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Photo by Kyle Thornton

Wrestlers advance to semis

By Michael Butler

Hosting a semifinal in the state playoffs is a rare opportunity in high school sports. Tallassee will get its chance this week.

The Tigers will wrestle for a state championship bid vs. Gulf Shores in front of the home fans on Tuesay, Jan. 17 at 5 p.m. Tickets are available through GoFan.

The purple and gold advanced in the AHSAA Class 5A State Duals on Saturday with a convincing 57-11 win over Elberta. Tallassee improved to 22-0 in duals matches this season.

The record is similar at this stage a year ago. Tallassee lost to Gulf Shores in the quarterfinal round after entering the match with a 20-0 record.

"We're excited about hosting Gulf Shores in the semifinals," THS head coach John Mask said. "We also understand that we will need to be at our best Tuesday."

The winner will advance to the state championship to face the Jasper/Hayden winner. The title will be determined on Friday, Jan. 20 at 5:30 p.m. at the Birmingham CrossPlex.

This is just the second year of the state duals format. Unlike the state championships that come at season's end, there is no sectional to determine individual state qualifiers. The entire team wrestles in each of the post-season duals match round by round.

Tallassee won a team championship in 2014. The program has 31 individual championships since 1997.