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Tigers pose for a pic
Photo courtesy of THS Wrestling

Tigers second in Swede Umbach

By Michael Butler

The Tallassee wrestling team has been taking care of its usual business. The varsity squad is off to an 11-0 start in dual matches.

Last year's group dropped only one duals match, the state duals final to Jasper. That team was 32-1 at season's end. The 2022 unit went 29-1.

In tournaments, the Tigers have also been strong over the years. One of the measuring sticks has been the Swede Umbach Tournament, held every year in Auburn. The THS program has participated in most of the Umbach tourneys over the past decade, but according to head coach John Mask, never placed higher than last weekend's performance.

Tallassee was the runner-up to Hewitt-Trussville, missing the title by three points. Plus, the Tigers were without three starters. There were 22 participating teams.

"It's a brutal tournament," said Mask. "The second place finish looks to be our best. I can't find a year where we did better. The best I can tell, we finished fourth in 2011 and Josh Epperson won it. We did not attend for several years because we went to Weaver for their tourney."

Land Bell and Ramon Lozada took first in their weight classes.

"Not many have won the Swede," Mask added. "Land and Ramon are in rare company."

In addition, Mason Nelson, Christian McCary and Ethan Jones each finished second in their divisions. Avery Brantley was third in his.

"This was our first individual tournament of the year and we wrestled well," said Mask. "The Swede is a very tough tournament with teams from Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee. We are so proud of our wrestlers and look forward to improving each and every day."

Up next for Tallassee are trips to Beulah on Tuesday and Catholic in Montgomery on Friday.


THS Placers (Weight Class):

Mason Nelson (113) 
2nd place

Ramon Lozada (120)
Swede Umbach Champion

Avery Brantley (138)
3rd place

Land Bell (144)
Swede Umbach Champion

Ethan Jones (150)
2nd place

Christian McCary (165)
2nd place