Area title contenders fall short at state tourney
by W. Brian Hale
Feb 15, 2014 | 1368 views | 0 0 comments | 46 46 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Dora’s Austin Everett, right, wrestles Tallassee’s Kennon Reese in the 126-pound state championship match at the state wrestling meet in Huntsville on Saturday. Reese won the match 5-1. Photo by W. Brian Hale
Dora’s Austin Everett, right, wrestles Tallassee’s Kennon Reese in the 126-pound state championship match at the state wrestling meet in Huntsville on Saturday. Reese won the match 5-1. Photo by W. Brian Hale
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HUNTSVILLE — The final day of the AHSAA State Wrestling Championship Tournament ended in disappointment for the area’s two title contenders.

Dora’s Austin Everett fell to state champion Kennon Reese of Tallassee by a 5-1 decision in the 126-pound weight class, while Sumiton Christian’s Matthew McGough lost to 160-pound state champion BJ Thomas of Tallassee via a technical fall.

Only Dora’s Caleb Lauderdale was able to place among the remaining area competitors, earning the 170-pound fourth spot after losing the consolation bracket finals match to Ryan Johnson of Fultondale.

Other Bulldog grapplers who fell in Saturday’s consolation bracket semifinals were Recio Winchester (113 lbs.), Chase Warren (138 lbs.) and Vernon Brown (160 lbs.). Corner’s Dalton Absher (126 lbs.) also lost his consolation bracket semifinal match to bring his year to an end.

Despite the area’s inability to produce a state champion this season, many of the competitors who made the trip to Huntsville will have the opportunity to return next year.

Of the nine wrestlers who qualified for the state tournament from the Daily Mountain Eagle coverage area, six were underclassmen.

Dora’s Winchester, Everett and Warren are juniors, while Lauderdale and 220 lbs. grappler Daylan Brasfield are sophomores.

Sumiton Christian’s McGough is also a junior.