Young Tigers team hopes to improve

Published 6:11 pm Thursday, December 1, 2011

Tigers team: The 2011-12 Chilton County wrestling squad includes: (front row) Patrick Kurdziel, Andrew King, Richard Leige, Jaylon Landreth, (back row) Justyn Jackson, Hunter Edwards, Clay Bailey, Caleb Smith, Paul Shearon and Spencer Watley.

A young Chilton County wrestling team started its season with losses Wednesday against Robert E. Lee and Carver-Montgomery.

The Tigers fell, 66-19 and 51-16, respectively, but there were several bright spots.

Paul Shearon, a junior, won his match against Lee, with a 10-4 decision in the 132-pound weight class.

Hunter Edwards, a sophomore, won his 170-pound class match against Carver with a first-round pin, and Andrew King, also a sophomore, won his first-ever match by pin in the first round of a 195-pound weight class tilt.

Edwards, a first-year varsity starter, and King, a first-year wrestler, are among the reasons CCHS coaches Danny Jackson, Clark Watley and Ronald Smith are optimistic the squad will continue to improve as the season progresses.

“We lost four wrestlers last year who went to state, and two who finished second in their weight classes,” Jackson said. “We’ve got a lot of potential, but we hope to keep it growing.”

There are no seniors on the team. Juniors Caleb Smith (126-pound weight class), Shearon and Spencer Watley (285), and sophomores Edwards and Justyn Jackson (220) are the team’s experienced wrestlers.

Patrick Kurdziel (120), eighth grader Jaylon Landreth (145) and sophomores Richard Leige (120), Clay Bailey (152) and Cody Baker (220) are wrestling newcomers.

The Tigers are practicing at Victory Chapel Church. They don’t have a home meet scheduled this season, though coaches are still trying to line one up.

The rest of the current regular season schedule follows:

•Dec. 6: at Montgomery Catholic with St. James

•Dec. 15: at Shelby County with Minor, Springville

•Dec. 17: at Benjamin Russell

•Dec. 20: at Holtville

•Dec. 30: at Moody Invitational Tournament

•Jan. 6-7: at St. James Invitational Tournament

•Jan. 12: at Shelby County with Fultondale, McAdory

•Jan. 16: at Tallassee with Homewood, Wetumpka, Benjamin Russell

•Jan. 19: at Brookwood with Hillcrest

•Jan. 24: at Wetumpka with Holtville

•Jan. 28: at Shelby County

•Feb. 7: at Calera with Walker

“We have a very demanding schedule to get us ready for sectionals and then the state tournament in February,” Danny Jackson said.