Kolton Clark has joined a select group in Scottsboro wrestling history.
The senior dominated Tallasee’s Andy Baker in a 12-1 major decision to win the 2019 Class 1A-5A 182-pound weight class state championship on Saturday at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville.
The win made Clark (36-1) a three-time state champion — Clark also won a 138-pound state title in 2016 and a 170 title in 2018 — and cemented his legacy with the program, head coach Chris Staton said.
“I think he’ll go down as one of the best to ever wrestle here,” Staton said.
Clark’s state championship was a bright spot in what Staton said was “disappointing” state tournament for the Wildcats, who were looking to win the traditional Class 1A-5A state championship after winning the 1A-5A duals state championship last month. Scottsboro (122 points) wound up third behind surprise state champion Moody (148) and runner-up Arab (140), which had its streak of traditional state titles ended at six.
“Overall it was a disappointing weekend that kind of started at sectionals. We put ourselves in tough situations here at state and some wrestled through and some didn’t. That’s what makes the sport so frustrating but so great as well. Nobody gives you anything, you’ve got to go take it, and we just didn’t get the job done,” Staton said.
“It was really was the opposite of what I thought. I really thought we’d be a better tournament team that duals team. That goes to show what you think doesn’t always play out. But we were fortunate enough to win the duals championship, able to win a state championship this season. But we weren’t looking to come here and finish third. We wanted to win [the traditional] state championship. [Moody] wrestled lights out this weekend. We knew they had the kids. They really came out here and battled and once they got on a roll, really fed off that and continued that momentum.”
Scottsboro had three weight class state finalists and five medalists in all.
Seniors Damian Ramirez and Caleb Anderson, making their first career state finals appearances, lost close decisions in the 170- and 220-pound weight class finals respectively.
Ramirez (37-4) lost 3-1 in overtime to St. Paul’s Gerard Mcarron. Though disappointed to lose, he was proud to make his first state finals appearance after failing to place at state a year ago.
“I worked my butt off [during the offseason],” he said.
Anderson (31-7) suffered a 4-2 loss to St. Clair County’s Skylar Mizzell, who avenged a loss to Anderson the week before at the Class 1A-5A North Super Section.
Seniors Bradford Womack and Connor Calfee medaled for Scottsboro.
Womack (19-2), the 2018 state champion, rebounded from a semifinal loss to win the 285-pound weight class’ third-place match. Meanwhile, Calfee (30-6) finished fourth at 160.
Also for Scottsboro, Mason McKenzie (27-16) finished 2-2 in the 106-pound weight class while Clinton Stewart (27-12) was 1-2 at 113, Tre Billingsley (23-11) was 1-2 at 195 and Tanner Shelton (14-17) was 0-2 at 152.
Staton thanked the Scottsboro seniors for their efforts.
“Lot of good kids,” he said. “These guys, good kids, fun to be around. We’re going to miss them.”
Clark, who will try to win a national title at next month’s National Coaches Association Nationals in Virginia Beach, Virginia, said his Scottsboro wrestling career was a memorable experience.
“I just had to soak it all in, it was the last hurrah. It’s sad, but it had to end some time,” said Clark, a Virginia Tech commit. “Scottsboro wrestling is a great atmosphere to be in.”