you can pin them.”
The pin secured a 61-0 season record for the Wildcat senior. Williams, who won the 2006, 1A-4A, 140-pound title and the 2007, 1A-4A, 145-pound crown, won the final 41 matches of his junior season to end his career with 102 straight wins.
Last season, Williams was part of the 1A-4A, runner-up team and the Wildcats looked to have a chance to win the crown this season, but a the title eluded them this year.
“I’m really happy my high school ended with another state title for me,” Williams said. “But I wish it had ended with state team title, I’m disappointed we didn’t get it.”
During his career, Williams finished with a stellar 195-9 record as a varsity wrestler.
“This is the best one of my three titles,” he said. “Because it was my last high school match.”
One of the smallest wrestlers at the state championships made one of the biggest statements Saturday. When Mortimer Jordan’s Brandon Brindley won the 5A, 103-pound title with a pin of Scottsboro’s Craig Malone with eight second left in the second period, it ended an unbeaten season for the Blue Devil’s eighth grader and marked the first part of long-range goal.
After winning the Fultondale Invitational title in December, Brindley announced his goal was to be a five-time state champion.
“I knew I would go in there and win. It felt great to end the season unbeaten,” Brindley said. “I wanted to pin him. I had won the semi-finals with a pin and I wanted to end my season that way. “
The victory ended a 52-0 season for Brindley, who finished fourth at the state tournament as a seventh grader.
“Winning the state title is big, but going unbeaten the whole year was the best part of it to me,” he said. “It’s also special that I’m the first person in our school to win a state title and I’m the first person to go undefeated.”
Brindley competed at around 87 pounds last season, but adding weight to his frame over the past year, gave him an edge at this year’s tournament.
“I’m a lot bigger and much stronger than I was last year,” he said. “Plus, I trained a lot harder this year than I did last season.”
Brindley added a second workout on most days during the past year, something he did only occasionally as a seventh grader.
“I’ve matured as a wrestler over last year,” he said. “I’m more aggressive this year also. It’s why I’ve gotten more pins this season.”
Brindley finished with 28 pins this year and now has a 93-7 mark in two seasons with Mortimer Jordan.
Saturday’s match was likely his last at 103 pounds. He thinks he’ll grow out of the weight class and wind up competing at 112 or 119 pounds as a freshman in 2009.
By Charles Prince