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Van Alst takes fifth title in AHSAA state wrestling championships

Combined Report
(February 21, 2016)

HUNTSVILLE - Montgomery Catholic’s Zachary Van Alst led a contingent of state champions from the River Region in Saturday’s championship round at the 61st annual AHSAA State Wrestling Championships Saturday at the Von Braun Center.

Van Alst won the 132-pound weight class, giving him five-straight championships, which ties a state record held by eight others. He was named the MVP of Class 1A-5A tournament.

Ty Naquin of Stanhope Elmore won the 106-pound class in 6A to finish the season with a perfect record.

Robby Killough of Prattville continued his dominance winning the Class 7A 145-pound championship with a pin of Vestavia Hill’s Matthew Paugh in the final.

Tallassee’s Jake Baker won the 1A-5A 285-pound class, defeating previously unbeaten Josephus Smith of Leeds in the final.

Vestavia Hills, Arab and Leeds swept the team titles with the Rebels ending Thompson’s five-year stranglehold on the big-school classification scoring 134.5 points to claim the Class 7A state title. They won the title over runner-up Oak Mountain (131) by a mere three points.

It was the program’s 14th state title overall and the first 7A crown in retiring Hall-of-Fame Coach Steve Gaydosh’s storied career. It was Vestavia’s 14th championship in school history – tying the state record held by Benjamin Russell for most wins by a single school.

Arab won the 6A championship, its fourth in a row and five in six years, posting 197 points. Runner-up Southside-Gadsden had 148.5 points and Athens was a close third at 144.5.

Leeds won the 1A-5A crown with 170 points, and Tallassee was second at 130.

The Rebels needed a win 220-pound finals to clinch the title. Junior James Edwards (39-3) scored a come-from-behind 6-5 decision over senior Josh Smith (46-1) to seal the championship. Thompson senior T.J. Rayam (31-2) followed up at 285 pounds to take his third straight heavyweight title beating Oak Mountain junior Gavin Jackson (34-16) 7-5 in another tight bout to close out the meet. Auburn senior Khaleel Johnson (44-0) won at 132 pounds and Hoover senior Bret Winters (48-0) won at 195 pounds to close out unbeaten seasons.

Hawthorne Grabs MVP Honors
Pelham High School senior double amputee Hasaan Hawthorne (37-0) drew a rousing ovation from spectators throughout the arena with his hard-fought 7-3 decision over Landon Thompson of Southside-Gadsden in the Class 6A 145-pound finals.

Hawthorne finished third last season. His winning match, along with all the other championship bouts, can be seen through the archives of the NFHS Network, which live-streamed the state championships for the AHSAA. The link can be found at

Arab, coached by Michael Pruitt, had three individual champions including senior Nick Cater (71-3) at 152 pounds, senior Andrew Schmitt (60-7z0 at 132 pounds and junior Will Spencer (69-3) at 170 pounds.

In Class 1A-5A, Coach Matt Hicks’ Green Wave won their second straight title with two individual champions, senior Toren Pollard (44-1) at 152 pounds and senior Alex Nickell (42-3) at 182. Montgomery Catholic junior Zachary Van Alst captured his fifth state title since winning as a seventh grader in 2012. Van Alst (53-1) won at 132 pounds.

Fultondale sophomore Macon Edwards also closed out a 90-0 season with a win in the 106-pound finals. He now ranks second nationally for wins in a single according to the NFHS Record Book and is the first AHSAA wrestler win 90 matches in a single season.

The Class 1A-5A 170-pound title match was also one for the ages as Christian Knop (56-0) scored a 16-10 decision over Dora senior Caleb Lauderdale (60-1).


61st Annual AHSAA State Wrestling Championships
Saturday’s Championship Results
(River Region representatives in bold)


Leeds 170; Tallassee 130; Weaver 105; Madison County 104; Deshler 98; Mortimer Jordan 82; Alexandria 76; JO Johnson 70.5; Moody 69; Oak Grove 63; St. James 57.5; Hayden 54.5; Fultondale 54; Westminster Christian 50; Dora 46; St. Clair County 45; Cleburne County 41; Holtville 38.5; Piedmont 32; Saks 31; Montgomery Catholic 30; Susan Moore 29; Ohatchee 27.5; Beauregard 23; Montevallo 23; New Hope 22; Walter Wellborn 22; Alabama School/Blind 18; Lincoln 16; JB Pennington 15; Carver-Birmingham 14; American Christian 12; Corner 9; Helena 9; Columbia 8; Ranburne 6; East Limestone 4; Elmore County 4; Sumiton Christian 4; Ashville 3; Shelby County 3; Prattville Christian 1

106 pounds: Macon Edwards (Fultondale) 90-0, So. over Zach Clayton (Dora) 56-5, So. (Dec 6-3).
113 pounds: Nick Souder (Weaver) 65-1, Jr. over Lane Trapp (Alexandria) 33-6, Sr. (Fall 4:34).
120 pounds: Timothy Murphree (Fultondale) 67-2, Sr. over Bryer Stewart (Saint Clair County) 54-5, Sr. (Dec 6-0).
126 pounds: Michael Land (Moody Hs) 69-9, Jr. over Chase Phillips (Hayden) 64-3, Jr. (Fall 1:46).
132 pounds: Zachary Van Alst (Montgomery Catholic) 53-1, Jr. over Robert Childress (Beauregard) 53-9, Sr. (TF-1.5 5:00 (17-2).
138 pounds: Braxton Worthington (Mortimer Jordan) 48-1, Sr. over Chandler Teems (Leeds) 29-7, Jr. (Dec 9-4).
145 pounds: Tyler Williams (Deshler) 48-2, Sr. over Carial Tarter (Mortimer Jordan) 26-3, So. (Dec 3-0).
152 pounds:
Toren Pollard (Leeds) 44-1, Sr. over Tyler Mayfield (Cleburne County) 13-2, Jr. (Dec 15-8).
160 pounds: Bragan Swindle (Mortimer Jordan) 50-15, Sr. over Seth Shelton (Madison County) 36-9, Jr. (Dec 8-3).
170 pounds: Christian Knop (Alexandria) 56-0, Fr. over Caleb Lauderdale (Dora) 60-1, Sr. (Dec 16-10).
182 pounds: Alex Nickell (Leeds) 42-3, Sr. over Kane Pitts (Walter Wellborn) 28-4, Jr. (Fall 3:31).
195 pounds: Chase Rodgers (Weaver) 64-5, Sr. over Andy Baker (Tallassee) 44-6, Fr. (Dec 1-0).
220 pounds: Colton Parton (Madison County) 43-1, Sr. over Caleb Montgomery (Ohatchee) 52-6, Jr. (Dec 5-1).
285 pounds: Jake Baker (Tallassee) 40-3, Jr. over Josephus Smith (Leeds) 33-1, Sr. (SV-1 3-1)

1A/5A MVP: Zachary Van Alst, Montgmery Catholic
1A/5A Most Pins: Nick Souder, Weaver (3 pins, 7:59).
1A/5A Best Match: (170-pound final) Christian Knop, Alexandria, vs. Caleb Lauderdale, Dora.


Arab 197; Southside-Gadsden 148.5; Athens 144.5; Scottsboro 131; Pinson Valley 109; Homewood 107;5; Clay-Chalkville 106.5; Benjamin Russell 90; Gardendale 75.5; Oxford 71.5; Pelham 68; Stanhope Elmore 65.5; Wetumpka 57; McAdory 41; Spanish Fort 38; Chelsea 37.5; Hueytown 34; Fort Payne 29; Minor 28; Muscle Shoals 27.5; Austin 27; Park Crossing 22.0; Opelika 21; Pell City 20; Decatur 18; Shades Valley 18; Walker 18; Huffman 12; Daphne 8; Hartselle 7; Lee-Huntsville 5; Gulf shores 4; Brookwood 3; Paul Bryant 1

106 pounds: Ty Naquin (Stanhope Elmore) 11-0, Sr. over Cristian Lagunas (Athens) 33-8, Sr. (Dec 5-0).
113 pounds: Jacob Smith (Southside-Gadsden) 59-2, Jr. over John Mcalpin (Scottsboro) 47-6, So. (Dec 5-3).
120 pounds: Cameron Hamby (Pinson Valley) 39-7, Jr. over Seth Hyatt (Arab) 64-6, Jr. (MD 14-5).
126 pounds: Kolton Clark (Scottsboro) 47-4, Fr. over Aaron Ledbetter (Chelsea) 43-5, Sr. (Dec 13-6).
132 pounds: Andrew Schmitt (Arab) 60-7, Sr. over Bailey Roan (Homewood) 32-8, Jr. (Fall 4:14).
138 pounds: Joseph Green (Muscle Shoals) 38-3, Jr. over Vershone Graham (Wetumpka) 26-3, Sr. (SV-1 7-2).
145 pounds: Hasaan Hawthorne (Pelham) 37-0, Sr. over Landon Thompson (Southside-Gadsden) 53-3, Jr. (Dec 7-3).
152 pounds: Nick Cater (Arab) 71-3, Sr. over Dillon Turner (Pelham) 30-1, Sr. (Dec 10-4).
160 pounds: Brett Clark (Scottsboro) 43-4, Sr. over Thomas Coley (Benjamin Russell) 45-10, Sr. (Dec 5-1).
170 pounds: Will Spencer (Arab) 69-3, Jr. over Thomas Carter (Athens) 54-8, So. (Dec 7-6).
182 pounds: Austin Weldon (Clay-Chalkville) 56-3, Sr. over Carlos miguel Figueroa (Homewood) 38-2, Fr. (Dec 3-0).
195 pounds: Andrew Freeman (Gardendale) 53-2, Jr. over Dawson Mcdaniel (Arab) 60-4, Sr. (Dec 3-2).
220 pounds: Justavious Robinson (Benjamin Russell) 22-2, Sr. over Trent Holley (Wetumpka) 17-4, Jr. (Dec 5-3).
285 pounds: Daniel Bland (Benjamin Russell) 50-1, Sr. over Jacob Andrews (Stanhope Elmore) 26-5, So. (Dec 7-2)

6A MVP: Hasaan Hawthorne, Pelham.
6A Most Pins: John Mcalpin, Scottsboro (3 pins, 2:53).
6A Best Match: (138-pound final) Joseph Green, Muscle Shoals vs. Vershone Graham, Wetumpka.

Vestavia Hills 134.5; Oak Mountain 131; Thompson 97.5; Hoover 97; Central-Phenix City 56; Tuscaloosa County 47; Hewitt-Trussville 43; Prattville 39.5; Bob Jones 35.5; Auburn 35; Mountain Brook 34; Huntsville 33; Buckhorn 24; Grissom 22; Sparkman 22; James Clemens 15; Jeff Davis 7; Smiths Station 4; Gadsden City 2

106 pounds: Alex Thomas (Oak Mountain) 28-3, So. over Tyler Ivey (Grissom) 51-7, Fr. (Dec 3-2).
113 pounds: Gabe Hixenbaugh (Thompson) 20-4, Fr. over Maxwell Kauffman (Central-Phenix City) 33-4, Fr. (Dec 3-0).
120 pounds: Carlos Andres (Tuscaloosa County) 37-1, Sr. over Heath Williamson (Hewitt-Trussville) 45-2, Jr. (Dec 7-5).
126 pounds: Dominic Latona (Thompson) 33-4, Sr. over Quin Estes (Vestavia Hills) 31-16, Sr. (Fall 2:00).
132 pounds: Khaleel Johnson (Auburn) 44-0, Sr. over Drew Reed (Mountain Brook) 51-2, Sr. (Dec 10-5).
138 pounds: Michael John Harris (Oak Mountain) 37-4, Sr. over Jarrett Anthony (Hoover) 34-9, Sr. (MD 17-9).
145 pounds: Robbey Killough (Prattville) 53-1, Sr. over Matthew Paugh (Vestavia Hills) 23-4, So. (Fall 5:22).
152 pounds: Robert Morales (Central-Phenix City) 40-2, So. over Bowman Hill (Vestavia Hills) 48-10, So. (Dec 9-7).
160 pounds: Hayden Hill (Vestavia Hills) 48-2, Sr. over Chris Leatherman (Sparkman) 37-7, Sr. (MD 16-8).
170 pounds
: Brooks Schrimsher (Huntsville) 47-4, Jr. over Barrett Blakely (Oak Mountain) 46-5, So. (Dec 7-3).
182 pounds: Davis Perry (Hewitt-Trussville) 25-0, Sr. over Seth Bruder (James Clemens) 45-14, So. (MD 16-6).
195 pounds: Bret Winters (Hoover) 48-0, Sr. over Jaried Buxton (Oak Mountain) 49-6, Sr. (MD 17-4).
220 pounds: James Edwards (Vestavia Hills) 39-3, Jr. over Josh Smith (Tuscaloosa County) 46-1, Sr. (Dec 6-5).
285 pounds: Tj Rayam (Thompson) 31-2, Sr. over Armond Lloyd (Oak Mountain) 33-11, Sr. (Dec 7-5).

7A MVP: Robbey Killough, Prattville

7A Most Pins: Josh Smith, Tuscaloosa County (2 pins, 2:56)

7A Best Match: 152-pound final: Robert Morales, Central-Phenix City vs. Bowman Hill, Vestavia Hills

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