After spending the last four years at Alabama Christian, football coach Leslie Mote is leaving the program after accepting a job at Goodpasture High School in Madison, Tenn., near Nashville.
Mote went 4-6 this season and was 9-11 overall with the Eagles. He served as the team’s defensive coordinator from 2009-10.
“It just kind of happened, honestly, just from word of mouth,” Mote said. “It’s been fun, great kids that work hard. The administration’s been very supportive. I’m not leaving because I’m upset with the school, it’s just a good opportunity for me to get back closer to where I lived for 11 years.”
Mote coached at Columbia Academy in Tennessee from 1998-2008. He said a motivation for making the move was to be closer to his wife’s parents. He also will be closer to his parents in Arkansas.
“Mainly I’ll miss the relationships with the kids and there’s some people I consider pretty good friends,” Mote said. “I’m definitely going to miss the guys I coached with. Mainly the people, that’ll be the biggest thing.”
Local state-qualifying wrestlers
The Prattville Lions are riding the momentum of their 6A Section 1 victory into the state tournament in Huntsville and look to return to the state’s elite rankings.
“I feel like we have a chance (to win the state championship),” Prattville coach Trent Miller said. “Last year we got 13th. The year before that, we had been in the top five for seven years in a row. We’re headed back in the right direction, and we have a pretty good chance here.”
Prattville, St. James and Tallassee are bringing nine wrestlers each to the tournament. Jeff Davis set a school record with seven qualifiers. Wetumpka and Stanhope Elmore each have six, G.W. Carver has three and Montgomery Catholic has two.
Prattville, Carver, Wetumpka and Jeff Davis get started at 1 p.m. today. St. James, Tallassee and Stanhope Elmore begin at 9:30 a.m. Friday.
Three wrestlers made the 106-pound class: Brandon Cunningham (45-6) from Prattville, and Zachary Van Alst (43-1) from Catholic each won their section tournament. Vershone Graham (29-12) from Wetumpka was second at sectionals.
Caden Funkhouser (48-12) from Prattville, T.J. Burke (34-16) from Stanhope Elmore, Geoffery Murray (38-9) from St. James and Steven Turner (14-11) from Tallassee made it from 113 pounds. Funkhouser and Murray won their section tournaments, Turner placed second and Burke grabbed fourth.
Robbey Killough (50-8) from Prattville, Deshaun Calhoun (15-11) from Jeff Davis, Marques Chattom (14-10) from Carver and Kennon Reese (44-5) from Tallassee qualified at 120 pounds. Killough and Reese each placed second at sectionals, Calhoun was third and Chattom was fourth.
Josh Epperson (46-0) from Tallassee, Stephen Kwan (38-4) from St. James and Nicholas Baker (49-14) from Prattville qualified at 126 pounds. Epperson and Baker won their section tournaments, Kwan placed second.
Decavis Powell (34-8) from Jeff Davis, Jaret Gallops (17-12) from Wetumpka and Matt Murray (33-4) from St. James represent the River Region at 132 pounds. Murray was second at sectionals, Powell was third and Gallops placed fourth.
Section champions Canden McWhirter (55-2) from Prattville, Chase Collins (38-2) from St. James and fourth-placer Brandon Householder (19-13) from Stanhope qualified at 138.
Coleman Adams (38-5) from St. James, Deandre Beck (43-3) from Stanhope, George Causey (24-10) from Prattville and Braxton Bryant (32-19) from Tallassee made it at 145 pounds. Adams placed first at sectionals, Beck second, Causey third and Bryant fourth.
Khaliq Jones (39-2) from Wetumpka, Chad Sibley (37-11) from Prattville, Jemario Powell (24-11) from Jeff Davis and B.J. Thomas (40-9) from Tallassee qualified at 152 pounds. Jones took first at sectionals, Sibley and Thomas took second, and Powell placed fourth.
Julius Buskey (26-8) from Jeff Davis, Griff Perry (25-12) from Stanhope, D.J. Rivers (24-5) from Tallassee, Dylan Bradford (27-18) from Prattville and Robert Griggs (10-7) from St. James represent 160 pounds. Buskey placed first at sectionals, Perry and Rivers each took third, and Bradford and Griggs both placed fourth.
Marcus Graham (26-7) from Wetumpka, Michael Richardson (31-9) from Jeff Davis and Chase Ritter (29-10) from St. James qualified at 170 pounds. Richardson placed third at sectionals, Graham and Ritter each took fourth.
Jesse Herron (23-10) from Jeff Davis and Drew Baker (42-5) from Tallassee represent the 182-pound class. Baker was second at sectionals and Herron placed third.
Chris Lujan (13-8), Tristan Leonard (19-13) from Wetumpka and David Norris (25-8) from Catholic qualified at 195. Lujan and Norris placed third at sectionals, Leonard took fourth.
Daniel McCall (17-2) from Carver, Mark Mathis (25-9) from Wetumpka, Kip Willis (14-9) from Stanhope, Arthur Frawley (27-2) from St. James and Jake Baker (11-6) from Tallassee qualified at 220.
Durell Robinson (32-10) from Jeff Davis, Darius Preyer (16-2) from Carver, Harry Walker (25-9) from Stanhope, Jesse Rowlen (39-1) from Tallassee, and Brad Murry (33-9) from St. James are the heavyweights. Robinson and Rowlen each won at sectionals, Murry and Preyer placed second, and Walker took third.
Prattville wrestler missing state for debate
The Lions’ 182-pounder Garrett Wilson won last week’s sectional tournament, but he isn’t making the trip to Huntsville.
Instead, the member of the debate team is participating in a debate meet over the weekend. Wilson received a scholarship to debate from the University of Alabama.
“It’s his decision, but it hurts,” Miller said. “But I’m not going to criticize him, it’s his choice.”
Wilson is 27-9 this season, and placed sixth at last year’s tournament.
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