Wrestling with mixed resultsPublished 1:32pm Tuesday, February 19, 2013
By Ed Bailey
Benjamin Russell grappled with heartbreak and triumph during this past weekend’s Class 5A state wrestling championships.
The team as a whole finished fourth overall.
“I thought we did remarkably well,” said BRHS wrestling coach Andrew Campbell. “Every single one of our guys performed well, and getting fourth at state was a team effort. I’m proud of our guys.”
Individually, the Wildcat wrestlers also found success.
Senior Blake Chappell shook off illness and claimed the Class 5A 182-pound state championship in a dominant 12-0 decision over Fort Payne’s David Langston.
“He actually spent a couple hours in the ER on Thursday to get some IVs in him,” Campbell said. “He’s tough. To come back from being in the ER on Thursday to winning the state championship on Saturday goes a long way in showing how tough he is.”
Senior Devante Stamps finished second in the 145-pound state championship after losing a 3-2 decision in double overtime. The match was voted the best one during the weekend.
Senior Gavin Fuller shook off a semi-final loss to claim third place in the 132-pound division.
“I thought he showed great resilience in coming back from that loss and placing third,” Campbell said.
With the season wrapped up, Campbell said there’s a confidence with the returning grapplers come next season.
“I felt like the season was a huge success,” Campbell said. “Everybody contributed. All of our seniors showed great leadership. I hate seeing this class go as it is my first class, but we finished top five in the state. We’ve got a lot to look forward to when we get back on the mat next year.”