Local teams compete in Over the Mountain Wrestling Duals event

By DAWN HARRISON | Special to the Reporter

HOOVER – Wrestling season may be one of the winter sports that has had to learn to accommodate the changes in season procedures the most due to COVID-19.

All individual tournaments featuring more than four schools are gone, limiting the kids’ ability to wrestle, get mat time and test where they stand against other schools wrestlers.

But, on Thursday Dec. 3, Spain Park hosted the Over the Mountain Duals Tournament with two separate brackets to align with the AHSAA rules of no more than four schools in a gym.

In one bracket Spain Park, Hoover, Pelham and Thompson competed against each other in a dual format with each team wrestling each other. In the other gym Gardendale, Vestavia, Oak Mountain, and Helena wrestled in their own dual tournament.

The big winners in each gym were Spain Park and Vestavia Hills, who both finished undefeated.

Spain Park took down Thompson 68-6, Pelham 53-18 and crosstown rival Hoover 41-31. There were also some exceptional wrestlers who went undefeated in all three matches.

In the 106-pound weight class, Bradley Williams of Spain Park had a strong showing with a major decision of 15-9 over Pelham’s Trae Peeler, a 6-0 decision against Hoover’s Jake Thompson and also picked up a forfeit win.

In the 120-pound weight class, Nathan Philman of Spain Park pinned Pelham’s Walter Calvert with a fall time of 5:20, pinned Hoover’s Brayden Neal with a fall time of 1:25 and won by a decision of 7-2 over Thompson’s Henry Betke.

Cory Jones of Thompson, wrestling in the 126-pound weight class, won all three of his matches via pin. He pinned Pelham’s Nicholas Bamberg with a fall time of 32 seconds, Spain Park’s Granger Scarborough with a fall time of 4:52 and Hoover’s Julian Krontiras with a fall time of 2:21.

Pelham’s Noah Schilleci had a strong showing in the 138-pound weight class with a decision of 10-4 over Hoover’s Ian Addison, a pin against Evan Cooper of Thompson with a fall time of 43 seconds and a forfeit win.

In the 152-pound weight class, Fischer Harrison of Spain Park won two matches by a tech falls over Ethan Carter of Thompson with a score of 24-9 and a fall time of 4:27, while he beat Hoover’s Kasey Zylstra with a score of 19-3 and a fall time of 4:00. He pinned Pelham’s Ian Chambers with a fall time of 52 seconds to end his impressive showing.

Spain Park’s Gage Hughes won all of his matches with pins in the 195-pound weight class, taking down Hoover’s Alex Burch with a fall time of 1:12, Pelham’s Jake Ingram with a fall time of 55 seconds and Thompson’s Avery Clark with a fall time of 1:03.

Spain Park’s final highlight was Brandon Fortenberry in the 220-pound division. He picked up a win against Pelham’s Trae Peeler via major decision of 15-2 and got forfeit wins against both Hoover and Thompson.

Cash Tatum of Pelham ran through the 285-pound heavyweight class with a win over Spain Park’s Andrew Moses in a tie breaker with a score of 6-5. He also picked up wins against Pelham and Hoover thanks to forfeits.

Meanwhile, in the other gym Oak Mountain won two of their three matches with a score of 42-33 over Gardendale and 63-15 against Helena, but fell to Vestavia Hills with a score of 60-18.

For the Eagles, Kirk Smitherman and Aden Miller both had strong events.

Smitherman, wrestling in the 120-pound division, took down Gardendale’s Alex Webb by a decision of 7-4, pinned Helena’s Levi McGrew with a fall time of 51 seconds and won via forfeit against Vestavia Hills.

Wrestling in the 132-pound weight class, Aden Miller won by forfeit over Gardendale, picked up a pin over Helena’s Luke Copeland with a fall time of 51 seconds and pinned Vestavia’s Harrison Faust with a fall time of 2:42.