By Allen Hamrick
The Panthers closed the 2021 wrestling season with a shot heard around the world. This past weekend at the state finals in Huntington, family, friends and fans of all makes and sizes came together as a unit to support the four Panthers who fought hard all year to be the best. The fans were the most incredible; it was as if each boy wrestling had many mothers and fathers that all felt pain when a wrestler lost and exuberance when one of the boys won. The coaches and the team wanted to extend a special thanks to all of those who came in support of the team. Now with that being said, here are the facts.
The Casto brothers, Colton and Noah, cracked the whip hard and fast and made it to the final round. Colton, a Senior in his final match of the season, went out with nothing but full effort in his final match as a Panther and came within just a couple of points from being state champion. Colton’s career as a Panther wrestler has been nothing short of all out, full on wrestling, and he gave the fans their money’s worth. Finishing as state runner up was the icing on the cake of a great career; he will be some hard shoes to fill on the mats. Younger brother Noah also finished runner up in the tournament after an intense final match. He still has a couple of years left at CCHS and will no doubt be a force to reckon with when the season and state tournament return next year. Congratulations to both the Casto brothers on their top two finishes.
Zane Minger placed 6th in the tournament, and as a freshman, he did an outstanding job getting to the podium. It takes a special breed of determination to get to the level he has reached this year. The name Zane Minger will be remembered because he has set it in stone that he will be the one to beat if another wrestler in his weight class wants the title. Congratulations to Zane on his 6th place finish. Bo Roat was also in the tournament but suffered a knee injury early in the event. He may have not placed this year but dished out some punishment, and without his sacrifice, Clay would not have been ranked 8th. He made it to the tournament, and just getting here this year was a feat in and of itself. Bo is also a senior and will definitely be missed on the mats. The Clay Panthers sent four wrestlers to the state that placed 8th overall as a team, and that is indeed an accomplishment. The Panther wrestling team is on that hard earned and well deserved pedestal once again this year. Congratulations to Head Coach Jamie McDonough and his assistants who were there for the boys all season and never once let them down