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Paola Panther Invitational

Panthers place four at home tournament

The Paola Panther Wrestlers, while only placing four squad members in the top four places at its annual invitational wrestling tournament on Saturday, January 24, 2009, were able to find plenty of positives to take away from the experience according to Head Coach Russ Hermreck.

"We are starting to realize that it is NOT what we are doing that's keeping us from being successful," Hermreck said. "It is HOW we are doing it."

Hermreck has said from the beginning of the season that the Panthers would be spending time finding themselves on and off the mat this year, but the coach is please with the progress that is being made.

"We have plenty of wrestlers that are doing most of their techniques the right way," Hermreck said. "We just need to learn to do those thing faster, harder and more intense."

The Panthers Mitch Mosley at 135 pounds and Spencer Trumbley at 215 pounds were able to wrestle back after early losses to claim third place it their weight classes. Dylan McKinney at 119 pounds and Parker Staats at 189 pounds each advanced to the third place matches only to fall a bit short and finish fourth in their weigth class.

"I can't tell you how proud we are of Parker and Spencer," Hermreck said. "Those two are working so hard on a daily basis and it's great to see their efforts being rewarded."

Hermreck said that as a tem they are getting better, but the squad as a whole needs to keep focusing on the things they can control and "get their noses to the grindstone," to continue to to find things to improve on every day.

"This group is quickly learning that in order to be successful each member is responsible for being a piece of the puzzle," Hermreck concluded. "Without every single person fulfilling their duties, we can't accomplish the goals we set."

The Panthers return to tournament action at Baldwin on Saturday.