Tigers matmen rolling
HHS 18-5 in Duals Matches
The Hartselle wrestling team is 18-5 in duals matches this year, and with three matches remaining until Sectionals, head coach Keith Corder expects a return trip to Pelham for the championship.
"Our goal is to win Sectionals and place in the top 3 at state," Corder said. "I feel if we can get everybody back healthy, we can do that."
Corder's team is battling injuries, as Luke Mize, Chad Vest and Corey Farmer have been out of action for several matches.
Corder said he hopes Mize will be able to return soon from a broken leg suffered earlier in the season. Mize is a state runner-up from last year.
Vest and Farmer should be able to return from shoulder injuries for the Sectional tournament.
"We've had to face some tough competition without them," Corder said. "We've managed to do well, though."
Hartselle placed third out of 16 teams in the Huntsville Invitational, fourth at the Rossview Duals in Clarksville, Tennessee and 10th out of 20 teams in the Hoover Invitational.
Drew Stoddard is filling in for Mize at the 125 pound level, while Andrew Watson has stepped in for Vest, wrestling at 135. Farmer wrestles at the 140 pound level and boasts a 22-4 record.
Corder said he expects Farmer, Mize, Hunter Brasher (112), Ben Eubanks (160), Matt Owens (171) and Kurt Hamilton (152) to lead the Tigers to Pelham.
A decision by the Board of Education has also played a major role in the success of this year's season thus far.
Prior to this year, eighth graders were not allowed to wrestle for the team. Something that hurt, because, according to Corder, it is tough to find a wrestler small enough for the 103-pound class. Now, with the board making the decision to allow the eighth graders, Corder does not have to forfeit the weight class at matches.
"Now we don't have to forfeit," he said. "We're very appreciative of the board seeing that need and allowing eighth graders to wrestle."
Ryder Brasher has stepped into the 103-pound class and holds an 11-8 record.
The team will next wrestle in Grissom Saturday and return home for matches next Thursday and Friday evening.
The 5A North Sectionals are January 25 and the Alabama State Tournament, held in Pelham, will be the following weekend.
See MATMEN, B-2