Open weights costly to Panthers


The Paola Panther Wrestlers knew it was going to be a tough night, as they prepared to take on the Spring Hill Broncos in their final home dual match of the season, with injuries and illness taking their toll, the Panthers were going to be outmanned heading into senior night on the mats at PHS.

WLH0224 The Panthers were open in three of the first six weight classes, and the Broncos put on a clinic in the other three classes, to open a 36-0 team lead and never looked back, soundly defeating the Panthers by a team total of 61-18.

“What most people don’t realize about the sport of wrestling is that position is the biggest part of the sport, having a hand, or leg, or foot just a couple of inches off is huge,” said Panthers Head Coach Russ Hermreck. “We’re still having a hard time learning these things, and position is a key factor in whether you win or lose.”

Hermreck, who has an outstanding wrestling resume in his own right, knows a few things about position, but still he is encouraged with his young Panther team and sees bright spots, the greatest of which is the Panthers efforts on the mat. Hermreck is not about to complain about this years squad and its work ethic or its effort once the match starts.

“I certainly can’t complain about our effort,” Hermreck said. “It’s just the little things, the small stuff, that’s getting our tails kicked.

After opening in the 0-36 hole, the Panthers finally got on the board, as Kurt Weaver was the beneficiary of Spring Hill’s lone open weight class at 140 pounds, and it was not until Chris Edwards turned in a strong effort at 152 pounds that the Panthers actually won a match with two wrestlers on the mat.

Edwards and his opponent Charlie Briggs put on one of the most entertaining matches of the night, battling through a 0-0 first period and seeing Edwards take a tight 2-1 advantage after the second period, Edwards was on his way to at least a decision on the night, as he was enjoying a 4-1 advantage with less than a minute to go, when just for good measure, he got Briggs on his back and pinned the Spring Hill Junior with 41 seconds remaining in the match.

“My only regret with Chris Edwards is I wish we could have had him in the program since his freshman year,” Hermreck said. “He’s a junior, and has a lot of athletic ability, but it’s his first year, he listens well and has brought a lot into the program.”

The night continued not going well until the evening’s final match, pitting Panther senior Cale Karingan against Spring Hill Sophomore Chris Terrazas. As the first period progressed, things went from bad to worse for the Panthers senior, as Terrazas found himself in a dominant position, and it looked for all practical purposes as Karigan’s senior night would end with him being pinned.

WLH0178 But wrestling is a funny sport, one minute you’re down and nearly out of a match, and the next, you’ve reversed the situation and you’ve won. And, that’s exactly what happened to Karrigan, but it was not a matter of minutes, it was a matter of seconds, as the Panther senior found the opening and the strength he needed, reversed the position on Terrazas and won the match on a pin with 20 seconds remaining in the opening period.

“That was not go the way I planned it,” Karingan said. “But it felt good to go out with a win, the team score is disappointing, but this is a young team with a lot of injuries.”

Even Hermreck was impressed with Karigan’s sudden reversal and match victory.

“That was a great ending, Karrigan’s got a lot of character,” Hermreck said. “Fighting off his back, getting a reversal and a pin says a lot about that young man. A lot of heavyweights would have been buried right there.”

Karigan's stunningly quick reversal of fortunes at least sent the home crowd out into the snowy night on a high note, and made the final team tally 61-18 in Spring Hill’s favor.

The Panthers other senior competitor on the evening was Eric Timpe. Timpe, wrestling at 145 pounds faced Spring Hill sophomore Jeff Lovetinsky, and opened a 3-2 lead after the first two minutes, but fell behind as the second period closed by a 4-6 score. Lovetinsky got the upper hand on Timpe early in the third period and closed the match out on a pin with 1:31 remaining in the match.

The other Panther matches played out this way:

At 103 pounds Brian Ebeling was pinned by Core Spader in the second period; Taylor Harris was pinned by Shane Squire at 119 pounds in the second period; at 135 pounds, Parker Boyer was pinned by Aaron Barnes in the firs period; Tyler Henness and Shane Slyter gave the crowd another entertaining match at 160 pounds with Henness falling to Slyter on a 10-6 decision; at 189 pounds Keegan Sutti was pinned by Patrick Goldman in the first period, and at 215 pounds Spencer Trumbly lost a major decision to Taylor Kettler by an 11-1 count.

The Panthers will return to action tomorrow, (Saturday, February 6, 2010) as they travel to Silver Lake for the Silver Lake Invitational. The Panthers will join Osawatomie, Louisburg and Prairie View High Schools at the event.