Coed Junior Varsity Wrestling, Coed Varsity Wrestling·
Bucs finish as State Runner-Ups
Saturday, February 18, 2017
The Bucs entered the 2017 State Tournament qualifying 13 wrestlers. Strong performances by the team pushed them to a their first podium finish since 2011.
At 106, eighth grader Nick Smith started off strong with a pin over Tuscaloosa County’s Austin Gonzalez. He finished with 4 team points.
Sophomore Riley Huff shook off a first round loss to earn a spot in the consolation semi finals with a major decision over Tuscaloosa County’s Tomas Juan and finished with 2 points at 113. In the 120 first round, Sophomore Alex Mason fought hard in his first round loss to the eventual state champion. In his second round match he picked up a pin over Huntsville Jaime Harkin and finished with 4 points.
Senior Gage Camp made his third trip to state in the 126 pound division. After a close opening round loss, he battled back to defeat two higher seeded wrestlers from Bob Jones (Jordan Whalen) and Vestavia Hills (Nathaniel Nailen) to earn a spot on the podium. He finished 4th picking up 6 points for the team. Junior Larry Wallace entered the 132 pound division as a dark horse placer. After a tough opening round loss to the eventual state champion, he fought through the consolation round, defeating the top seed to finish 4th with 6 points.
Senior Patterson Huff came in as the top seed in 138. He did not disappoint. With victories by pin and tech fall in the early rounds, he defeated Oak Mountain’s Christian Lester 2-1 claiming the state championship and finishing with 17.5 points.
Junior Jacob Brady and Sophomore Max Anderson came into state at 145 and 160. Two early round losses cut short their tournament but were able to finish their seasons with winning records.
Senior Randy Jenkins entered the tournament as the top seed at 170. Using his style of speed and power, he won his first two matches by pin. Taking on Hewitt-Trussville’s Braedon Keith, he won a decisive victory to claim the state title.
Senior KJ Williamson came into a very talented 182 pound division. Two tough losses cut short his tournament but he ends his high school career with many successes.
At 195, Junior DeAngelo DeWitt came as the top seed and fully expecting a carry over from the previous week’s section tournaments. Two early pins and he met Huntsville’s Jaeger Clark, who he lost to earlier in the year, in the finals. In a very physical match, DeWitt did not allow a repeat of their previous bout on his way to capturing the state championship in a 9-4 decision.
Bryce Carnes surprised many people in qualifying at 220. The late season run continued as the powerful sophomore shook off an early round loss to score 6-2 victory against Mountain Brook’s Hayden McDonald. A very close loss in the blood round ended his tournament.
The 285 lb class is always difficult to predict and this year was no exception. Each contender came in claiming victories over each other and most were very close.
Senior Austin Carter made the most of his year by picking up a pin and another 1-0 decision in the opening rounds to face Vestavia Hills’ James Edwards in the finals. In a tough match with few points but plenty of drama, Carter used 3 escapes and a late third round charge as the screaming crowd was on its feet to secure a 3-2 victory and claim the state championship.
As a team, Hoover went up and down the standings all tournament. A tough first round meant second round wrestlers had to step up and all of them did. It wasn’t until the finals did the Bucs secure 2nd place. While they didn’t claim first this year, the wrestling world in Alabama has been put on notice that #bucNasty is here to stay and the Bucs are poised for big things in the future.