Ross Taekwondo takes titles

Published 11:10 pm Friday, March 13, 2009

Special to the Times

Members of Ross Taekwondo Academy’s Fighting Tigers Competition Team competed Saturday, Feb. 21 in the Eave’s Syrup City Classic martial arts tournament in Fayette.

A team of 10 Demopolis residents won 19 trophies from the forms, weapons, point sparring, grappling, and continuous sparring martial arts competition hosted by William Eave’s Karate and the Alabama Karate Circuit.

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Ross Taekwondo owner and seventh degree black belt Ronda Russell, of Demopolis, captured two first place finishes in the women’s black belt open-hand forms and black belt women’s weapons forms divisions and two second place finishes in women’s black belt competition sparring and women’s continuous fighting.

“We’re a small school here, but we were up against some clubs with 150 or more members,” said Russell. “Considering the odds, our performance in Fayette was outstanding.”

Team Captain Jay Russell won first place in the men’s black belt open-hand forms, second place in the men’s black belt competition sparring, and second place in men’s black belt continuous fighting.

Other members of the team who placed were: Elizabeth Etheridge, first place in beginner women’s competition sparring and first place in beginner women’s open-hand forms divisions; Haley Etheridge, fourth place in junior black belt girls’ 12 and 13 sparring; Krissany Purnell, 11, first place in beginner girls’ 10 and 11 sparring; Jackson Morrison, fourth place in intermediate boys 10 and 11 sparring; Hannah Rankin, second place in intermediate girls’ 10 and 11 open-hand forms; Brett Schroeder, third place in intermediate 7-year old sparring and fourth place in open-hand forms; Tyler Bowers, first place in beginner 7-year old sparring and first place in open-hand forms; Alexzundria Abrams, first place in beginner 6-year old open-hand forms and fourth place in sparring.

“For five of our team members, this was their first time competing in an open martial arts tournament,” stated Russell, “and, out of those five, we brought home five first place trophies. We’re very proud of our students.”

Ross Taekwondo Academy, 1613 Highway 43 South in Demopolis, martial arts team plans to compete throughout the year in the Alabama Karate Circuit and Mississippi Karate Association tournaments scattered across both states. Russell said the team’s next scheduled tournament would be an AKC event in Hartselle. on March 28.