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Girls go Wild in Wetumpka Tournament

Story and Photos by Griffin Pritchard | Publisher

WETUMPKA – Girls’ wrestling stepped into the spotlight Tuesday competing in the Wetumpka High-hosted Indians Invitational. The event – ran alongside the junior varsity and junior high boys’ tournament – featured female grapplers from throughout the state.

“It gives kids an opportunity to compete,” said Greg Jeffcoat, coach of the Daphne High wrestling Trojans. “It’s very competitive. I’ll tell you something … in Alabama and I don’t know about these other states … but if you’ll look these teams are coached by varsity head coaches and their assistants have taken an interest in seeing this succeed. It’s not just about schools having girls wrestling or allowing girls wrestling. It’s that these schools are investing in and are excited about having girls wrestling.”

That excitement was on full display as the field was filled with teams from throughout the state, from Arab to the Mobile area. The Trojans – who come into this season as the de facto girls’ state champions – won the event walking away with 152 points. Arab (75), Gulf Shores (67), Central-Phenix City (60) and Auburn (53) rounded out the top five.

Jeffcoat: “The Wrestle Like A Girl program in Alabama does a great job of keeping us updated through their social media about tournaments in the state. We’ve wrestled our girls in Trussville, in Auburn, to Central-Phenix City. But it’s not just us – it’s anybody that’s got girls that are traveling. It’s because the coaches care about kids. I’m going to coach whoever God puts in front of me – that’s my job. I tell these kids in our room day one – you are right where you are supposed to be. Why do coaches travel? It’s because a kid has entrusted them. And that’s what coaches do – everything they can to make that kid better.”

Montgomery Catholic, Montevallo, Robertdale, Prattville, Saraland, Chelsea, Spanish Fort, Holtville and Oak Mountain made up the remainder of the field.

“A tournament like this benefits the sport because the girls don’t have to wrestle the boys, they can wrestle other girls and shine,” said Coy Hunter, coach of the Montgomery Catholic Wrestling Knights. “It gives girls a better chance of succeeding in their own division. My girls wrestle a whole lot better when they wrestle other girls. There are a lot of teams I saw out there that didn’t have girls teams last year. So it shows the sport is growing.”

According to Julie Lassere who Chairs the Alabama High School Girls Wrestling Task Force: “The 32 states who have sanctioned girls wrestling have seen dramatic increases in the numbers of female wrestlers.” In Alabama the number of girl grapplers has grown from 130 girls at 43 schools (during 2020-2021) to 233 girls wrestling at 69 different schools.

Lassere: “There has been a consistent push in Alabama to recruit girls. These girls practice together alongside the boys. This season there are 15 girls events with the AHSAA Alabama Girls State Tournament January 22 at Thompson High School.”

Going back to what Jeffcoat was saying about travel – if a school hosts an event the girl grapplers will be there. Prattville – in Wetumpka – had one wrestler and she medaled. Oak Mountain had one. Holtville had a few, so did Saraland and Robertsdale and Central-Phenix City.

“We are trying to grow the sport for the girls and the boys throughout the state. But for the girls to come here and have the opportunity to just compete against other girls – that says a lot,” said Joshua Strain, coach of the Robertsdale Wrestling program. “I had one girl who didn’t have that many wins on the season wrestle here and go 3-1 and it’s amazing what that does for her confidence. I’ve only got two right now (girls wrestlers) that have stuck with it – but I think after seeing this and seeing the support for the program – I’ll have a lot more come next season. We are looking forward to that. But this is how you build. You can go to the younger girls at the high school and the junior high and show them that there are options and opportunities out there. They’ve got a chance to compete in something.”

According to Lassere: “The AHSAA fully supports sanctioning of girls wrestling in Alabama. In order to sanction … it takes a vote of member schools. The next vote will occur in February 2022. If the vote passes, then Alabama Girls Wrestling will be an AHSAA Sanctioned Sport and there will be an official AHSAA Girls Wrestling Division at the AHSAA State Wrestling Tournament.”

Until such time though, all eyes are focused on Thompson in late January.

Below are the results of the (Girls Division) of the Indians Invitational:

Girls 100

Guaranteed Places

  • 1st Place – Alanah Girard of Daphne Girls
  • 2nd Place – Molly Seidman of Auburn Girls
  • 3rd Place – Londyn James of Robertsdale Girls
  • 4th Place – Angel Lewis of Gulf Shores Girls

1st Place Match

  • Alanah Girard (Daphne Girls) 12-2, 7th. over Molly Seidman (Auburn Girls) 1-1, 8th. (Fall 2:18)

3rd Place Match

  • Londyn James (Robertsdale Girls) 11-10, 7th. over Angel Lewis (Gulf Shores Girls) 3-5, 7th. (Fall 0:56)

Girls 107

Guaranteed Places

  • 1st Place – Jenna MacDonald of Daphne Girls
  • 2nd Place – La`Nia Riley of Daphne Girls
  • 3rd Place – Erin Clarkson of Auburn Girls
  • 4th Place – Reagan Golden of Arab Girls

1st Place Match

  • Jenna MacDonald (Daphne Girls) 16-1, Fr. over La`Nia Riley (Daphne Girls) 12-5, Fr. (Fall 1:27)

3rd Place Match

  • Erin Clarkson (Auburn Girls) 3-1, So. over Reagan Golden (Arab Girls) 4-8, 7th. (Fall 1:32)

Girls 114

Guaranteed Places

  • 1st Place – Mariah Jones of Central Phenix City Girls
  • 2nd Place – Sophia Chircop of Daphne Girls
  • 3rd Place – Alyssa Oubre of Gulf Shores Girls

Round 1

  • Sophia Chircop (Daphne Girls) 8-5, 8th. over Alyssa Oubre (Gulf Shores Girls) 0-5, So. (Fall 0:20)

Round 2

  • Mariah Jones (Central Phenix City Girls) 2-0, . over Alyssa Oubre (Gulf Shores Girls) 0-5, So. (Fall 0:43)

Round 3

  • Mariah Jones (Central Phenix City Girls) 2-0, . over Sophia Chircop (Daphne Girls) 8-5, 8th. (Fall 1:32)

Girls 120

Guaranteed Places

  • 1st Place – Leah Guthrie of Gulf Shores Girls
  • 2nd Place – Amylia Thomas of Montevallo Girls
  • 3rd Place – Maggie Whitaker of Arab Girls
  • 4th Place – Olivia Parker of Montgomery Catholic Girls

1st Place Match

  • Leah Guthrie (Gulf Shores Girls) 7-2, 8th. over Amylia Thomas (Montevallo Girls) 6-3, 7th. (Fall 3:03)

3rd Place Match

  • Maggie Whitaker (Arab Girls) 9-4, So. over Olivia Parker (Montgomery Catholic Girls) 2-2, 8th. (Fall 2:05)

Girls 126

Guaranteed Places

  • 1st Place – Nevaeh Browder of Prattville Girls
  • 2nd Place – Rhyleah Gleber of Gulf Shores Girls
  • 3rd Place – Hannah McNeese of Daphne Girls
  • 4th Place – ZOIE GUTHRIE of Holtville Girls

1st Place Match

  • Nevaeh Browder (Prattville Girls) 8-3, Jr. over Rhyleah Gleber (Gulf Shores Girls) 8-7, 7th. (Fall 5:54)

3rd Place Match

  • Hannah McNeese (Daphne Girls) 12-4, So. over ZOIE GUTHRIE (Holtville Girls) 3-4, Sr. (Fall 0:10)

Girls 132

Guaranteed Places

  • 1st Place – Kalyse Hill of Daphne Girls
  • 2nd Place – Hayden Kendall of Auburn Girls
  • 3rd Place – Caidence Sellars of Central Phenix City Girls
  • 4th Place – Emery Adams of Montevallo Girls

Round 1

  • Hayden Kendall (Auburn Girls) 2-1, Fr. over Caidence Sellars (Central Phenix City Girls) 1-2, . (Fall 2:30)
  • Kalyse Hill (Daphne Girls) 16-0, Fr. over Emery Adams (Montevallo Girls) 1-6, 7th. (Fall 0:26)

Round 2

  • Caidence Sellars (Central Phenix City Girls) 1-2, . over Emery Adams (Montevallo Girls) 1-6, 7th. (Inj. 1:45)
  • Kalyse Hill (Daphne Girls) 16-0, Fr. over Hayden Kendall (Auburn Girls) 2-1, Fr. (Fall 0:40)

Round 3

  • Kalyse Hill (Daphne Girls) 16-0, Fr. over Caidence Sellars (Central Phenix City Girls) 1-2, . (Fall 1:50)
  • Hayden Kendall (Auburn Girls) 2-1, Fr. over Emery Adams (Montevallo Girls) 1-6, 7th. (M. For.)

Girls 138

Guaranteed Places

  • 1st Place – Philipa Parker of Montgomery Catholic Girls
  • 2nd Place – Kimber Alford of Daphne Girls
  • 3rd Place – Keoni Knotts of Robertsdale Girls
  • 4th Place – Roxana Gonzalez of Chelsea Girls
  • 5th Place – Lauren Kennedy of Oak Mountain Girls

Round 1

  • Philipa Parker (Montgomery Catholic Girls) 4-0, So. over Keoni Knotts (Robertsdale Girls) 12-11, So. (Fall 1:55)
  • Roxana Gonzalez (Chelsea Girls) 2-7, 7th. over Lauren Kennedy (Oak Mountain Girls) 0-4, 7th. (Fall 0:47)

Round 2

  • Kimber Alford (Daphne Girls) 10-3, 7th. over Lauren Kennedy (Oak Mountain Girls) 0-4, 7th. (Fall 0:11)
  • Keoni Knotts (Robertsdale Girls) 12-11, So. over Roxana Gonzalez (Chelsea Girls) 2-7, 7th. (Fall 0:34)

Round 3

  • Kimber Alford (Daphne Girls) 10-3, 7th. over Roxana Gonzalez (Chelsea Girls) 2-7, 7th. (Fall 0:22)
  • Philipa Parker (Montgomery Catholic Girls) 4-0, So. over Lauren Kennedy (Oak Mountain Girls) 0-4, 7th. (Fall 0:19)

Round 4

  • Philipa Parker (Montgomery Catholic Girls) 4-0, So. over Kimber Alford (Daphne Girls) 10-3, 7th. (Fall 2:19)
  • Keoni Knotts (Robertsdale Girls) 12-11, So. over Lauren Kennedy (Oak Mountain Girls) 0-4, 7th. (Fall 0:17)

Round 5

  • Kimber Alford (Daphne Girls) 10-3, 7th. over Keoni Knotts (Robertsdale Girls) 12-11, So. (Fall 1:49)
  • Philipa Parker (Montgomery Catholic Girls) 4-0, So. over Roxana Gonzalez (Chelsea Girls) 2-7, 7th. (Fall 0:56)

Girls 145

Guaranteed Places

  • 1st Place – Charlotte Parker of Montgomery Catholic Girls
  • 2nd Place – Sarah Edgar of Spanish Fort Girls
  • 3rd Place – Izzabella Diez of Central Phenix City Girls

Round 1

  • Sarah Edgar (Spanish Fort Girls) 3-8, 8th. over Izzabella Diez (Central Phenix City Girls) 0-2, . (Fall 2:53)

Round 2

  • Charlotte Parker (Montgomery Catholic Girls) 3-1, Jr. over Izzabella Diez (Central Phenix City Girls) 0-2, . (Fall 0:29)

Round 3

  • Charlotte Parker (Montgomery Catholic Girls) 3-1, Jr. over Sarah Edgar (Spanish Fort Girls) 3-8, 8th. (Fall 0:48)

Girls 152

Guaranteed Places

  • 1st Place – Sage Rosario of Daphne Girls
  • 2nd Place – Gabrielle Thompson of Chelsea Girls
  • 3rd Place – Nayline Johnson of Central Phenix City Girls

Round 1

  • Gabrielle Thompson (Chelsea Girls) 2-5, 8th. over Nayline Johnson (Central Phenix City Girls) 0-2, . (For.)

Round 2

  • Sage Rosario (Daphne Girls) 11-0, Fr. over Nayline Johnson (Central Phenix City Girls) 0-2, . (For.)

Round 3

  • Sage Rosario (Daphne Girls) 11-0, Fr. over Gabrielle Thompson (Chelsea Girls) 2-5, 8th. (Fall 0:33)

Girls 165

Guaranteed Places

  • 1st Place – Kaylee Holder of Daphne Girls
  • 2nd Place – Autumn Boutwell of Arab Girls
  • 3rd Place – Freedom Harper of Arab Girls
  • 4th Place – Rori Farmer of Saraland Girls

1st Place Match

  • Kaylee Holder (Daphne Girls) 15-0, Jr. over Autumn Boutwell (Arab Girls) 5-2, So. (Fall 2:48)

3rd Place Match

  • Freedom Harper (Arab Girls) 6-2, Jr. over Rori Farmer (Saraland Girls) 2-4, Fr. (Fall 1:21)

Girls 185

Guaranteed Places

  • 1st Place – Allison Tryon of Montevallo Girls
  • 2nd Place – Niya Turner of Arab Girls
  • 3rd Place – Kira Green of Gulf Shores Girls
  • 4th Place – Zoe Jones of Central Phenix City Girls

Round 1

  • Allison Tryon (Montevallo Girls) 7-3, Sr. over Zoe Jones (Central Phenix City Girls) 0-3, . (Fall 0:14)
  • Niya Turner (Arab Girls) 4-4, 7th. over Kira Green (Gulf Shores Girls) 5-10, 7th. (Fall 1:00)

Round 2

  • Allison Tryon (Montevallo Girls) 7-3, Sr. over Niya Turner (Arab Girls) 4-4, 7th. (Fall 1:07)
  • Kira Green (Gulf Shores Girls) 5-10, 7th. over Zoe Jones (Central Phenix City Girls) 0-3, . (Fall 1:50)

Round 3

  • Allison Tryon (Montevallo Girls) 7-3, Sr. over Kira Green (Gulf Shores Girls) 5-10, 7th. (Fall 0:39)
  • Niya Turner (Arab Girls) 4-4, 7th. over Zoe Jones (Central Phenix City Girls) 0-3, . (Fall 0:40)

Girls 235

Guaranteed Places

  • 1st Place – Jayla Lofton of Saraland Girls
  • 2nd Place – Ashlynn Jones of Central Phenix City Girls
  • 3rd Place – Charlotte Merritt of Auburn Girls

Round 1

  • Ashlynn Jones (Central Phenix City Girls) 1-1, . over Charlotte Merritt (Auburn Girls) 0-2, Fr. (Fall 0:44)

Round 2

  • Jayla Lofton (Saraland Girls) 9-1, So. over Charlotte Merritt (Auburn Girls) 0-2, Fr. (Fall 0:29)

Round 3

  • Jayla Lofton (Saraland Girls) 9-1, So. over Ashlynn Jones (Central Phenix City Girls) 1-1, . (Fall 0:19)

Founder/Publisher of Central Alabama Scoreboard. Former sportsguy, managing editor, currently working for the City of Tallassee as a Public Information Specialist and grant writer.

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