Vestavia Hills, Arab and Leeds grab state wrestling crowns

Vestavia Hills, Arab and Leeds grab state wrestling crowns

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WBRC) - Vestavia Hills, Arab and Leeds swept the team titles at the 61st annual AHSAA State Wrestling Championships Saturday at Von Braun that were filled with a multitude of drama and special moments.

The Rebels ended Thompson's five-year stranglehold on the big-school classification scoring 134.5 points to claim the Class 7A state title over runner-up Oak Mountain (131) by a mere three points. It was the 13 state title overall and the first 7A crown in retiring Hall of Fame Coach Steve Gaydosh's storied career.

It was Vestavia's 14th championship in school history – tying the state record held by Benjamin Russell for most wins by a single school.

Thompson finished third with 97.5 points.

Arab won the 6A championship, its fourth in a row and five in six years, posting 197 points. Runner-up Southside-Gadsden had 148.5 points and Athens was a close third at 144.5.

Leeds won the 1A-5A crown with 170 points, and Tallassee was second at 130.

The Rebels needed a win 220-pound finals to clinch the title. Junior James Edwards (39-3) scored a come-from-behind 6-5 decision over senior Josh Smith (46-1) to seal the championship.

Thompson senior T.J. Rayam (31-2) followed up at 285 pounds to take his third straight heavyweight title beating Oak Mountain junior Gavin Jackson (34-16) 7-5 in another tight bout to close out the meet.

Auburn senior Khaleel Johnson (44-0) won at 132 pounds and Hoover senior Bret Winters (48-0) won at 195 pounds to close out unbeaten seasons.

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