Daphne girls claim Baldwin County wrestling championship: view all winners

Two-time defending state champions’ strength lies in team unity, head coach Jefcoat says

By Cole McNanna
Sports Editor
cole@gulfcoastmedia.com
Posted 1/7/23

GULF SHORES — With seven individual champions and eight more wrestlers who earned top-four finishes, the Daphne Lady Trojans collected their second straight Baldwin County wrestling …

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Daphne girls claim Baldwin County wrestling championship: view all winners

Two-time defending state champions’ strength lies in team unity, head coach Jefcoat says

Posted

GULF SHORES — With seven individual champions and eight more wrestlers who earned top-four finishes, the Daphne Lady Trojans collected their second straight Baldwin County wrestling championship Friday night.

The host Gulf Shores Lady Dolphins finished as runners-up with one individual champion and seven top-four finishers and the Baldwin County Lady Tigers won the top two classes and had two more athletes earn a medal as All-County wrestlers. Spanish Fort had one individual champion and another top-four finisher.

The Daphne squad also earned the Most Valuable Wrestler award where Kalyse Hill took the top spot in the 132-pound division with wins over Gulf Shores’ Lauren Myers and Robertsdale’s Caydence Loper thanks to first-round pins. That marked the eighth straight tournament Hill has won in the 132-pound division this season.

Although she was not alone in seeing success on the mats Friday night, Trojan head wrestling coach Greg Jefcoat said the team’s greatest strength is in its unity.

“They hold each other accountable; they train as a team, they work as a team, they compete as a team and they really have bought into that team aspect of the sport,” Jefcoat said. “These girls are back-to-back state champs, they train year-round and they have created a culture of accountability, and that accountability leads to their success.”

With their chance at a third straight state title waiting just over a week away, Jefcoat said that while another Blue Map trophy may be the ultimate goal, the team’s focus remains on the preparation aspect of the sport.

“This performance prepares us for Monday's practice is what it does. And that's what we talked about like, ‘Hey, we competed today and we battled a day, let's take the positives and the negatives from today and let's carry that into Monday and focus on the things that we didn't do well and get better at those things,’” Jefcoat said. “That's what it's about to us, it's just the next thing.”

As the Daphne wrestlers work on their craft, they are joined by other female wrestlers from Baldwin County and around the state in pushing girls’ wrestling toward sanctioning from the Alabama High School Athletic Association while lifting each other up at the same time.

“My biggest takeaway from today is not so much just our team. The coolest thing to watch is the camaraderie amongst girls and the growth of the girls' program across the state,” Jefcoat said. “Their competitiveness, the quality of wrestling you've seen now compared to three years ago, the standard that they've created for one another; it's really cool to watch how tenaciously they'll compete against one another but how gracefully they'll embrace each other when it's over. It says a lot about the sport.”

The boys’ brackets from the 2023 Baldwin County wrestling championships were set to finish Saturday at Gulf Shores High School, stay tuned for those results and more photos.

2023 Baldwin County wrestling championship finals by weight class

100

Alanah Girard (Daphne) def. Londyn James (Robertsdale), fall – 0:24

107

McKenzie Nguyen (Daphne) def. Erika Childers (Gulf Shores), fall – 0:49

114

Jenna MacDonald (Daphne) def. Sophia Chircop (Daphne), forfeit

120

Leah Guthrie (Gulf Shores) def. Stella Hawks (Daphne), fall – 0:33

126

Lauren Myers (Gulf Shores), bye

132

Kalyse Hill (Daphne) def. Caydence Loper (Robertsdale), fall – 0:36

138

Kimber Alford (Daphne) def. Madalyn Cusulos (Gulf Shores), fall – 0:28

145

Annabella Harris (Daphne) def. Kailee Henshaw (Gulf Shores), fall – 0:25

152

Abigail Pendergrass (Spanish Fort) def. Taliah Wade (Daphne), fall – 2:27

165

Kaylee Holder (Daphne) def. Sarah Edgar (Spanish Fort), fall – 3:29

185

Alexis Brown (Baldwin County) def. Emeline Miller (Daphne), fall – 0:59

235

Tamara Reed (Baldwin County) def. Nomaneta Iopu (Foley), fall – 2:11

Team standings

1. Daphne: 172
2. Gulf Shores: 100
3. Baldwin County: 50
4. Foley: 40
5. Robertsdale: 37
6. Spanish Fort: 34
7. Elberta: 9
8. Bayside Academy: 7
8. Fairhope: 7

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