Talladega’s Martavious Redwine goes into today’s Alabama High School Athletic Association state wrestling tournament in Huntsville looking to make history. The sophomore has ambitions to be the first wrestler from Talladega to win a state championship.
“I really want to win a ring,” Redwine said. “I really want to come in first place. … I feel like this could be my only chance to win state, so I have to give it my best. This could be my first and last time going to state. I’m going to push myself as hard I can.”
In his first season on the mat, Redwine has won 30 matches.
Redwine advanced to the state tournament by winning three matches in the AHSAA Super Sectionals, which were at the Birmingham Crossplex last Saturday. Redwine, who is in the 138-pound division, won his first match but lost his second to the eventual tournament champion. Redwine won two matches in the consolation bracket to advance to the state tournament.
Talladega head coach Stewart Moore said what Redwine has been able to accomplish in first season is amazing.
“It is almost unheard of for a first-year wrestler to do this,” Moore said. “Wrestling in the state of Alabama is so competitive at this point. It is growing at such a tremendous rate that just making state is a big deal for a senior that has been doing it for five years, much less a 10th-grader that is in his very first year of wrestling that never stepped on a mat before last November.
“He has a drive and dedication. He does everything that (Assistant) Coach Blake Bradley and I ask, and more. We couldn’t ask for a better young man.”
If Redwine is able to accomplish his goal, it wouldn’t just be an amazing feat for him, but it would be quite the accomplishment for Talladega’s second-year program.
“We had three guys to come back from last year’s team, so in a lot of ways, we were starting over,” Moore said. There are 14 weight classes, so we had a lot of weight classes to fill.
“With seven varsity wrestlers, we actually won four matches this year, which is an improvement from zero last year. … Wrestling is a different sport than everything else. Most kids grow up playing basketball, baseball and football in their backyard or with their friends, but very few people actually do what we do in that wrestling room. It takes a tremendous commitment, and I couldn’t be more proud of our guys.”
Redwine said he wasn’t interested nor did he know anything about wrestling until he met with Moore last year.
“I went in the lunchroom and met Coach Moore,” Redwine said. “I went in there and wrestled one of his wrestlers. We went for two rounds, and he said that I was a heck of a wrestler. I told him that I would be sure to come out next year. At the end of November, I didn’t make the basketball team, so I said that I would give wrestling a try, and I think it worked out.”
Redwine will not be the only wrestler representing Talladega County at state. Lincoln’s Austin Creamer and Dazhone Finley will also be looking to bring home hardware from the state tournament.