By Rubin E. Grant
Jack Lamey Jr. didn’t have any qualms when his dad, Harley Lamey, accepted the job as head wrestling coach at Hoover last summer, although the younger Lamey knew it meant he would have to leave a place where he had become a state champion.
As a freshman at rival Vestavia Hills, Lamey won the 2020 Class 7A 145-pound state title. As a sophomore in 2021, he finished second at 160 pounds in 7A but helped the Rebels win their Alabama High School Athletic Association record 16th state wrestling championship.
Even so, when Harley Lamey, who was the head wrestling coach at Liberty Park Middle School, had the opportunity to move to Hoover, Jack Lamey had a succinct message for his dad: “I told him to take it,” he said.
Jack Lamey transferred from Vestavia Hills to Hoover to wrestle for his dad and on Saturday, he made him proud.
Lamey, a junior, earned the Class 7A Most Valuable Wrestler award while winning the 182-pound state title in the 67th AHSAA State Wrestling Championships at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville. Lamey (42-6) defeated Bob Jones senior Evan Pippin (52-5) by a 6-2 decision in the championship match.
“I was proud and relieved,” Harley Lamey said.
Harley Lamey was relieved because his son had been dealing with a painful thumb injury due to an infection all week.
“The trainers and doctors had to get him to where he could compete,” Harley Lamey said. “He had to wrestle almost with one hand.”
Jack Lamey reached the final with a pin of Dothan’s Garrett Holland in the quarterfinals and a 7-2 decision over Smiths Station’s Lance Peterson in the semifinals before beating Pippin to win his second individual state title.
“I was happy and pleased with my performance,” Jack Lamey said. “It was pretty difficult with my hand injury, but I tried not to think about it too much.
“It means a lot to get a state championship under my dad as head coach. I’m also glad to win a title at Hoover and at Vestavia.”
Other OTM Wrestlers Took Home Titles
Oak Mountain junior Austin Buird (46-7) also won an individual state title, defeating Thompson sophomore Nick Dempsey (44-11) by a 4-2 decision in the 132-pound championship match.
In the team standings, defending Class 7A champion Vestavia Hills finished a distant second behind Thompson. The Rebels had 118.5 points while the Warriors had 194.5 to win their ninth state championship. Oak Mountain (47) was seventh, Hoover (43) eighth and Spain Park (35) 10th.
The Rebels advanced four wrestlers to championship matches, but each was denied a title. Stone Phillips (24-5) lost to Thompson’s Thomas Giere (35-0) at 106 pounds; Harris Mitchell (29-4) lost to Thompson’s Will Garrett (39-9) at 160; John Edwards (35-4) lost to Thompson’s Carson Freeman (49-4) at 170; and Andrew Sykes (19-1) lost to Smiths Station’s Kyle Watson (43-3) at 220.
Spain Park’s Bradley Williams (39-10) lost to Thompson’s Yanni Vines (41-3) in the 126-pound title match, and Oak Mountain’s Nic Rigdon (37-9) lost to Smiths Station’s Steven Flagg (52-2) in the 285-pound final.
In Class 5A/6A, Homewood and Mountain Brook finished among the top 10 teams. The Patriots were fifth with 87 points and the Spartans’ 10th with 56.5 points. Mortimer Jordan won its first state wrestling championship with 125.5 points.
Homewood senior Joe Galvan (37-15) reached the 138-pound championship match but was pinned by Moody’s Cory Land in only 45 seconds. Land (56-0) won his fifth overall state title and ended his career winning 207 consecutive matches, the second-longest winning streak in AHSAA wrestling history.
Several Over-the-Mountain wrestlers won consolation championship matches.
In Class 5A/6A, they were Homewood’s Moeen Almansoob (50-12) at 113 pounds and Sam Sutton (55-6) at 132, and Mountain Brook’s Gray Ortis (59-2) at 160.
In Class 7A, they were Vestavia Hills’ Cale Tucker (28-9) at 113 pounds (with a 5-4 decision over Oak Mountain’s Camden Tipton), Vestavia Hills’ Clay Johnson (28-6) at 152, Hoover’s Broc Metcalf (50-6) at 138 (with a 7-2 decision over Vestavia Hills’ Andrew Sullivan) and Spain Park’s William Conlon (37-8) at 182.
The Rebels’ Mac Chandler (28-14) at 120 and Riggs Manown (32-17) at 195 both placed fourth.