By Lee Davis
Throughout the history of sports, it’s easy to find cases where it was difficult for a new coach to follow a successful predecessor.
That’s not the case with Vestavia Hills wrestling.
Steve Gaydosh led the Rebels to 14 state championships before retiring at the end of the 2016 season. Former Vestavia wrestler Monterrious “Tee” Adams, who was coaching at Hewitt-Trussville, answered the call from his alma mater to succeed Gaydosh.
Last weekend proved that sometimes coaching transitions can be seamless. The Rebels won their second consecutive Class 7A wrestling title last week, totaling 131.5 points to out-distance runner-up Hoover’s 107.5 points at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville.
“I really don’t know what to say about our boys,” Adams said. “They bought into a new regime and did incredibly well. I can’t express how proud I am of this team.”
Consistency was the key to the Vestavia victory, as only one Rebel claimed a title. Three Vestavia wrestlers earned runner-up slots. James Edwards claimed his second straight 220-pound championship with a decision over Sparkman’s Brandon Moore. Edwards finished a perfect 41-0 for the year.
James’ twin brother, Jacob, finished second in the 285-pound class, losing a decision to Hoover’s Austin Carter.
Oak Mountain junior Barrett Blakely was named Class 7A Most Valuable Wrestler. Blakely clinched the 160-pound title with a decision over Vestavia’s Bowman Hill. Blakely completed the season with a 45-3 worksheet.
Other area wrestlers reaching the Class 7A finals included:
106 pounds: Oak Mountain’s Sullivan Tipton was runner-up to Thompson’s Sam Latona.
120 pounds: Vestavia’s Alex Thomas was runner-up to Hewitt-Trussville’s Stone Bearden.
138 pounds: Hoover’s Patterson Huff was runner-up to Oak Mountain’s Carson Lester.
145 pounds: Vestavia’s Jack Stoves was runner-up to Hewitt-Trussville’s Conner Smith.
170 pounds: Hoover’s Randy Jenkins defeated Hewitt-Trussville’s Brandon Keith.
195 pounds: Hoover’s D’angelo Hewitt defeated Huntsville’s Jaeger Clark.
In Class 6A, Homewood finished fourth place with 115.5 points behind champion Oxford’s 195 total. The Patriots earned two championships as the brother-combination of Carlos Jesus Figueroa and Carlos Miguel Figueroa claimed the 195- and 182-pound classes, respectively.
Homewood’s Javonic Turner finished second in the 145-pound class.
For now, Tee Adams and his Rebels are number one. The Vestavia nation can’t wait to see what they do next.