View from the Mountaintop
Bailey Ross wins state wrestling championship
By Nick Nunn
Last weekend, Bailey Ross held his head far above the high water mark that the Morgan County High School wrestling team sat this year at the State Meet; Ross now bears the designation of 2013 AAA State Champion in the 220-pound weight class.
Bailey ended as one of five medalists from Morgan County. Stewart Spence (195) took runner-up at state, Austin Ross (182) placed third, and Jacob McAlister (120) and Quentavious Jackson (138) finished fourth in their respective weight classes.
Bailey’s climb to the top consisted of three back-to-back victories: the first ended with a pin, the second with a 3-2 decision, and the third – the championship match – with an 8-3 decision.
“I’m overjoyed for Bailey, who has had to deal with his share of adversity at the state tournament,” began Coach John Robbins after the event. “I’m sorry to be so repetitive, but DOMINANT is a word that just fits, as he did just that to all of his opponents.”
“Bailey had to deal with the flip side of the pressure thing, as he was the clear favorite all year to win at 220, which can obviously enough to crumble any young man.”
After Bailey’s impressive performances, Coach Robbins turned to give his assistant coach Dusty Sidwell his share of the credit for training Bailey during this season.
“A month ago, I changed Bailey’s drill partner to coach Dusty Sidwell,” began Coach Robbins. “As the season end grew nearer, I knew I had to maximize our best heavyweight resource, and I knew that making him work out with a former marine and state champion was the best way to do that.”
Stewart Spence, second place finisher in the 195-pound class, fought hard through the state tournament but lost a 5-11 decision in the championship round.
“Stewart Spence’s matches over the last few weeks have been exhilarating,” started Coach Robbins. “In my 15 years of coaching multiple sports, I’ve never had anyone like Stewart. His will to win and mental toughness are without a doubt unparalleled.”
Austin Ross’ ascension to the championship round seemed all but inevitable, but, in the second round of competition, Austin was accused of illegally slamming his opponent, which caused Austin’s disqualification in that match.
“There is no doubt that Austin returned the kid forcefully to the mat,” said Robbins, “but he was in complete control of both his body and of his opponent’s. Unfortunately, due to the subjectivity of the rule, our formal protest was denied, and a technicality was allowed to interrupt the display of complete domination of Austin’s opponent.”
On the next day, however, Austin took to the mat again, defeating two opponents to earn his third-place medal in the state tournament.
Jacob McAlister (120) and Quentavious Jackson (138) each went 2-2 in the tournament to finish in fourth place in their classes.
“McAlister has grown by leaps and bounds since last season, developing into a top-tier competitor both mentally and physically,” said Robbins.
“The best individual performance was without a doubt turned in by Jackson, who couldn’t have picked a better time to peak. He seemed to wrestle better every round.”
Preston Langley (285) also wrestled in the state tournament but lost two “heartbreaking” matches, which eliminated him early.
This Wednesday, the Mat Dogs held their annual wrestling banquet to celebrate the accomplishments this season. Congratulations to the entire MCHS wrestling team for a fantastic season this year.
Printed in the February 21, 2013 edition