Gulf Shores boys win second straight county wrestling championship: view all winners

Dolphins finish with seven individual champions, nine more garner all-county distinction

By Cole McNanna
Sports Editor
cole@gulfcoastmedia.com
Posted 1/8/23

GULF SHORES — The Baldwin County boys’ wrestling championship plaque didn’t have to travel far to find its new trophy case after the Gulf Shores Dolphins won their second straight …

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Gulf Shores boys win second straight county wrestling championship: view all winners

Dolphins finish with seven individual champions, nine more garner all-county distinction

Posted

GULF SHORES — The Baldwin County boys’ wrestling championship plaque didn’t have to travel far to find its new trophy case after the Gulf Shores Dolphins won their second straight title behind seven individual champions at home Saturday, Jan. 7.

The host Dolphins also had nine more wrestlers earn all-county honors with top-four finishes in their respective weight classes. The Daphne Trojans finished as runners-up in the team competition with four individual champions on top of three top-four finishers.

The Spanish Fort Toros finished third thanks to one individual champion — the most valuable wrestler of the tournament, D’vonte Simpson — and six more all-county wrestlers who finished in the top four.

The Elberta Warriors and Orange Beach Makos each had one individual champion and two more top-four finishers and the Foley Lions walked away with seven wrestlers earning all-county distinction.

Gulf Shores’ 16 all-county wrestlers marked another turnaround on the beach where Dolphin head coach Britt Shaw said the athletes that had struggled to win matches just a few years ago now represented the squad in the latter rounds of the county championship meet.

“It's always interesting to see the kids from last year getting better. … I've got a few on my team that I rave over because they didn't win a match a couple years ago and now, they're in the semifinals of the county tournament,” Shaw said after Friday’s opening day. “It's just a testament to all these coaches, always pushing the growth of the sport, and I really do think girls’ wrestling is doing it too. If everybody's pushing girls wrestling, you're going to push the boys too.”

Saturday was the culmination of the two-day tournament hosted in Gulf Shores which also included the girls’ tournament Friday and a full middle school tournament Saturday in Shaw and the staff’s turn to host the annual county meet.

“We'll have seventh and eighth graders only because you have a lot of kids in middle school who go to tournaments and sometimes have to wrestle 10th, 11th, 12th graders. So they come here and won’t wrestle anybody above eighth grade,” Shaw said. “That allowed us to do unlimited entries in the high school division here so we've got some pretty big brackets in the high school tournament here but it's just a testament to all these coaches in the county.”

However, it was not long ago that a tournament of this magnitude would be a fever dream for those wrestling coaches on the Alabama Gulf Coast.

“It's growing down here. I remember, this is my 20th season of coaching wrestling, and when I started coaching in Piedmont, Alabama in 2003, there was no wrestling south of Montgomery,” Shaw said. “And to see all these teams down here, starting it and growing it, is pretty awesome and it's pretty awesome to be a part of it now too.”

That growth has also brought the corresponding talent where even the best wrestlers in the county squared off against stiff competition.

“Every one of these teams has good wrestlers on it. It's not a cupcake tournament where you're going to walk in and if you can defend one move and you'll be successful,” Shaw said. “Every team in this tournament has good wrestlers, so I enjoyed watching. There's a couple of teams here that we haven't seen all season; we haven't seen Spanish Fort or Foley anywhere this season and they both have some really good kids.”

Follow Gulf Coast Media on Facebook and Instagram for more pictures from the tournament.

2023 Baldwin County wrestling championship finals by weight class

106

Micah Swiger (Daphne) def. Branden Gress (Spanish Fort), fall – 0:38

113

Hayden Cook (Gulf Shores) def. Hayden Scelson (Orange Beach), decision – 11-7

120

Ethan Curry (Daphne) def. Braiden Cheek (Gulf Shores), fall – 1:40

126

Noah Guthrie (Gulf Shores) def. Dathan Butt (Gulf Shores), forfeit

132

Shayd Arboneaux (Orange Beach) def. Austin Arthur (Spanish Fort), decision – 7-1

138

Taylor Cheek (Gulf Shores) def. Evan Catlin (Foley), major – 8-0

145

Colton Sullivan (Elberta) def. Charles Knight (Gulf Shores), decision – 5-4

152

Ethan Lassere (Daphne) def. Ben Shaw (Fairhope), fall – 5:17

160

Nick Carris (Gulf Shores) def. Owen Eiland (Daphne), decision – 10-8

170

Weston Reed (Gulf Shores) def. Billy Neill (Bayside Academy), fall – 3:28

182

D’vonte Simpson (Spanish Fort) def. Landon Everett (Gulf Shores), fall – 0:51

195

Lucas Salcedo (Gulf Shores) def. Noah Breland (Bayside Academy), decision – 7-4

220

Colton Rainer (Daphne) def. Caiden Arnold (Robertsdale), fall – 2:00

285

Sam Schepker (Gulf Shores) def. Jaedon Hill (Robertsdale), decision – 5-4

Team standings

1. Gulf Shores: 292
2. Daphne: 179

3. Spanish Fort: 142.5
4. Foley: 135.5
5. Fairhope: 91.5
6. Robertsdale: 85
7. Elberta: 83
8. Orange Beach: 79.5
9. Bayside Academy: 60
10. Baldwin County: 47
11. Bayshore Christian: 39

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