Panthers have tough time at Baldwin

The Paola High School Wrestlers continue to face outstanding competition this season, and the Baldwin Invitational was no exception, featuring the fourth and eighth ranked 4A teams in Abilene and Prairie View as well as the third ranked 5A team, Lansing. Throw in always tough and host Baldwin, as well as Eudora and Spring Hill, and you’ve got the makings of an outstanding and very difficult tournament.

“It was a rough day for our varsity crew at the Baldwin Invitational Tournament,” said Panthers Head Coach Russ Hermreck.” “We had some very tough matchups with some really good competition, but there certainly was a couple of bright spots.”

WLH0227 The brightest of those spots came in the form of Spencer Trumbly who wrestled his way in to the championship match, where he was pinned by the top ranked and undefeated wrestler in the state at 215 pounds, Tyler Wuthnow of Abilene. The fact that Trumbly lost the championship match is not that big of a deal, it was the way he made it to the match that was a big thing for him.

Trumbly had to defeat Boomer Mayes of Eudora along the way just to get to the championship, a feat he had not been able to accomplish this season, although he has had more than one opportunity.

“Spencer has already lost to Mayes several times this season, and early in the season he listed as beating Boomer as one of his personal goals this year,” Hermreck said. “Obviously this is a huge victory for his confidence going into the last little stretch of our season.”

Cale Karringan, wrestling at 285 pounds, finished in fourth place on the day, after being pinned by Jesse Austin of Baldwin, but things could have been much better for Karringan who was just seconds from winning his semi-final match against John Cervantes of Oak Park.

“Cale was a matter of seconds from being in the finals losing in sudden victory overtime to a very good opponent from Oak Park, MO in the semifinals,” Hermreck said.  “Cale just got a little careless and gave up a penalty point in the last couple of seconds to send the match into the first overtime.  He should have won that match and been in the finals.”

No other Panther wrestler placed above seventh place on the day, but Hermreck said he was pleased with the performance of many of his wrestlers, especially Eric Timpe, who ended the day eighth place at 145 pounds. Timpe was pinned by Colton Horne of Baldwin in the seventh place match, but, Hermreck said he wrestled and competed well against two very tough opponents.

“Eric Timpe really stood out as someone that is making giant strides.  He wrestled and competed really well against two wrestlers who are state medalists and Eric stood in and went toe to toe, eventually getting beat.” Hermreck said. “He has really stepped up his intensity in practice and it is starting to show.”

Other wrestlers included; Josh Wade (119 pounds) who finished ninth with a pin over Alexia Callahan of Perry Lecompton; Kurt Weaver (140 pounds) who finished in seventh place on a 9-5 decision over Ethan Beeman of Baldwin; and Brad Hall who was forced to forfeit the ninth place match at 189 because of an injury.

“The rest of boys were in the same boat, with tough tough competition,” Hermreck said. “Josh Wade, Kurt Weaver, and Brad Hall and Joe Pomatto just flat out ran into men that were just better than us on that day.”

The tournament was won by Abilene with 306 points, followed by Oak Park, Missouri (297) in second. Rounding out the top five were Lansing (240.5); Baldwin (215.5) and Prairie View (186.5).

The Panthers will be in action twice this week, as they will host Spring Hill in a dual meet on Friday night, February 5, 2010, in an event what was postponed from early January because of inclement weather. This will be the last home action for the Panther grapplers and will feature senior night recognitions.

“Our team is very excited for our upcoming dual with Spring Hill on Friday night.  We always look at this as bigger than big,” Hermreck said. “We are hoping to wrestle really well for our senior class on senior night and are really looking forward to the challenge.”

The team will then travel to Silver Lake for the Silver Lake invitational on Saturday, February 6, 2010.