The Stone Memorial Panther wrestling team dropped two matches to Stewarts Creek and Cookeville Tuesday at Cookeville High School.
“These were pretty tough teams and it was great experience for our young wrestlers,” said Coach Brian Parker.
In the match with Stewarts Creek, the Panthers won six matches to their opponents' eight wins to just miss out on the victory.
The Panthers had pins from Connor Heavilon (145), Joel Hernandez (160) and Justin Johnson (195). They had regular decisions from Cody McCarl (113), Dakota Karge (220) and Chase Eichner (285). A regular decision is a win by 7 points or less. Jacob Flannery lost a close match at 138 pounds by one point.
“We had some big wins in this match, but giving up forfeits at 106 and 120 makes it hard to pull out the team victory, “ added Parker.
“I thought Jacob should have won his match. Conditioning and mental mistakes were a factor in his match. Cody had the match of the night, beating the number 4 ranked kid in the state at 113 pounds. He looked the best I’ve seen him. He had intensity, stamina, grit, and technique. He literally wore the kid out and took the win in overtime,” Parker said.
Against Cookeville, the Panthers did not fair as well, only getting wins from McCarl, Johnson, and Eichner. Heavilon and Karge lost close matches.
“Cookeville has a ton of experience. Some of their ninth and 10th graders have four or more years of experience due to a great middle school and feeder program. It is tough to compete with that when you don’t even have middle schools. But it is good for our kids to compete with them so they can see what they need to keep working hard for,” Parker concluded.
After hosting Hardin Valley and the Cookeville junior varsity Thursday, the Panthers will compete in the Seymour Duals Saturday morning and wrestle CCHS and Kingston Dec. 19 in the CCHS wrestling complex, before competing in the CAK Duals on Dec. 20.