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Weaver Girls Get a Tourney of Their Own

Tourney of their own

Weaver, AL – Weaver’s established girls program proves ready for primetime, dominates first-ever Calhoun County girls’ wrestling championship

Weaver’s girls won the first-ever Calhoun County girls’ wrestling championship Wednesday at White Plains High School. (Photo by Joe Medley)
Weaver’s girls won the first-ever Calhoun County girls’ wrestling championship Wednesday at White Plains High School. (Photo by Joe Medley)

First Calhoun County girls’ wrestling tournament

Wednesday
At White Plains High School

TEAM RESULTS: Weaver 135, Piedmont 55, White Plains 28, Oxford 27, Saks 22, Wellborn 22, Alexandria 18, Ohatchee 0, Pleasant Valley 0.

CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS
102: Ariel Sargent (Weaver) def. Payton Price (White Plains), Fall, 1:24
109: Kynlee Fulmer (Weaver) def. Kira Benson (Weaver), Fall, 0:53.
116: Jaylee Carter (Weaver) def. Alondra Chavero (Saks), Fall, 1:35.
122: Ali Anderson (Weaver) def. Savannah Hamilton (Oxford), Fall 0:24.
128: Mariah Johannson (Weaver) def. Tammy Phillips (Alexandria), Fall, 3:29
134: Kallie Mayfeld (Weaver) def. Ansley Pope (Piedmont), Fall, 1:14
140: Lena Johannson (Weaver) def. Avrie Duke (Wellborn), Fall, 1:05
147: Blessin Bell (Oxford) def. Trinity Lang (Alexandria), Fall, 0:49
154: Jaylyn Medley (Weaver) def. Gracie Owens (Alexandria), Fall, 0:41
167: Na’lani Robertson (Piedmont) def. Bethany Fowler (Wellborn), Fall, 2:27.
187: Baleigh Brown (Weaver) def. Isabella Escareno (Saks), Fall, 1:35
237: Annabelle Hilburn (Piedmont) def. Shanya Patrick (Alexandria), Fall, 1:54

By Joe Medley

WHITE PLAINS — Weaver has a rich wrestling history, and the Bearcats jumped in with all paws when the Alabama High School Athletic Association first sanctioned girls’ wrestling.

It somehow seems appropriate that Calhoun County’s first girls’ team would become Calhoun County’s first team champion in girls’ wrestling.

The Bearcats left White Plains High School on Wednesday with nine individual champions and beat second-place Piedmont 135-55 in the team standings.

Weaver’s only loss came in a match the Bearcats also won … Kynlee Fulmer’s victory over teammate Kira Benson in the 109-pound final.

In its third season with a girls’ team, Weaver made history in dominating fashion.

“I’m mostly excited for our team,” said Lena Johannson, who wrestled with Weaver’s boys until the school formed its girls team. “That really shows the dominance we have a team,

“That all goes back to us starting wrestling as a team. We compete at a higher level than most teams around here.”

Weaver’s girls didn’t know they would have an opportunity for a county wrestling title when the season started. County principals voted to add a girls’ tournament at their Nov. 29 meeting.

While Weaver was the county forerunner for girls’ teams, nine schools fielded wrestlers in Wednesday’s inaugural girls’ county tourney. Seven teams scored.

County champions from schools other than Weaver by weight class included Oxford’s Blessin Bell (147), Piedmont’s Na’lani Robertson (167) and Annabelle Hilburn (237).

Weaver’s history makers included Johannson (140) and sister Mariah Johannson (128). They’re younger siblings to former Weaver wrestler and three-time state champion Joshua Johannson.

Ariel Sargent (102), Fulmer (109), Jaylee Carter (116), Ali Anderson (122), Kallie Mayfield (134), Jaylyn Medley (154) and Baleigh Brown (187) also won their weight classes.

Having a tournament “means a lot,” said Fulmer, daughter of Weaver wrestling coach Andy Fulmer and a second-year wrestler. “It shows us that we’re growing, and we’re taking things more seriously now,”

Fulmer, an All-Calhoun County softball player, said she wanted to wrestle on the youth level, “but they wouldn’t let me do it because it was just boys.”

“Once (girls’ wrestling) finally came, I was like, ‘I don’t know about it,’” she said. “They told me to try it, and I ended up liking it.”

Johannson is a three-time state champion and helped the Bearcats finish third at state in 2023.

She earned credits wrestling against boys on the county and state level before the AHSAA held its first girls’ state tournament, in 2021. On the county level, she finished third against boys in the 120 class as a seventh-grader. She was part of Weaver’s runner-up team at county in 2020, when organizers switched to a duals format because of COVID.

She was injured during the 2021 and 2022 county tournaments and did not participate. Now a junior, she’s a Calhoun County champion for the first time.

“It’s mind-blowing, honestly,” Johannson said. “When I was in seventh grade, there really weren’t any girls that wrestled. There were really none in the county.

“When I was in the eighth grade, when there was a girls’ state championship, it was really exciting, and I got a lot of support from Weaver. I think that, and when they opened the girls’ state championship, all of the girls at Weaver saw the possibilities they had in wrestling.”

Weaver’s victory in the inaugural girls’ county championship came on a day that saw the boys finish second by three points to Alexandria, which won its third consecutive county title. Weaver’s boys have won the past two Class 1A-4A state titles, two of their 11 team state titles overall, and Weaver coach Andy Fulmer said the girls took a major step forward Wednesday.

“We’ve been to a lot of big tournaments,” he said. “We’ve wrestled some local and wrestled against a lot of the 7A people in big tournaments, so that kind of atmosphere and competition has our girls ready to take that next step forward to try to help grow this sport in our county.

“It was a good day today. We lost one match, total, and that was a teammate beating another teammate.”

Weaver’s Lena Johannson wins her 140-pound final Wednesday in the inaugural Calhoun County girls’ wrestling tournament. The Bearcats went on to win the team title. (Photo by Joe Medley)
Weaver’s Lena Johannson wins her 140-pound final Wednesday in the inaugural Calhoun County girls’ wrestling tournament. The Bearcats went on to win the team title. (Photo by Joe Medley)

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