Hartselle qualifies 6 wrestlers for state tournament
Blanton and Hamilton win sectional titles
Justin Schuver, Hartselle Enquirer
SCOTTSBORO – The Hartselle Tigers had six wrestlers qualify for the state tournament at the Section 2 meet in Scottsboro Friday and Saturday. The six wrestlers who qualified will continue onto the state tournament in Pelham this Friday and Saturday.
Those wrestlers are Kyle Davis (125 pounds), Caleb Blanton (145), Barrett Eubanks (152), Dallas Kalber (160), Ethan Hamilton (189) and Daniel Filiatrault (215). Davis and Blanton qualified for state in 2006 and the others are all first-time qualifiers.
"I thought the team did well today," Hartselle coach Dan Styles said. "We could have maybe had a few more qualify but overall I'm pleased with our performance."
Blanton and Hamilton were undefeated at the sectional tournament and took first place in their respective weight classes. Hartselle also had two second-place finishers – Davis and Kalber. Eubanks and Filiatrault finished third in their class.
As a team, Hartselle finished in fifth place overall with 115 points, one point behind fourth place Hayden. Defending state champion Scottsboro was first overall with 210 points.
Blanton tied with Scottsboro's Richard Wayne in the voting for Most Outstanding Wrestler at the sectional tournament. Blanton is currently ranked No. 1 overall by Alabamawrestling.net and finished in second place in the 140-pound division at the 2006 state tournament. Hamilton is also currently ranked No. 1 in his weight class.
Unfortunately missing the cut for the state tournament was senior Jake Watkins, who was pinned by Athens' DeWayne Raney in the consolation semifinals of the 171-pound weight class. Watkins qualified for state his junior year.
"It's really tough for Jake because he's a strong kid and he just made one mistake but that's enough to get you beat in this sport," Styles said.
The other wrestlers who participated in the sectional tournament but did not qualify for state were Alan Durham, Josh Rhoden, Zach Hill and Garrett Baldwin.
Blanton defeated Southside's Brant Bush in the finals of the 145-pound division, winning in a close 2-1 decision. Earlier at the sectional tournament, he defeated Hayden's Justin Russell 7-6 in a match where Russell led 5-4 after two periods. In his first match, Blanton pinned Fort Payne's Landon Crowe.
Hamilton had no trouble with Southside's Jeremy Foster in the finals of the 189-pound division, winning the match 14-3. Earlier, he defeated Butler's Princetess Laws 11-7 and defeated Athens' Blake Sulcer by pin.
Kalber fell in the finals of the 160-pound class when he was pinned by Scottsboro's Kyle Cuthbertson. Earlier in the tournament, Kalber defeated Fort Payne's Ben Barrontine 8-6 and pinned Lee's Patrick Chandler. The win over Barrontine was especially notable because Barrontine is the defending 2006 champion in the 160-pound weight class. He eventually qualified in the consolation bracket and could face Kalber again in Pelham.
Davis was pinned by Scottsboro's Tyler Machen in the second round of the 125-pound final. Earlier in the tournament, Davis defeated Moody's Kent Lawley 14-13 and pinned Southside's Chase Matthews.
Eubanks and Filiatrault each won their opening match but dropped the second match to fall to the consolation bracket. Each was victorious in their two consolation matches. Eubanks defeated Arab's Tyler King 9-1 in the consolation semifinal then dropped Hayden's Joseph Trosclair 8-2 in the consolation final. At the 2006 sectional in Huntsville, Eubanks injured himself in an opening match and was not allowed to continue and missed out on a chance to qualify for state.
Filiatrault pinned Hayden's Calvin Hale in the consolation semifinal and followed that with a pin of Moody's Michael Nichols in the consolation final.
The state tournament begins with championship quarterfinals at noon Friday at the Pelham Civic Complex. Semifinals are scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. and Saturday's wrestling begins at 9:30 a.m. with consolation quarterfinals. The championship finals begin at 5:30 p.m.