The Game Plan By Charles Prince

The North Jefferson News




Donuts can be a sugary treat, but donuts in the loss column can be even sweeter.

Two local prep wrestlers, Mortimer Jordan’s Brandon Brindley and Fultondale’s Alec Williams are both working real sweet seasons. Brindley has wrestled 44 times this season and Williams has competed 49 times through Thursday night’s action.

With the state tournament just weeks away, Brindley has a 44-0 record, while Williams sports a 49-0 mark.

Some observers thought Brindley would be a threat at the state tournament this season after finishing fourth as a seventh grader at last year’s tourney, but I’m not sure everyone expected him to be unbeaten at this point in the year.

What Brindley accomplished last season, when he weighed closer to 85 pounds than the 103-pound class he competed in, served notice he’d be a one of the contenders for a state crown in the future.

However, this season, he’s gone from state contender to the wrestler to beat at next month’s state champions tournament.

Brindley, who now weighs over 100 pounds, always had fine technique and outstanding quickness with his moves, but now he’s as strong or stronger than most of the athletes he’s faced this season.

Adding muscle to his other skills has thrust Brindley into the roll of the odds on favorite for the Class 5A, 103-pound title.

To my way of thinking, if he doesn’t fall down a flight of stairs and breaks a leg between now and the state meet, he’ll finish off his eigth grade year on the mat with a state title.

Williams, who has won two state titles already, isn’t satisfied with just pursuing a third straight crown.

He’s want to win another title, but this time accomplish it along something eluded him last year—an unblemished record all season long. After taking the 1A-4A 145-pound title last year, his season won/loss mark read: 53-1. Through Thursday, Williams is 183-9 for his varsity career as a Wildcat grappler.

Even though it’s been 14 months since he’s lost a match, he continues to think about it often. That one loss still bothers him as much today as it did on the night he fell short in the finals of the Fultondale Invitational.

Since that bitter defeat, he’s taken out his frustration on 90 consecutive opponents.

However, desire is only one of Williams assets, he’s always looking for ways to improve his skills. During the off season he works on new moves until they become second nature. That type of hard work could bring him a third gold medal soon.

I’m expecting both to win state titles next month. That, as well as keeping a donut in their season record’s loss column.

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