Photos courtesy of Danny Joiner.
Austin Carter is shown after winning the heavyweight wrestling title Feb. 18 at the AHSAA Wrestling Championships.
Hoover rode the dominant performances of four individuals to a second-place finish at the 2017 AHSAA Wrestling Championships at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville on Feb. 18.
With more individual titles than any other Class 7A school, the Bucs finished second with 107.5 points, trailing only Vestavia Hills, which compiled 131.5 points. Vestavia won its second consecutive state championship, this one under first-year coach Tee Adams after sending off longtime coach Steve Gaydosh with a title in 2016.
D’Angelo Dewitt, Randy Jenkins, Patterson Huff and Austin Carter each secured state championships in their respective weight divisions.
In the heavyweight division, Carter won the final over Jacob Edwards by a 5-2 decision. Carter finished the season 20-3 and kept Edwards from joining his twin brother, James (who won the 220-pound title), atop the podium.
Carter also won his semifinal match by decision, besting Thompson’s Seth Whitlock. Carter was able to pin Matt Burrow of James Clemens in the quarterfinal match.
Dewitt triumphed over the rest of the 195-pounders, as he also captured a state title. He won by a 9-4 decision over Huntsville’s Jaeger Clark and finished the season 35-3. To reach the final, he pinned his opponent in the semifinal (Smiths Station’s Austin Phillips) and quarterfinal (Mountain Brook’s Will Pitman) rounds.
Jenkins pinned Buckhorn’s Jordan Thompson in 13 seconds to kick off his quest for a title in the 170-pound weight class, before winning by injury default over Vestavia’s Zachary Nelson. In the final, Jenkins (22-3) won by a 13-10 decision against Braedon Keith of Hewitt-Trussville.
Huff was the other Hoover wrestler to win a crown, as he took down all the competition in the 138-pound division. Huff finished the year with a record of 40-4 and narrowly defeated Carson Lester of Oak Mountain by a 2-1 decision in the final. To reach that point, he took down Mountain Brook’s Frank Brown and Sparkman’s Chris Evans.
In the 126-pound class, Gage Camp finished fourth and rounded out his season with a 13-6 mark. He lost by decision to Hewitt-Trussville’s Braden Treglown in the quarterfinal, but he notched wins against Jordan Whalen (Bob Jones) and Nathaniel Nailen (Vestavia Hills) to reach the third-place match, where he fell to Maxwell Kauffman (Central-Phenix City).
Larry Wallace also finished fourth in the 132-pound division. He was defeated by Heath Williamson (Hewitt-Trussville) in the quarterfinal, but, much like Camp, rallied to win his next two bouts. Wallace defeated Murphy McCallum (Vestavia Hills) and Daishun Mitchell (Bob Jones) to get a shot in the third-place match, where he fell to Blake Randle (Oak Mountain).
Nick Smith (106 pounds), Alex Mason (120), Riley Huff (113), Jacob Brady (145), Robert Rudolph (160), Khalil Williamson (182) and Bryce Carnes (220) also contributed to Hoover’s strong effort.