The Scottsboro wrestling team already has one state championship under its belt this season.
The Wildcats have the opportunity to win another one this weekend.
Scottsboro has nine wrestlers set to battle for both a team and individual state championships during the AHSAA’s Class 1A-5A State Wrestling Championships.
The state tournament begins Thursday and runs through Saturday at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville. Wrestling begins Thursday at noon, Friday at 9:30 a.m. and Saturday at 9 a.m. The state championship weight class matches begin Saturday at 11:30 a.m.
Scottsboro’s state qualifiers are Mason McKenzie at 106 pounds, Clinton Stewart at 113, Tanner Shelton at 152, Conner Calfee at 160, Damian Ramirez at 170, Kolton Clark at 182, Tre Billingsley at 195, Caleb Anderson at 220 and Bradford Womack at 285.
Six of Scottsboro’s nine state qualifiers wrestled at state last season — Clark and Womack won individual state championships last season while three Anderson, Calfee and Stewart posted top-five finishes — and Scottsboro head coach Chris Staton is counting on their state experience to pay dividends.
“We’ve got a lot of guys that have been there, now what’s its like,” he said. “We’ve got a lot of seniors that this is it, so they should be [motivated]. If our guys just take care on their weight class, then that’ll take care of the team.”
Scottsboro, which won the Class 1A-5A state duals championship last month, is trying to double up with the traditional state title. The Wildcats main foes in that chase are Arab, St. James, Alexandria, Moody and Ranburne. Arab has won six straight traditional state titles and edged Scottsboro by only four points to win last season’s state title. The Knights edged Scottsboro 267-212 for the top spot in last weekend’s North Super Section.
“Last year we made up ground [on Arab] from the sectional to state, so we’ve just go to step it up at state,” Staton said. “We’ve got to pop some kids to the finals. We’ve got to wrestle well, got to be tougher in some spots we weren’t [at sectionals].”