By Chris McCarthy/Editor
Photo by Dennis Victoryemail@example.com
Oxford overcame an early 13-point deficit to defeat Southside, 40-24, in the Class 6A finals of the Alabama High School Athletic Association’s State Wrestling Duals Tournament last Saturday (Jan. 28) at the Birmingham CrossPlex.
The Panthers built at 16-3 advantage with a 15-3 major decision by Colin Edwards in the 138-pound weight class, a first period pin (1:28) by Sam Colvin at 145 pounds and a second-period pin (3:06) by Landon Thompson at 160 pounds. But the Yellow Jackets proceeded to win six of the final eight matches to clinch the first place trophy.
Southside head coach Kyle Routon said that the dual format created several matchup problems with the Yellow Jackets.
“I mixed around my lineup to try and suit us best. We’re stronger down low from 106 to 152, and going in I thought that we had five toss-up matches. We wound up losing all five. We’re built more as a tournament team than a duals team because we’re top-heavy with four kids hat are ranked No. 1 and a couple of others that are ranked. If those kids all pin out, that’s a lot of points. In dual meet, those pins are only be six points each, so you have to win several other matches to have a chance.”
Also winning for Southside were Andrew Smith with an 11-2 decision at 106 pounds and Jacob Smith with a 15-5 decision at 126 pounds.
In other individual match action, Jacob Dease lost an 8-4 decision at 113 pounds; Dathan Finley lost 4-2 at 120 pounds; Dakota Roddick was pinned at 132 pounds; Kale Venn lost 4-3 at 152 pounds; Jacob Hollingsworth was pinned at 170 pounds; Ethan Stevenson lost 18-8 at 182 pounds; Austin Daugherty lost 8-4 at 195 pounds; Tyler Farris was pinned at 220 pounds; and Taylor Chappell was pinned at 285 pounds.
The Panthers opened the tournament with a 53-12 win over Clay-Chalkville, followed by a 55-16 quarterfinal victory over Austin. Southside then defeated Pinson Valley, 37 – 31, in the semifinal round on Jan. 24 to advance to the championship.
Routon believes the Panthers will hold their own in the upcoming super sectionals and state tournament.
“From 106 to 152, I would put us up against any team in the state, from 1A to 7A. After that, we’re young and inexperienced, and we’ve got a little ways to go. It’s not that those kids don’t have the talent; they just need some more experience.”