By Ed Greif
Lady Panther wrestler Madison Finley and Panthers Landon Barlow, Cody Caruthers, Justin Johnson and Antony Giattino received the top awards at the awards luncheon for the two teams Sunday afternoon in the school lobby.
Finley was recognized for earning the most career wins by a Lady Panther wrestler.
"This year will be the second time that most career wins on the girls' team has been broken. Madison also tied the record for pins in a season, which is 11 pins. She wins this award with 28 career wins in three seasons, beating the old record by four wins," said Coach Brian Parker.
Barlow, a junior, won Most Improved honors.
"The most improved wrestler award goes to the wrestler who most improves his winning percentage from the previous season. There were four wrestlers who really improved this year, but Landon had a great year as a second-year wrestler. He from only having a few varsity matches last year to a win percentage of 63% this season with a 27-16 record," added Parker.
Caruthers won the Panther Pride Award.
Parker said, "The Panther Pride award goes to the wrestler that possesses all the attributes that coach wants in his wrestlers, such as work ethic, leadership, character, courage and wrestling ability. Cody has shown great improvement in all of these area since the season began. By the end of the season, he was working on team strategies with the coaches."
Johnson wont Most Outstanding Freshman honors.
"The Most Outstanding freshman was a big surprise for us this year, since Justin was also a rookie. With 26 varsity wins, he had the sixth most wins on the team. He is one of only two Panther wrestlers to qualify for the state as a freshman. He comes from a big freshman class that represents the future of Panther wrestling," said Parker.
Giattino was the Most Outstanding Wrestler.
Added Parker, "The Most Outstanding Wrestler goes to Anthony who scored the most points for his team in dual and tournament competition. While four of our wrestlers have 34 or more wins, he had 40 wins this season and qualified for the state. He also led the field in pins with 25 on the season. While several wrestlers were very close behind in wins, they could not reach your two-time most outstanding wrestler."
Before these awards were presented Parker and assistant coach Nathan Hoffman presented letter awards.
"As most of you know, wrestling is a very tough sport, the toughest in high school. To earn a varsity letter for wrestling, boys must earn 30 varsity points without forfeits, wrestle in 75 percent of our varsity matches, complete two full seasons or complete their senior season. Girls must qualify for the state or complete two seasons, and managers must complete two seasons," added Parker. "We are very proud of the wrestlers who make it through the whole season, but did not meet the criteria to letter. For these wrestlers, we have a picture and frame and a DVD to be distributed by the end of school."
Non-lettermen were Chandler Brickle, Ismael Matias, Chris Lindsey, Tristan Hassler, Logan Livesay, Christian Staton, Brandon Burnett, Juan Loza, Dakota Karge and Ethan Robinson (manager).
"Ethan has been a great manager this year. I have never had a freshman manager take to it so quickly and do so much for us. We really appreciate his hard work," added Parker.
Lettermen received a letter and a wrestler pin or a bar for lettering mutliple years.
The varsity lettermen were Charming Wurm, Angel Feeler, Laura Napier, Madison Finley, Cody McCarl, Chris Brickle, Brenden Carter, Dakota McAdoo, Darren Rosser, Anthony Giattino, Cody Caruthers, Landon Barlow, Justin Johnson, Chase Eichner, Garion Bogard and Alex Norris.
Captain's pins were presented to Rosser, Giattino and Caruthers.
McCarl, Caruthers, Rosser, Giattino and Barlow received patches for posting 20+ wins in a season, not including forfeits.
State qualifier patches and certificates were presented to McCarl, Rosser, Giattino, Caruthers, Johnson, Feeler, Finley and Napier.
Century Club patches for winning more than 100 wins in a career went to Giattino (132) and Caruthers (115).
Records assigned to the Wrestling Wall of Fame were most pins in a season — Giattino, 25 (fourth) and McCarl, 24 (seventh); most wins in a season — Giattino, 40 (third), McCarl, 36 (sixth), Caruthers, 35 (seventh) and Rosser, 34 (eighth); most wins in a career Giattino, 132 (second), Caruthers, 115 (third) and Rosser, 92 (sixth); and most pins in a career — Giattino, 87 (previous record 79), Caruthers, 62 (fifth) and Rosser, 52 (sixth).
Parker recognized his assistant coaches — Nathan Hoffman and Matt Bates.
"Once again I have been blessed with assistant coaches this season. They showed their enthusiasm and dedication to the sport and your kids by wrestling with them every day and pushing them to do their best in every practice and match," said Parker.
"And, they make me a better coach by helping me find the right direction and focus for our team. Matt has made all of our record keeping easier and does a great job with the girls. Nathan does a great job with our weight-lifting program and anything else I need. Thank you coaches for you time and energy and don't even plan on leaving."