CCHS wrestler Jackson qualifies for state

Published 10:18 pm Monday, February 13, 2012

Justyn Jackson will keep alive the Chilton County wrestling program’s streak of sending a wrestler to the state tournament.

Jackson, a sophomore with a record of 24-10, qualified for state Saturday at the Class 5A, Section 1 meet at Tallassee, meaning at least one CCHS wrestler has qualified for state in each of the program’s five years of existence.

Jackson’s road to state was a winding one. He pinned Jonathon Morris of McAdory on Friday but was pinned in the semifinals of the championship side of the bracket by Barrett Crossley of Pinson Valley.

In the consolation side of the bracket, Jackson pinned Torrelle Young of Walker and was pinned in the consolation finals by Cody Oliver of Mortimer Jordan.

But Jackson’s performance was good enough for him to finish in the top four of the section, meaning he will next compete in the state tournament in Huntsville beginning on Thursday.

Jackson is one of eight wrestlers remaining in the state in the 220-pound weight class.

He will face defending state champion Cary Pierce of Arab in the quarterfinals on Friday.

Several other Chilton grapplers were close to making state.

Spencer Watley went all the way to the semifinals of the 285-pound class consolation bracket after losing to No. 2 seed Zach Poling of Russell County. Watley defeated Frederick Wilson of Centerpoint and Houston Thompson of Brookwood before losing to Tyler Downard.

He was one win away from qualifying for state.

Patrick Liege also made it to the semifinals of the consolation bracket after losing to Greg Bianchi of Tallassee on Friday. Then, on Saturday, Liege defeated Joseph Wipperman of Chelsea and Jacob Runyan of Walker before losing to Boston Yeager of Brookwood.

Liege was also one win away from the state tournament in the 126-pound weight class.

Clay Bailey won one match at 154 pounds.

The Tigers finished 10th in the team standings.

“We competed hard and did not give up despite our short numbers and inexperience,” coach Danny Jackson said.