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The Bob Jones Patriots won its own Dick Clem Invitational and has their sights truly set on the Super Sectional scheduled for Feb. 7-8 in Birmingham. The Patriots’ wrestling team is looking to complete its current season in high gear. Photo- Matthew Sweatman, Bob Jones High

Patriots Wrestling Sets Up For North Super Sectional

MADISON- Recent wrestling action for the Bob Jones wrestling team was a mix of emotions as the squad had a disappointing finish in the AHSAA Duals Tournament, but sprang with excitement by winning its own Dick Clem Invitational.

In the Duals Tournament, the Pats were derailed by Vestavia Hills 63-15. Manny Marrero posted a pin in the 138-pound weight class. The sophomore upped his overall record to 43-8. An additional sophomore, Evan Pippin, posted a pin in the 184 weight class while Gabe Hunt knocked off the No. 1 ranked wrestler in the 145-pound division with an 11-6 decision. Hunt, a senior, was rated No. 4 in Alabama going into the Duals and improved his record to 41-10.

“We’ve gotten the best of Vestavia Hills the past two years and they were certainly ready for a little bit of payback,” said Matthew Sweatman, head coach of Bob Jones. “We’re excited to look forward to the Sectional to try and get that bad taste out of our mouths.”

The North Super Sectional is set for Feb. 7-8 in Birmingham.

The Patriots began their mouth cleansing with a victory in its hosting of the annual Dick Clem Invitational held on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. The tournament was postponed from a previous date.

Bob Jones won the event by scoring 230 points compared to runner-up Tuscaloosa County with 219 while Hewitt-Trussville was third with 185.

Marrero improved his season record to 47-8 with four pins in the tournament including one in the finals. He was named Most Valuable Wrestler for his outstanding efforts.

Other wins in the weight classes for the Patriots were Hunt in the 145-pound division, Chris Congress (senior) in the 162 division and Pippin in 184.

“The tournament win certainly gave us a big boost heading into the Sectional as we’re healthy among the wrestlers we will put on the mats,” said Sweatman.

Bob Jones has had a rash of injuries this season with two of its best wrestlers going down to serious injuries. Drew Lawson at heavyweight suffered an ACL injury and underwent surgery a month ago and Devin Mayes broke a leg six weeks ago, which ended his season.

“Mikey Lucente has stepped up for us in the heavyweight division as he’s done a good job and gave us a punch in the higher weight classes,” added Sweatman.

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