|Joseph Hooks goes up against Jasper's Luke Horsley in the 172-pound match. Photo by Marvin Gentry, AHSAA.
Wrestlers fall short in title quest
By Michael Butler
Tallassee wrestling coach John Mask called Tuesday's semifinal match at THS "one of the best" he has seen in his 23 years with the program. The Tigers advanced to the Class 5A state title match with the 33-29 win over Gulf Shores.
The championship against Jasper on Friday at the Birmingham Crossplex was much like the semi but unfortunately with a different result. Tallassee lost 38-33 bringing home the runners-up trophy.
Tallassee's record in duals matches is now 23-1.
"We are so proud of each and every wrestler. Each young man gave his all and fought until the end," Mask said. "This was an amazing journey for our team and what an accomplishment. The legacy that this group leaves to future teams is one that will hopefully motivate each and every wrestler to do his best.
"The THS wrestling team would like to thank WTLS for providing the championship to everyone back home. We also would like to thank the entire Tallassee High School and administration for their tremendous support shown to our program. We are so very appreciative."
|Team pic after Tuesday's semifinal win. Photo by Kyle Thornton.
There were a good number of fans clad in purple in gold in the Magic City. They got their money's worth.
The match swayed back and forth after Jasper grabbed the early 10-0 lead. Tallassee got three straight pins from Ethan Jones (140), Land Bell (147) and Christian McCary (154) to take an 18-10 advantage.
After the Pirates had regained the lead, Caden Griffith earned a technical fall in the 184-pound class to put Tallassee back in front 23-19.
Jasper took control with three straight wins afterward. They led 32-23 with three matches remaining. Rutland Phillips (108) got a pin and Mason Nelson (115) picked up a major decision to bring the score to 33-32 Tallassee. But the final match went to Jasper to clinch it.
Although the duals championsips are complete, the season is not over. Tallassee has five regular season match dates and the traditional state post-season in mid-February - with an opportunity for individual titles and a team championship still in front of them.
"We turn our attention to the AHSAA sectional tournament and change our mindset to more of an individual one," Mask added. "We still score points for the team but the approach changes."
Tallassee's next match will be in Seale on Tuesday, Jan. 24 vs. Russell County, Houston Academy and Hardaway, Ga. Brewbaker Tech and Stanhope Elmore come to Tallassee on Thursday. Senior Night will be on Friday vs. Elmore County and Valley.
128 - Ethan Caldwell (Jasper) over Avery Brantley (Tallassee) Major (15-4) - Jasper 4-0
134 - Antonio Nash (Jasper) over Mason Ledbetter (Tallassee) Fall :48 - Jasper 10-0
140 - Ethan Jones (Tallassee) over David Baradell (Jasper) Fall (4:57) - Jasper 10-6
147 - Land Bell (Tallassee) over Jaylen Martinex (Jasper) Fall (4:25) - Tallassee 12-10
154 - Christian McCary (Tallassee) over Garrett Caldwell (Jasper) Fall (1:26) - Tallassee 18-10
162 - Carter Reed (Jasper) over Tra' Mel Mccoy (Tallassee) Fall (3:08) - Tallassee 18-16
172 - Luke Horsley (Jasper) over Joseph Hooks (Tallassee) Decision (12-7) - Jasper 19-18
184 - Caden Griffith
(Tallassee) over Tyson Phillips (Jasper) Technical Fall (17-2) - Tallassee 23-19
197 - Jamie Burnam (Jasper) over
Nolan Addeo (Tallassee) Major Decision (11-0) - Tied 23-23
222 - Cole Carter (Jasper) over Jude Rogers (Tallassee) Decision (3-0) - Jasper 26-23
287 - Colin Langley (Jasper) over Corbin Grover (Tallassee) Fall (1:40) - Jasper 32-23
108 - Rutland Phillips (Tallassee) over Leo Garcia (Jasper) Fall (1:18) - 6 points - Jasper 32-29
115 - Mason Nelson (Tallassee) over Ethan Cummings (Jasper) Major (9-0) - Tallassee 33-32
122 - Kortez Samuels (Jasper) over Brad Adams (Tallassee) Fall (2:33) - Jasper 38-33
2022-23 Season Schedule/Results