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Bell Lozada Nelson

Three Tigers win titles, team places third

By Michael Butler

"The 2023-24 wrestling season has been one for the record books," said Tallassee head coach John Mask.

And he is right.

The Tigers added three more state champions at last week's state championships in Huntsville. Mason Nelson (106), Ramon Lozada (120) and Land Bell (144) won individual titles. It was the second for Bell, who won last year in the Class 5A 132-pound class.

Land Bell after winning his second state title
Photo by Tonya Rogers

Bell (57-0) and Nelson (49-5) return as seniors next season. Lozada (43-0) graduates in May. Only Josh Epperson (2013) had completed an undefeated season prior to Bell and Lozada this season.

Three more wrestlers placed in their classes. Tra'mel McCoy was third at 157. Christian McCary was third at 165. Avery Brantley was fourth at 138. Tallassee qualified wrestlers in all 14 weight classes after winning the Super South Sectional.

"As I sit down and think about every accomplishment that our team and individuals made this year, it really makes me swell with pride inside," Mask added. "I have always said that most people will never know how each of these wrestlers immerse themselves into our sport and how dedicated they are. Many hours have been spent training their minds and bodies for this season."

Having three state champions are the most by a THS team since having six individual champs in the state championship season of 2014.

"(It's) a phenomenal feat, and one that is rarely achieved. Also having six wrestlers from one team medaling is very hard to do."

Finally... time to feast
Photo by Tonya Rogers

Tallassee finished third behind Jasper and state champion Scottsboro, who beat the Tigers in the state duals championship in January.

"I am so very proud of each and every wrestler on our team. It takes every one of the wrestlers buying in and dedicating themselves to this sport to continue our tradition of winning. Every wrestler this year has played an important role in our success - everyone, from the wrestlers who don't start to the ones that do. It takes everyone buying in and working hard."

Tallassee went 37-1 in duals matches this season. Over the past three years that record is 98-3.

"This season will go down as one of the finest in program history, and our whole team should be proud of themselves and their accomplishments," Mask noted. "We also have some of the best parents around. It takes everyone from administration, school and parents to make it all work."

Class 5A Team Scores (Top 5)
Scottsboro 144.5
Jasper 125
Tallassee 120
Gulf Shores 117
Shelby County 70

Tallassee High School Individual Champions

1997 (4A) - Brian Freeman, Brandon Redden
2001 (4A) - Justin Harris, Eric Cagle, Brandon Rigsby
2002 (4A) - Eric Cagle, Justin Harris
2003 (4A) - Jonathan Webb
2004 (4A) - Jonathan Webb, Mack Farrow
2006 (4A) - Jonathan Haynes
2009 (5A) - Sharrod Person, John Stuckey
2010 (5A) - Chris Adams, T. C. Robinson
2011 (5A) - Chris Adams, T. C. Robinson
2012 (5A) - Josh Epperson
2013 (4A) - Josh Epperson, Jesse Rowlen
2014 (4A) - Kennon Reese, Josh Epperson, D. J. Rivers, B. J. Thomas, Drew Baker, Davontae McKenzie
2015 (5A) - Kennon Reese
2016 (5A) - Jake Baker
2017 (5A) - Jake Baker
2020 (5A) - Zak Haynes
2023 (5A) - Land Bell
2024 (5A) - Mason Nelson, Ramon Lozada, Land Bell

2023-24 Schedule/Results