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Bob Jones wrestler Tafari Alcime stands with his mother, Debra, celebrating his winning the 285-pound State Championship at the AHSAA Wrestling State Tournament held in Huntsville. Photo Contributed

Journey Complete For Tafari Alcime; Bob Jones Finishes Fourth At State Meet

HUNTSVILLE- The journey, which began six years ago, for Tafari Alcime culminated with the Bob Jones High senior having his hand raised declared as State Champion at the AHSAA Wrestling State Tournament. The two-sport elite athlete won the 285-pound (heavyweight) state title with a 6-1 decision over Zack Chatman (52-6), a senior, from Hewitt-Trussville in the 69th annual event held in Huntsville at the Von Braun Center.

Alcime was one of seven Bob Jones wrestlers who placed (top five) in the tournament as the Patriots finished fourth in the team standings collecting 129 points. Huntsville High won the Class 7A division with 211.5 points.

“I was determined to win the state title and my career flashed before me when I had my hand raised as the victor as I have worked hard to win the title,” said Alicim, who is a Second-Team All-State offensive lineman for the Patriots’ football team. “I twice earlier beat Chatman, including in the Regional Tournament, and I watched a lot of film on him and knew he would make adjustments, so I adjusted to his adjustments. I knew I had the match when I scored a reversal on him late in the second period to go up four-nothing.”

Moments after winning the match, the 6-foot-2, 220-pound Alcime raced over to his head coach Matthew Sweatman and immediately picked him up in a huge bear hug. “He really helped me in this journey and having the senior class there with support by my side was helpful, too,” said Alcime, an AAU Duals All-American and who suffered a torn rib ligament early in the season before being 100-percent fit for the finale.

For the soon graduating senior who is in the midst of sifting through offers to attend college with an athletic scholarship, won third place at the State Tournament as a sophomore, but had a disappointing sixth place finish last year. He was determined to finish strong in his career on the wrestling mat and said, “The difference this year was my confidence level as with the help of my coaches I knew what I had to do.”

In all, eight Patriots made it to the State Tournament through regional competition including Colton West, 12, 113-pound who did not place. The final placements for the other six of whom fought to earn placer spots included: Kaden Clark, 8, 120-pound, third place; Zander Samargia, 10, 126-pound, fifth; Jack Shaver, 12, 144-pound, fourth; Ben Crouse, 12, 175-pound, third; Sheldon Sharp, 9, 190-pound, fourth; Gideon Roll, 11, 215-pound, fifth.

James Clemens finished No. 19 (15-points) in the team standings sending two wrestlers to the State Tournament. Max Bell, 11, 138-pound, took fifth place while Ethan Johnson, 12, 132-pound, did not place.

The Sparkman Senators also sent two individual wrestlers to the annual event. Sean Lydon, 10, 150-pound, finished third while Peyton Moore, 12, 138-pound, did not place. The Senators as a team finished No. 20 with 15 points.

More than 610 wrestlers from across the state competed in 14 weight divisions in seven classifications. Huntsville’s victory in Class 7A was the first in school history.

The results for each of the local wrestlers at the State Tournament included:

Bob Jones- Colton West (49-13), 12, 113-pound: won fall 1:44 vs. Joshua Bullington, 8, Auburn (27-22), lost dec 12-10 vs. Eli Sanders, 9, Smiths Station (43-0), won TF-1 5 3:37 (16-1) vs. Jamison McGivney, 7, Daphne (30-15), lost dec 3-0 vs. Stone Phillips, 10, Vestavia Hills (11-2);

Kaden Clark (50-7), 8, 120-pound: won fall 4:27 vs. Griffin Gardner, 8, Oak Mt. (31-20), lost MD 9-1 vs. Wallace Blue, 12, Huntsville (56-2), won MD 10-1 vs. Sam Mock, 11, Smiths Station (36-15), won dec 7-1 vs. John David Shattuck, 9, Grissom (45-10);

Zander Samargia (51-12), 10, 126-pound: won fall 1:40 vs. Gavin Petersen, 9, Fairhope (40-12), lost dec 8-6 vs. Landon Sanders, 11, Hoover (29-10), won fall 4:57 vs. Richard Munguia, 12, Smiths Station (32-21), won dec 4-2 vs. Derrick Hoyett, 11, Opelika (29-13), lost dec 6-3 vs. Joseph Sowell, 11, Huntsville (17-1), won fall 3:07 vs. Landon Sanders, 11, Hoover (29-13);

Jack Shaver (41-11), 12, 144-pound: won T-fall 5:15 (17-2) vs. Bryce Boothe, 11, Fairhope (37-10), won dec 6-3 vs. Walker Hogue, 10, Vestavia Hills (18-10), lost dec 4-3 vs. Denarvious Anderson, 11, Opelika (48-8), won dec 8-1 vs. Henry Betke, 12, Thompson (54-19), lost dec 5-4 vs. Walker Hogue, 10, Vestavia Hills (21-10);

Ben Crouse (44-15), 12, 175-pound: won fall 2:48 vs. Levi Hoots, 10, Daphne (26-15), lost fall 5:16 vs. Cooper Cook, 10, Vestavia Hills (41-14), won forfeit vs. Vincent Bianca, 12, Grissom (42-7), won fall 0:48 vs. Recavien Howell, 12, Opelika (40-17), won dec 12-5 vs. Jabari Thomas, 12, Central (42-16), won dec 12-10 vs. Cayden Ervin, 10 Tuscaloosa County (40-15);

Sheldon Sharp (33-8), 9, 190-pound: won fall 1:59 vs. Jacob Dobbins, 12, Baker (47-12), won dec 4-2 vs. Porter Schott, 10, Chelsea (32-7), lost dec 6-0 vs. Avery Clark, 12, Thompson (55-6), won fall 4:26 vs. Colton Rainer, 11, Daphne (46-9), lost dec 7-4 vs. Jake McConnell, 10, Prattville (33-4);

Gideon Roll (52-11), 11, 215-pound:  won fall 3:26 vs. Thomas Fenn, 12, Opelika (49-17), won SV-1 6-4 vs. Kamron Powell, 12, Austin (32-5), lost dec 6-0 vs. Kyle Oliveria, 12, Spain Park (52-0), lost TB-1 5-3 vs. Griffin McKinney, 12, Huntsville (41-10), won fall 3:09 vs. Kamron Powell, 12, Austin (34-7);

Tafari Alcime (43-5), 12, 285-pound: won fall 0:55 vs. Wesley Sandefur, 10, Fairhope (30-19), won fall 3:47 vs. Rodney English, 11, Hoover (26-9), won dec 4-1 vs. Marley Cholewinski, 12, Thompson (44-22), won dec 6-1 vs. Zack Chatman, 12, Hewitt-Trussville (52-6).

James Clemens- Ethan Johnson (41-8), 12, 132-pound: won dec 7-2 vs. Colyn Finley, 10, Vestavia Hills (16-7), lost dec 10-3 vs. Grier Hunt, 11, Enterprise  (41-1), won fall 2:16 vs. Kameron Palmer, 12, Foley (24-8), lost dec 6-4 vs. Ian Hodgin, 10, Hewitt-Trussville (35-27);

Max Bell (30-16), 11, 138-pound: won dec 5-4 vs. Peyton Moore, 12, Sparkman (40-13), lost dec 5-2 vs. Landon Keith, 12, Chelsea (22-2), won dec 9-6 vs. John Walla Baxley, 10, Prattville (32-22), won dec 7-1 vs. Mycah Martin, 10, HOHS (34-19), lost MD 13-3 vs. Brayden Wilson, 12, Opelika (50-10), won fall 5:37 vs. Landon Keith, 12, Chelsea (22-5).

Sparkman- Peyton Moore (41-14), 12, 138-pound: lost dec 5-4 vs. Max Bell, 11, James Clemens (27-15), bye, lost fall 1:35 vs. Toby Hymel, 11, Daphne (16-3);

Sean Lydon (48-12), 10, 150-pound: lost dec 6-4 vs. Lemuel Lynon, 10, Enterprise (9-1), won fall 1:32 vs. Garrett Grimes, 12, BKHS (39-19), won MD 12-3 vs. Luis Melendez, 11, Tuscaloosa County (42-18), won dec 8-7 vs. Grayer Manown, 10, Vestavia Hills (26-18), won dec 6-4 vs. Lemuel Lynon, 10, Enterprise (10-3).

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