Cortez leads Weaver to win in sectional tourney
by Brandon Miller
bmiller@annistonstar.com
Feb 10, 2013 | 3815 views |  0 comments | 6 6 recommendations | email to a friend | print
JACKSONVILLE — Weaver is one step closer to the possibility of winning the state championship.

The Bearcats handled business at the 2013 AHSAA 1A-4A Section 2 Tournament Friday and Saturday, cruising to victory with Susan Moore finishing second followed by Deshler, Oak Grove and Piedmont rounding out the top five.

“It’s a good feeling,” Weaver coach Andy Fulmer said about winning the tournament. “We had a lot of matches that we wrestled really well in, and there were a couple of surprises. Overall, it was probably one of our better tournaments team wise.”

Along with winning the tournament, Weaver also advanced eight wrestlers to the state tournament, which will begin on Friday in Hunstville. To advance, a wrestler has to finish in the top four of his/her weight class. Fulmer added that Weaver had several younger wrestlers that did not advance, but did score points for the Bearcats.

Without question, though, the biggest leader for Weaver was its 113-pound wrestler, Christian Cortez. Winning his weight class, Cortez also won Most Valuable Wrestler of the tournament.

“He’s a warrior,” Fulmer said. “He wrestles at a fast pace, he wrestles smart and he just hates to lose. You win with kids like that.

“He’s a two-time state finalist, and I’m hoping he’ll be a state champion this year.”

The biggest picture behind the Bearcats’ dominating performance over the weekend is it sets them up for a chance to win the state championship. Already one of the top programs in Alabama, advancing eight wrestlers to the state tournament gives Weaver a chance to get more points next weekend.

“There are a lot of really good wrestlers in the other section, so the more kids you get in the better chances you have,” Fulmer said. “We set ourselves up really good for maybe to compete for the blue trophy next week.”

Stiff competition awaits the Bearcats, including Tallassee, St. James, Fultondale and St. Clair County — the top four finishers in the Section 1 tournament at Tallassee

“When you compete in anything, you want to wrestle against the best,” Fulmer said. “They work hard, get after it and have great coaches. We’ll just have to go back and work hard this week and get focused mentally.”

Fulmer added that along with getting mentally focused, Weaver will run a lot of drills this week to maintain its condition in preparation for possible six-minute matches next week.

“We just have to continue wrestling tough and grind out some ugly wins. We just have to keep beating the people we’re beating and find ways to win against the people we aren’t beating.”

Sports Writer Brandon Miller: 256-235-3575. On Twitter @bmiller_star.