Under head coach Justin Ransom’s leadership, Mountain Brook High School won its first-ever AHSAA wrestling championship on January 20, 2023. Mountain Brook faced off against Mortimer Jordan, winning 32-27 in the Class 6A Wrestling Duals Finals which were held at the Birmingham CrossPlex. Here, Justin offers his thoughts on the team’s hard work and success.
Tell us about your recent win over Mortimer Jordan. What did it feel like when the whistle blew and Mountain Brook won?
The staff was ecstatic! It was almost surreal at first. You know the dual meet wasn’t technically over. Nathan became one of our seniors who won a type three-to-one match against a Mortimer Jordan wrestler. It gave us enough points to where we couldn’t lose the dual. I remember Nathan raising his hand and giving him a big hug and telling him how proud I was of him. Andrew Scofield has been coaching with me for seven years. I looked at him and said, “Man, we did it!”
What’s next for Mountain Brook’s wrestling team?
We’re working out and prepping our wrestlers with our club coaches. We’re really working towards trying to get our kids at these national tournaments, larger tournaments over the spring. Then we’ll switch gears come June and really focus on the team aspect once again. We’ll go to a team camp in Chattanooga.
What do you think makes a winner, specifically relating to Mountain Brook’s wrestling team?
Looking at the teams we’ve had over the years, I think the team dynamic, the team component, the overall [commitment] from everybody in the room is why we’re successful. We have 45 wrestlers on our team, and in a meet, only 14 wrestlers are competing. But, at any moment, we could ask someone to step in from a weight class. The group we had this year–I wouldn’t say was the most experienced we’ve ever had. But, they were going to do whatever it took for Mountain Brook to win, and I was going to do whatever they did. They were going to do it for the team rather than for the individual. They’re really selfless all throughout the year. I think [teamwork] was a huge thing that we communicated to them, and they bought into it and believed in it.
Are there any students that you are especially proud of that you’d like to give a shout out to for their hard work this season?
Overall, we have a young team. I mean we started four seniors, so we have a very young team, but I do think a big component is our seniors this year. Coming out of the junior high and in the high school, three of the four seniors weren’t even a starter until this year. They all kind of took on the role of being leaders in the off season, whether it was in the locker room or in practice. I think a huge driving factor in our team’s mentality was no one stood out. Winning was a collective effort. The seniors pulled together and found a way to make everything work. The team built off that energy.
What is your favorite thing about being a coach in the Mountain Brook School System?
The overall support, whether it’s from the administration or the community, makes it a great place to work. I feel like you are always supported, no matter what you’re doing.