Wildcats grapple for statewide supremacyPublished 2:25pm Thursday, February 14, 2013
By Ed Bailey
And then there were 10.
After its first sectional crown since 2006, Benjamin Russell’s sights are set on even greater success.
Ten Wildcat wrestlers are heading to Huntsville as Benjamin Russell will vie for the Class 5A state championship this weekend.
Seven of the 10 grapplers are seniors: Devante Stamps (145-pound division), Blake Chappell (182-pound division), Gavin Fuller (132-pound division), Logan Clark (152-pound division), Cody Padgett (106-pound division), Javion Banks (220-pound division) and Latrevor Milner (195-pound division).
Freshmen Daniel Bland and Caleb Bailey will compete in the heavyweight and 126-pound division, respectively.
Junior Deon Maxwell will compete in the 170-pound division.
BRHS wrestling coach Andrew Campbell said that the team is firing on all cylinders at the right time, thanks to the training style implemented throughout the season.
Campbell said the plan was to incrementally ramp up the intensity levels and then bring the team’s workload down to refresh them before sectionals.
“That’s why we worked them so hard during the season,” Campbell said. “It helps that they’re getting healthy and peaking at the right time. It worked exactly as we thought it would.”
Campbell said that with the school’s history in wrestling, the team is heading into the state tourney with a fire.
“They’re both confident and hungry,” he said. “It goes back to the way we’ve been treating them. This is Benjamin Russell wrestling and when you get out there on the mat, you can beat anyone.”
Campbell said that with the team performing as it is, top finishes are very likely.
“I feel confident that every single one of our wrestlers can place at state, especially with the way that they’re wrestling now,” Campbell said. “I like our chances going into it as long as we wrestle smart and go six minutes. We’ve got to wrestle all six minutes. We can’t slack off.”