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Tribe wrestles for wins in Rocket City

Published 12:48pm Thursday, January 9, 2014

The Wetumpka Indian wrestling team racked up a 2-1 record at the James Clemens Duals in Huntsville, Ala. Friday and Saturday.
In a strong field of 18 teams, the Tribe opened the event with a 36-9 victory over Huntsville’s Westminster Christian Academy. Wetumpka squeaked out a 38-30 win over Austin, of Decatur, before losing to Tennessee’s Hixson Wildcats 63-14.
Indian junior Khaliq Jones led the way for Wetumpka, winning all three of his contests. Wrestling in the 152-pound division, he picked up a pin at the :48 mark in his first bout against Westminster’s Quinton Thies. Shifting back up to his normal 160-pound class, Jones shut out Austin’s Kevin Turner 16-0 and won by technical fall. The junior garnered another 16-0, technical fall victory–one of just three for the team–over Landon Goforth, of Hixson, grappling back down in the 152-pound division.
When Jones wasn’t wrestling at his usual 160-pound class, Wetumpka’s Marcus Graham matched up in that slot, collecting a forfeit win in the Westminster dual and a pinfall victory over Hixson’s Ryan Turner. In the Austin meet, Graham moved back up to his normal 170-pound division and pinned Tayon Charles.
Also earning pinfalls wins for the Tribe versus Westminster Christian was Cameron Spurlin (106-pound) and Trent Holley (195-pound), who beat Jacob Poole and Kendall Farr, respectively. For their only nine dual points, Westminster’s Ethan Pippen (145-pound) matted Wetumpka’s Shalom Nowden and Reid Singles (170-pound) won by decision against Indian Trevor Leonard.
Spurlin opened the Austin matchup for the Tribe with a pinfall win over Jake Locker, but the Black Bears collected the next 24 points. Amid three forfeits by Wetumpka, in the 126-pound bout, Austin’s Desmond Dempsey defeated Logan Townson.
After Townson’s loss, Nowden reignited the Indians with his pinfall against Jacob Sandlin, and his team rattled off 32 straight points, including the wins by Jones and Graham. In the 182-pound division, Wetumpka’s Caleb Soukhamneut picked up the 16-11 decision on Houston Fogg. Tristan Leonard (195-pound), of Wetumpka, followed with a win of his own, a pin versus Liam McClure. And to round out the Tribe’s run, Mark Mathis (220-pound) pinned Austin’s Lane Dean.
For Wetumpka’s third and last win in the dual with Hixson, Nowden took a 9-5 decision over Ronny Huff.
Hixson’s Spencer Groves pulled out the close 4-3 decision against Spurlin, as the Wildcats started and finished strong in the matchup. Isaac Yates pinned Townson at the 1:19 mark. After the three consecutive victories by the Tribe, Chris Nicholson defeated Trevor Leonard by pinfall, sparking a streak of three straight Hixson results. Dylan Bargerstock (182-pound) and McKenzie Martin (195-pound) matted Soukhamneut and Holley respectively, as the Wildcats went on the win 63-14.
The Indians return to the mat Thursday, hosting the Tallassee Tigers.

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