Mason Ellis (138 lbs.) and Blake Boshell (132 lbs.) cruised through their competition in the championship bracket to earn the opportunity to defend their titles today.
Ellis (50-1) defeated Saks’ Stephen Snyder via pin in the quarterfinals and Weaver’s Taylor Williams by a 6-0 decision in the semi-finals to advance and will face Elmore County’s Stephan Haynie (23-7) for the championship.
Boshell (52-1) emerged victorious over Elmore County’s Payton Haynie by pinfall in the quarterfinals and St. James’ Coleman Adams in the semi-finals and will square-off with Walter Welborn’s Matthew Smith (53-4) in the finals.
Hunter Edwards (182 lbs.) and Cruz Mathis (170 lbs.) earned the chance to battle for the third place position in the consolation finals.
Edwards (43-11) beat Ranburne’s Brandon Gilliam by a 16-0 technical fall in the championship quarterfinals before falling to Pinson’s Clay Dent in the semi-finals by pin. He went on to defeat American Christian Academy’s Shawn Blackburn via a 18-3 technical fall in the consolation bracket semi-finals. He’ll face Susan Moore’s Andrew Waller (41-14)
Mathis (42-16) defeated Elmore County’s Colten Phillips by pinfall in the championship quarterfinals while falling to Oak Grove’s Josh Wood by pin in the semi-finals. He then bested Holt’s Hunter Scott by pinfall in the consolation semi-finals to face Deshler’s Jordan McCaig (34-13) in the consolation bracket finals. It will be Mathis and McCaig’s third meeting in the past week, after the two met in the Area 2 sectionals – with each wrestler earning a victory in the previous match-ups.
Dora’s Nicholas Miller (195 lbs.) advanced to the consolation bracket semi-finals before being eliminated. He was defeated by Walter Welborn’s Derek Key via pinfall in the championship quarterfinals before beating Ranburne’s Daniel Martin by pin in the quarterfinals and losing to Cleburne County’s Drew Rutledge to finish his senior season with a 31-23 record.
Walker’s Dustin Kemble (195 lbs.) advanced to the 5A consolation bracket semi-finals, falling to Muscle Shoals’ Deven Sullivan by pinfall in the championship quarterfinals, before defeating Pinson’s Jonathan Duke by pin in the consolation quarterfinals and losing to Fort Payne’s Johnathan Osorio by pin to end his season with a 27-15 record.
Walker coach Martin Blankenship expressed his pride in Kemble’s performance this season and his opportunity to compete in the state championships.
“For Dustin to be able to qualify and wrestle in the state tournament as a sophomore is really impressive,” Blankenship said. “Obviously, we wish that we could have had more of our team qualify to come to Huntsville, but I know our team and our school are very proud of Dustin earning his chance to come here and compete. His future is very bright.”
Dora coach Hezzie Morgan stated that his team’s advancement in the tournament is a testament to their style of wrestling, hard work and dedication.
“Our team’s commitment to improving, along with the caliber of competition that we face every week and the heart they show daily in their practices and their meets is parting of the driving force that got us here,” Morgan said. “For us to have only five wrestlers here and be in the top 10 in the points rankings is heartwarming. We have winners here at Dora and we’re very proud to represent Walker County at the state championship – and our community and county can be proud of the way we are representing them.”