Photo courtesy of Jacob Gaydosh.
The HHS wrestling team celebrates their win at the Catholic High Duals in December.
Hoover and Spain Park’s wrestling teams have begun their winter season, and both teams’ coaches are confident that they’ll be bringing home some trophies.
HHS coach Jacob Gaydosh said the Bucs are led by three seniors: Bret Winters, Jarrett Anthony and Gavin Jackson. Winters is a returning All-American and placed second in the state last year. Patterson Huff and Gage Camp are both juniors who each earned third place last year.
“For the first time in at least the last five years, we have some depth at some weights and our roster has increased to a little over 40 guys,” Gaydosh said.
The team’s first meet, the Catholic High Duals, was on Dec. 4 and 5 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The team went 5-0 and Winters, Anthony, Huff and Camp all went undefeated that weekend.
“We have high hopes for this year and the future. We feel like we have been building toward these few years for a while and hope to be successful for some time to come,” Gaydosh said.
Meanwhile, Spain Park is developing a young team. All of its state qualifying wrestlers from 2014-2015 graduated and upperclassmen Manny Allan tore his ACL and will be unable to compete, leaving a team of freshmen and sophomores.
“This doesn’t mean that our wrestlers lack experience. None of these wrestlers are first year wrestlers. All of them have had prior experience. We have a class of young wrestlers who have a very good work ethic and potential,” SPHS coach Ryan Thompson said.
Freshman Jack Rivers was tournament champion at the Huntsville Invitational in December, and freshman Cameron Perry was the champion of the 7th-9th grade tournament. Freshman Jake Harrison placed fourth in the same tournament.
Thompson described this as a rebuilding year for the SPHS team and said he is excited about the number of wrestlers coming from the middle school this year.