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Bernier finishes fourth at state meet

The tournament veteran finished in fourth place, and the rookie gained valuable experience.

Like the rest of the Chilton County wrestling team, both Colby Bernier and Dylan Jackson will return next season, and their participation in the Class 5A state meet over the weekend will only help them—and the team—down the road.

“The main thing is keeping the team together because this will be a springboard,” CCHS coach Kess Cottingham said about a squad that includes no seniors.

Even more will be expected from Bernier and Jackson after their successful seasons that ended in the state meet at Huntsville’s Von Braun Center.

Bernier, in the 160-pound weight class, pinned Fort Payne’s Stuart Suttle in the quarterfinal round before losing an 18-7 decision to eventual state champion Tyler Newton of Hayden in the semifinals.

“Hayden’s coach was complimentary,” Cottingham said. “He said Colby wrestled Newton as well as anyone has this year.”

Bernier won his first consolation match and then lost an 8-6 decision to Mortimer Jordan’s Jake Jasper in the consolation finals, giving Bernier a fourth-place finish and a 28-8 record to end the year.

Jackson (18-10), meanwhile, in the 189-pound class, was pinned by Arab’s Klay Cranford in the quarterfinal round and then lost his consolation match.

“Dylan did real well just getting there,” Cottingham said. “Usually, first-year qualifiers don’t make a run.”

The good thing for Jackson is that he will have another chance to qualify for the state meet. Next year, he and Bernier might take more teammates with them.