The SMHS wrestling team went 4-3 last weekend, including a fourth-place finish at the Heritage Duals.
On Thursday, the Panthers lost two close matches to Maryville and William Blount. On Saturday, they beat Karns, Hardin Valley, Daniel Boone and Clinton, but lost to Heritage.
The Maryville and William Blount matches were big districts matches for the Panthers. Against Maryville, the Panthers had wins from Cody McCarl (113), Anthony Alegria (120), Connor Heavilon (145), Justin Johnson (195) and Chase Eichner (285). This was not enough to win the match.
“We had all the match-ups we wanted, but they were a little tougher at 126 and 170 than we thought. We also missed a big opportunity to get a pin at 220,” said Coach Brian Parker.
With William Blount, the Panthers had pins from McCarl, Alegria, Ismael Matias (126) and Heavilon. They had decisions from Joel Hernandez (160), Johnson, and Dakota Karge (220). Both teams won seven matches, but the Governors got more pins and bonus points to take the victory 39-33.
“We knew that we had a chance to win both of these matches, but that we would have to win all the close matches to do it. It just didn’t happen that way today. We had the 182 on his back but ended up losing the match and we also lost in overtime at 285. A win at either weight class may have given us the win,” added Parker. “On the up-side, this was also senior night and we only have one senior. So our chances to win the district are looking good for next season.”
The SMHS wrestling team had a senior night ceremony for 106-pounder Cody McCarl. He was escorted by his parents Don and Lynn Shockey.
Cody is a four-year starter and three-time state qualifier for the Panthers. He has over 120 career wins and over 55 pins. He plans to attend TTU and major in engineering. He plans to become a four-time qualifier and place in the state next month.
At the Heritage Duals, the Panthers won four of five matches to take fourth place. Being in a pool and losing to champion, Heritage, knocked them out of contention for second or third.
In the Heritage match, the Panthers only had wins from Jacob Flannery (138), Heavilon and Blake Hicks (152). Johnson only lost 3-2 to a No. 2 state-ranked kid at 195 pounds.
“Heritage had been very tough for a few years and they are a senior-heavy team this year. I think we will take them next year,” added Parker.
In the other four victories, McCarl, Loza, Johnson, Karge and Eichner all had four wins. Ismael Matias and Hernandez had three wins, while Alegria and Connor Crocket each had two wins.
The Petro’s Wrestler of the Week for the varsity team last week was junior Chase Eichner, who had seven wins this week. In the two matches he lost this week, he went from big loses a month ago to one-point loses this week. He has 28 wins so far this season.
“Chase has made amazing strides this season. I have been really impressed with his increased confidence, and his rapid addition of new technique. I believe he has a real chance to win the Rregion,” said Parker
The Petro’s Wrestler of the Week for the junior varsity team last week was sophomore Christian Statom.
Statom wrestled 195 for another team at the Heritage Duals since they did not have a 195-pounder. He ended the week, going 4-1 with four pins. For this effort, he gets a free meal at Petros.
“Christian was impressive today. Being behind Johnson and Karge at 195 and 220, he doesn’t any time at the varsity level, but he does get a lot of good experience wrestling them in practice. Looks like that is paying off for Christian,” concluded Parker.