Team Race: Madison County won the 2015 North Sectional title by 34 points over Runner-up Hayden. Even with the loss of 145 lb. State Champion Alec Cohen and 170 lb. State Champion Trevor Edwards, the Tigers are still the team to beat in 2015-2016. The Tigers return four State Placers, four State Qualifiers, and a host of wrestlers eager to step into the lineup and contribute in 2015-2016. Hayden had an excellent opportunity to knock off Madison County and push Leeds at the state tournament, but lost Macon Edwards to Fultondale. The Wildcats still have an exceptionally strong team returning and have an opportunity to make some noise in 2015-2016, they just would have been stronger with Edwards at the bottom of the line-up. Don’t be surprised if Ivan Ellison helps the Wildcats forget about that loss, he has the ability to be on the podium in 2016 and could help the Wildcats surprise everyone. Keep an eye on Deshler, Dora, Westminster Christian, and JO Johnson. Each returns a significant number of wrestlers and will look to push the top teams in 2015-2016.
Contenders: Twenty-four medalists from the 2015 State Tournament return for another shot at the top step in 2016. Two 2015 State Champions return and each is set on claiming another title in 2016. Timothy Murphree of Fultondale was absolutely dominant en route to the 113 lb. title a season ago. He had three falls leading up to the finals and then dismantled Dora’s Recio Winchester 17-2. Deshler’s 126 lb. State Champion Tyler Williams is a gamer. The 2x State Champ entered the 2015 State Tournament having lost in the North Section finals only to turn it on when it mattered and to capture his 2nd title. Both Murphree and Williams will be tough to beat in 2016. Four State Runners-up return for another shot at the top step. For seniors Caleb Lauderdale (2nd at 170) of Dora and Braxton Worthington (2nd at 126) of Mortimer Jordan it will be their final shot at an individual title. Chase Phillips (2nd at 120) of Hayden and Ethan Pippin (2nd at 160) of Westminster Christian have the ability to be on the top step, but will have to find a way to beat some very good wrestlers to get it done in 2016.
Nine north sectional wrestlers made the consolation finals in 2015 and will be looking to push through and wrestle for a state title in 2016. They include: Reed Murphy (3rd at 285) of Corner, Channing Marmann (4th at 113) and Taylor Shirley (4th at 152) of Deshler, Noah Howse (3rd at 160) of Hayden, Gage Watson (3rd at 195) of Madison County, Zeke Lee (4th at 126) and Zach Turner (4th at 285) of Oak Grove, Kage Robertson (4th at 106) of Susan Moore, and Kendall Farr (3rd at 220) of Westminster Christian. Nine additional north sectional wrestlers finished on the podium in 2015 and will be looking to climb the podium in 2016. Each has the ability to claim the top step, but may need to wrestle a fantastic 2016 State Tournament to knock off the competition in front of them. They include: Noah Seiger (5th at 126) of Calera, Geronimo Galvan (5th at 285) of JB Pennington, Jaquan Rhodes (5th at 132) and Jamario Rowe (6th at 138) of JO Johnson, Brantley McHugh (5th at 113), Colton Parton (5th at 220), and Jack Peavey (6th at 182) of Madison County, Jamie Crutcher (6th at 285) of Piedmont, and Tommy Woodall (6th at 120) of Sumiton Christian. Keep an eye on 2015 State Qualifier Macon Edwards of Fultondale. Edwards achieved All American status in Fargo this summer and working out with 113 lb. State champion Timothy Murphree is only going to make Edwards that much better.
Hunting the Podium: Twenty-five South Sectional wrestlers qualified (and return in 2015-2016) and recorded at least one win at the 2015 State Tournament. Each failed to find the podium, but will be looking to change that in 2016. Six of those 25 finished just off the podium, with a 2-2 record, and will be eager to claim a medal in 2016. Expect each of them to be on the podium in 2016. They include: Kenny Brady of Ashville, Noah Hill of Hayden, Austin Foote of Madison County, Tate Smith of Oak Grove, and Seth Ingram and Paul Robertson of Susan Moore. Nineteen wrestlers finished 1-2 at the 2015 State Tournament and will need to wrestle better if they are going to medal in 2016. Each has an outside shot at a medal in 2016. Keep an eye on: Andy Morgan of Ashville, Hunter Averhart of Corner, Josh Stokes of Calera, Tristen Blair of Dora, Nicholas Brooks of East Limestone, Zachary Melton of Fultondale, Zach Cochran of Hayden, Jailen Young of JO Johnson, Anthony Johnson, Seth Shelton, and Stephen White of Madison County, Jordan Kiley and Bragan Swindle of Mortimer Jordan, Brian Smith and Evan Vierra of New Hope, Christian Doss of Piedmont, Dalton Chandler and Michael Steadman of Sumiton Christian, and Reid Singles of Westminster Christian.
Under the Radar: The following 31 wrestlers qualified for the State Tournament a season ago but failed to register a win in Huntsville. They have State Tournament experience, but will need to wrestle much better in 2015-2016 if any of the following is going to be on the podium in 2016. Jeremiah Brown of Ashville, Kaden Abbott, Cole McGough, and Brannen Roberts of Corner, Drennen Meadows of Curry, Christian Johnson, Spencer Killough, and Jake Statom of Deshler, Zachary Clayton, Hunter Dill, Chance Thompson, and Jordan Tyree of Dora, Scotty Williams of East Limestone, Tony Stephens of Fultondale, Cody Colvin, Jacob Fuller, Jacob Sawyer, Zac Shedd, Jacob Sulzby, and Landon Trammell of Hayden, Justin Ortiz of JB Pennington, Teague Berres, Tyrik Britman, Lamaraus Brown, and Shon’Derious Spralling of JO Johnson, Gavin Rogers of Mortimer Jordan, Logan Smith of Piedmont, Garrett Glass and Mat Thompson of Sumiton Christian, and Jakob Poole and Ian Thies of Westminster Christian.