The Jasper Viking Wrestling team is continuing to do things the Jasper Viking Way. The team showed up and showed out at the AHSAA 1A-5A North Super Section tournament. They placed seventh overall out of twenty-nine teams and an astounding nine out of the starting eleven qualified to compete in the ASHAA State Wrestling Tournament. This is the most qualifiers the Vikings have had in years.
Such success is definitely no small feat, especially considering that seven of the nine qualifiers are no older than sophomores, but the success this year was foreshadowed by the five Vikings who returned after qualifying for the state tournament last season. Coach Tripp Otis’s leadership and expectations for his team are setting the standard for what it means to be part of the wrestling squad and how difficult it is to get past them.
Senior Mark Stitt finished strong coming in 7th place in the 170-pound weight class and junior Dash Rush put on a show advancing to the section championship round until he lost due to injury and took home 2nd place in the 195-pound weight class. Nonetheless, the rising stars did not disappoint: 285-pound sophomore Ross McWalters placed 7th, 220-pound sophomore Brodie Vinson placed 5th, 182-pound freshman Moises Sanchez placed 7th, 152-pound eighth-grader Zach Whitehead placed 8th, 145-pound freshman Preston Reed placed 7th, 138-pound sophomore Manny Havis placed 6th, and 132-pound freshmen Alex Glass placed 7th.
Although the Vikings have done well, they are not finished yet. They will continue their quest for state titles Thursday, February 14th through Saturday, February 16th at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville.
Written By Thomas Ward