With the world screeched to a halt by the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, many of us are coping with these unsettling times in different ways. In the sports realm, it’s fun to look back. It’s fun to reminisce about old games and great athletes.
The AHSAA did that with a “Throwback Thursday” tweet, recognizing the accomplishments of former Scottsboro six-time state champion wrestler Brandon Womack, aka, one of the most dominant athletes in Jackson County history.
Womack was the latest in a long line of multi-time state-title winning Scottsboro wrestlers, coming on the scene just after the Cuthbertson twins, Chase and Kyle, were the latest Wildcats to pile up state titles. Womack established himself quickly by winning the 103-pound crown as a freshman. He eventually became only the second Alabama high school wrestler to win six state championships.
Womack amassed an incredible 422-8 high school record from 2008-14. He was so dominant that most of his opponents walked on to the mat knowing they had no shot to win. Instead, they were left chasing the moral victory of trying not to get pinned. Most were unsuccessful at that, as Womack finished his career with a national record 327 pins.
I remember being mat side for his final Scottsboro match, the history-making 2014 160-pound Class 5A state finals match. Afterward, he told me “I’ve never been more nervous” for a match. But all those nerves were for naught. He pinned his opponent in 1:35 to win state title No. 6 and cap his senior year with a perfect 77-0 record. Womack won a NCHSCA national title a few weeks later, and he just finished up his collegiate career at Cornell, finishing as a four-time NCAA Championships qualifier and an All-American honor on his resume.
Womack was a fierce competitor, but also a humble one. Many times teams or athletes that thrive receive “hate” from opponents or fans. But Womack’s demeanor made him a respected and likable champion amongst his peers.
The only thing they didn’t like about him was having to face him on the mat, when a moral victory was their goal for the match.
› Jason Bowen is the sports editor of the Sentinel. He can be reached by email at email@example.com. Follow Jason on Twitter at @jbo_sports12