Tigers eye state wrestling meet

Published 8:22 pm Thursday, February 10, 2011

Pulling my leg: Chilton County High School wrestlers Spencer Watley, left, and Dylan Jackson practice Thursday. Jackson enters Friday’s Class 5A, Section 1 tournament seeded second in the 189-pound weight class.

Friday and Saturday will reveal just how far the Chilton County wrestling program has come.

In the third year of CCHS wrestling, the 2009-10 season, two Tigers qualified for the state tournament. Both Colby Bernier and Dylan Jackson are back as seniors, but this time they have teammates with dreams of competing at Huntsville’s Von Braun Center next weekend.

Coach Kess Cottingham said the heightened level of experience has been obvious.

“Especially my seniors—I’ve seen a lot more maturity out of them,” Cottingham said.

The Tigers on Friday and Saturday will compete in the Class 5A, Section 1 meet at Tallassee.

The top four wrestlers in each weight class at the sectional advance to state.

Jackson comes in as the No. 2 seed in the 189-pound weight class, Bernier is seeded third in the 160-pound weight class, junior Matt Thomas is seeded third in the heavyweight class, and freshman Justyn Jackson—Dylan’s brother—is seeded sixth in the 215-pound weight class.

Further proof of the squad’s playoff pedigree is that Bernier will be trying to earn his third consecutive trip to state, and senior Caleb Mims made state two years ago.

Bernier fought through surgery for a torn meniscus that caused him to miss a month of action.

He lost four matches all season, and two of those came to the Class 5A defending state champion, Chris Adams of Tallassee.

Aside from Tallassee and Chilton County, Brookwood, Chelsea, Erwin, Hueytown, McAdory, Mortimer Jordan, Paul Bryant, Pinson Valley, Russell County, Shelby County and Walker will compete in the sectional.

Weigh-in will be at 4 p.m. Friday and 7 a.m. Saturday.