Holloway goes 0-2 in first state meet


For Jamal Holloway it’s been a whirlwind time in his new school. The sophomore came to Paola High School as the result of being part of a military family. His timing couldn’t have been any better as far as Panthers Head Wrestling Coach Russ Hermreck was concerned.

All Holloway did was cap his first ten days at PHS with a fourth place finish at regionals, and earn a trip the the Kansas State Class 4A Wrestling Tournament in Salina.

Fast forward one week, and on Friday, February 26, 2010, Hollaway, the smallest of Panther participants was carrying the Paola name banner in the parade of champions to open the tournament perched on the shoulders of Cale Karigan, the biggest. It is the stuff that dreams and movies are made from.

Of course in the movies Holloway would have wrestled his way through the bracket to the state championship, defeating the top seeded and unbeaten three time defending champion in the first place match. But, this was real life, not the movies, and unfortunately for Holloway he will have to be satisfied with just being a part of the story, because he didn’t find the fairy tale ending.

No, Holloway’s state tournament ended the way all but a handful of participants did, with a couple of matches, against some pretty good competition, but at least he can always say he made the “show.”

"Jamal ran into a tough, tough opponent right off the bat," said Russ Hermreck, Panthers Head Coach. "A very daunting task coming into a state tournament with less than 10 matches on your belt.  I believe Jamal gained some very valuable experience."

Holloway opened the tournament with a match against Francisco Antillon of Scott City. Antillon, a senior and eventual sixth place finisher, with a 34-7 record coming into the tournament dispatched the Paola sophomore on a 16-0 Technical Fall in the third period. Antillon was never in trouble in the match, as he kept Holloway on his back for most of the first period in route to a 5-0 lead. Holloway fell further behind in the second period as the second two minute time period ended with Antillon holding an 8-0 lead. The Match ended in the third period when Holloway fell behind by a score of 16-0.

Holloway’s state tournament experience ended on Friday afternoon, as he faced Kenny Gulley of Atchison. Gulley, a 30-8 sophomore pinned Holloway at the 1:53 mark in the first period.

"He showed a ton of heart and determination in the short period we were around him this season," Hermreck said. "His attitude is very positive and the guys have really enjoyed their time with him.  We are very excited to have Jamal as a part of our future."

"This was a great group