Shorthanded Tigers will compete in wrestling sectional beginning Friday

Published 12:50 pm Thursday, February 9, 2012

Chilton County’s wrestling team goes into its section tournament shorthanded, but the Tigers are still optimistic about their chances of advancing to state.

Injuries have taken their toll on the team—they found out recently that Caleb Smith, an experienced team leader, will not be available at the sectional, becoming the fourth wrestler lost to injury this year—as only six wrestlers will compete.

“We will have our work cut out for us this weekend, but these guys have worked hard all year long to get ready for this weekend,” said Danny Jackson, who coaches the team along with Clark Watley and Ronald Smith.

Competing in the sectional will be Patrick Kurdziel (who has gone 12-17 this year in the 122-pound weight class), Richard Leige (11-14 in the 128-pound class), Clay Bailey (10-16 at 154 pounds), Jaylon Landreath (5-18 at 140), Justyn Jackson (24-8 at 222) and Spencer Watley (14-16 at 287).

“Our record does not indicate how far we have come individually and team-wise,” Danny Jackson said. “Five out of the six wrestlers are in their first year of varsity action, and four are in their first year of wrestling. I know our record does not look impressive, but we have faced a lot of very good competition that should help us this weekend.”

The section tournament will be held at Tallassee High School on Friday and Saturday. The top four wrestlers in each weight class will advance to the state tournament next weekend in Huntsville.

The Tigers concluded their regular season with two matches at Calera on Tuesday. They lost to Calera, 33-27, and to Walker, 36-29.

Spencer Watley went 2-0 in his matches with two pins.

Justyn Jackson, Leige and Kurdziel also went 2-0. Paul Shearon andn Clay Bailey went 1-1. Landreath went 0-2.