Gardendale claims their second consecutive state wrestling title

Huntsville, AL – The defending state champion Gardendale Rockets got points when it counted most Saturday, surviving a strong challenge from the Arab Arabian Knights to claim the Class 5A/6A state title as the 66th AHSAA State Wrestling Championships capping the 2021 season at Huntsville’s Von Braun Center.

The Rockets, coached by Brian Brasseal, accumulated 189.5 points while Kyle Routon’s Arabian Knights, had 178.5. Wetumpka finished third with 150 and McAdory took fourth place with 146.

Gardendale and Arab, two of the state’s most powerful programs year in and year out, went into the consolation division finals Saturday separated by just two points. Gardendale emerged with a six-point lead heading into the championship bouts. After the only head-to-head battle  between the two teams that battled nip-and-tuck from the first day, the Rockets took control and cruised to the title.

Junior Isaiah Powe (33-0) won that key 120-pound title match over senior Jacob Holland (43-7) with  pin at 3:53 to stretch the Rockets’ lead to 11 points –  essentially sealing  the second straight state championship for the Rockets. It was also the second consecutive individual state championship for Powe, who won the 6A title in 2020 in the `113-pound weight class. Powe, who has an 83-2 record over the last two seasons, and his brothers Daishon (113 pounds) and Melton (138 pounds) all reached the finals of their weight divisions, the first time in recent memory that three brothers had accomplished that feat. Daishon (22-5) was beaten by Athens’ Will Anderson and Melton (32-2) posted an exciting 11-9 decision over previously unbeaten Kyler Adams (35-1) of Wetumpka.

The 5A/6A championships were filled with big moments, which featured a 32-wrestler bracket in all 14 weight divisions, with wrestlers competing over three days.

Moody junior Cory Land won his fourth straight state crown winning the 126-pound weight class and closing out his third straight undefeated season. Land (44-0) won by a technical fall over Homewood’s Sam Sutton. The match was called at 2:43 with the Blue Devil grappler leading 21-6.

Alexandria junior Jaden New (17-0) pinned Gabe Sweat (34-3) of Buckhorn in the 152-pound class at 4:27 for his 114th consecutive win and third straight individual state title. He took the Class 1A/5A crown at 145 pounds last year with a 52-0 record. He also won the 132-pound state championship in 2019

Oxford senior Chase Hicks (38-2) and Spanish Fort junior Gabe Warren (29-2) squared off in the 145 pound division in a battle of defending champions. Hicks, who won at 152 pounds in 2020, came out on top in a 10-6 decision over Warren, who won last year at 132 pounds.

In the only championship match featuring two undefeated grapplers, Pelham sophomore  Rafael Hipolito (25-0) won the 160-pound weight class title with a hard-fought 12-8 decision over Oxford senior Jakob Chisolm (25-1).

Arab junior Caleb Roe won the 170-pound weight class with a 7-2 decision over Pelham sophomore Seth Branham (36-3) as the Arabian Knights closed strong in its final two matches of the tourney.

Wetumpka senior Mason Blackwell (16-0) helped the Indians finish third overall winning the 182-pound title for the second year in a row with a 7-2 decision over Southside-Gadsden’s Carnel Davis (46-3). Also finishing undefeated was Gulf Shores senior Riley Kuhn (22-0), who won the 220-pound title with a 7-3 decision over Wetumpka senior Abe Preston (29-2).

Shades Valley senior Dylan Daring (23-0) closed out a perfect season in the final championship bout with a 9-4 decision over Damien Lawry of Benjamin Russell (28-2).

Most Pins went to Isaiah Powe of Gardendale. The best match was the 132-pound finals won 5-2vby Jacob Dease of Southside-Gadsden over Manley Havis of Jasper. The Most Outstanding Wrestler was Southside’s Jacob Dease, who beat three defending champions during the tourney.

Ashville won the 1A/4A state wrestling title last weekend at Montgomery’s Garrett Coliseum and Vestavia Hills claimed the Class 7A title at Birmingham’s Bill Harris Arena.

AHSAA Class 5A/6A State Wrestling Championships
Gardendale 189.5; Arab 178.5; Wetumpka 150.0; McAdory 146.0; Fort Payne 133.5; Homewood 122.0; Pelham 120.0; Southside-Gadsden 104.0; Oxford 103.0; Jasper 98.0.

Saturday’s Championship Bout Results
106 Pounds: Brodie Christmas, Mortimer Jordan (42-2), Fr., vs. Cale Tucker, Chelsea (21-2), So.,  major decision, 9-1.
113 Pounds: Will Anderson, Athens (28-1), 8th, dec. Daishon Powe, Gardendale (22-5), Fr., major decision, 16-4.
120 Pounds: 
Isaiah Powe, Gardendale (33-0), So., pinned Jacob Holland, Arab (43-7), Sr., 3:53.
126 Pounds: Cory Land, Moody (44-0), Jr., dec. Sam Sutton, Homewood (35-4), So., technical fall, 2:43, 21-6.
132 Pounds: Jacob Dease, Southside-Gadsden (51-5) dec. Maney Havis, Jasper (38-5), Sr., 5-2.
138 Pounds: 
Melton Powe, Gardendale (33-2), Jr., dec. Kyler Adams, Wetumpka (35-1), Sr., 11-9.
145 Pounds: 
Chase Hicks, Oxford (39-2), Sr., dec. Gabe Warren, Spanish Fort (29-2), Jr., 10-6.
152 Pounds: Jaden New, Alexandria (17-0), Jr., pinned Gabe Sweat, Buckhorn (34-3), Sr., 4:27.
160 Pounds: 
Rafael Hipolito, Pelham (25-0), So., dec. Jakob Chisolm, Oxford (25-1), Sr., 12-8.
170 Pounds: 
Caleb Roe, Arab (47-4), Jr., dec. Seth Branham, Pelham (36-2), So., 7-2.
182 Pounds: Mason Blackwell, Wetumpka (16-0), Sr., dec. Carnel Davis, Southside-Gadsden (46-4), Sr., 7-2.
195 Pounds: Drake Ewing, Gulf Shores (38-3), Sr., dec. John McKimmon, Mtn Brook (35-1), Sr., disqualification.
220 Pounds: Riley Kuhn, Fort Payne (23-0), Sr., dec, Abe Preston, Wetumpka (29-3), Sr., 7-3.
285 Pounds: Dylan Daring, Shades Valley (23-0), Sr., dwc. Damien Lawry, Ben Russell (28-2), Sr., 9-4.

Consolation Finals
106 Pounds: Peter Henderson, McAdory (37-3), Sr. dec. Ramon Lozada, Elmore County (23-3), Fr., 3-2.
113 Pounds: 
Hudson Waldrop, McAdory (45-2), So. dec. Chad Strickland, Wetumpka (28-8o., ) 28-8, So. (Dec 7-1)
120 Pounds: Graham Miner, Homewood (32-6), Jr., dec. Lincoln Bryant, Hartselle (28-4), Fr. . SV-1 4-2.
126 Pounds: 
Cote Blalock, Fort Payne (22-1), Jr., pinned Gunner Birdsong, Athens (28-10), So., 2:24.
132 Pounds: 
Bryce Wanagat, Pelham (34-2), Jr., pinned William Walker, Satsuma (29-2), Sr., 2:59.
145 Pounds: 
Gray Ortis, Mountain Brook (32-2), Jr., dec. Dawson Williams, Fort Payne (24-7), So., 10-4.
152 Pounds: Keenan Wyatt, Gardendale (32-4), Jr., dec. Donald Phillips, McAdory (31-4), Jr., , 9-2.
160 Pounds: 
Carson Kim, Gardendale (26-2) Sr., pinned Jason Minchew, Shades Valley (27-4), Sr., 2:19.
170 Pounds: 
Preston Reed, Jasper (34-4), Jr., dec. Luke Jasper, Mortimer Jordan (32-7), Jr., 6-0.
182 Pounds: 
Preston Royster, Chelsea (25-2), Sr., pinned William Caneer, Buckhorn (35-4), So., 2:40.
195 Pounds: 
John-Mark Crocker, Homewood (24-1), Sr., dec. Jonathan Pugh, Arab (44-5), Jr., 7-6.
220 Pounds: 
Kolby Clark, Scottsboro (21-3), Jr., pinned Michael Robertson, Arab (22-11), Sr., 2:26.
285 Pounds: 
C.J. Williams, Springville (39-2) pinned Demaria Jones, Center Point (12-4), Sr., 1:32.