The Scottsboro wrestling program put the rest of the teams in the Class 1A-5A division on notice —it’s back.
After a couple of down seasons by the program’s tradition-rich standards, Scottsboro has returned to being a state contender.
Scottsboro finished as the Class 1A-5A state runner-up at last weekend’s AHSAA State Wrestling Championships, a heart-breaking four points back of Arab, which won its fourth straight state championship.
For the first time in that streak, Arab had to sweat it out to the last day to claim the title. The Knights needed a win in the 145-pound weight class state final to lock up the title. Had they lost that match, the Knights would have seen Scottsboro pass them by because of state championship match victories by Wildcats John McAlpin at 126, Kolton Clark at 170 and Bradford Womack at 285.
If nothing else, Staton said, his wrestlers learned “the value of every point at state.” Whether it’s a championship final or a second-round consolation match, those points matter all the same.
With just nine wrestlers at state, Staton emphasized the need for Scottsboro to maximize their point production by winning matches via pin fall. At the end of the tournament, Scottsboro had recorded 22 wins via fall, most of any school regardless of classification.
Scottsboro was for the most part a young team this season, and another year’s experience should help the Wildcats make a run at returning to the top of the team podium for the first time since the 2013-14 season.
Clark and Womack will return to lead a solid core of fellow returning wrestlers. Staton is also hoping the Wildcats’ state finish prompts a few guys who have previous left the sport to return to the mat.
Staton said he was unsure if his team really knew how much of a contender it was for this year’s state title. They surly know now they are in the future and what they have to do to get there.
Its opponents better have enjoyed it while it lasted. Scottsboro is back as a yearly wrestling state championship contender, and that’s bad news for the rest of those teams.