The CCHS Panther wrestling team started their march to glory on Saturday in what could be called The Season Of The Underdogs. Ten of the finest Panthers the school could muster showed up to take on sixteen of the toughest teams in AA and AAA at the Mike Ellis Invitational held at Hurricane High School. Some of the weight classes on the Panther team are void of wrestlers, so no matter where they go, they will have a tough road to the top. However, I can guarantee anyone that those wrestlers who decided to call the Panther team home are going to bust their butts to get to the top. With some new blood hitting the mats for the Panthers, their efforts will not go unnoticed. Those newcomers were felt big time at this tournament as each one sent their adversary packing and scoring big for the Panthers.
The Panthers will be filling more weight classes this year and will have a better chance of getting the Panther wrestling dynasty back to a feared team. All the wrestlers could possibly make the big dance at the state level as long as they stay healthy and keep the fire kindled to kick the butt of anybody that has the nerve to come up against them. It was war on the floor at this tournament, and when the smoke cleared and broken bones were tended, the Panthers placed 7th of the 16 teams that entered. Seventh place is nothing to sneeze at in this field of teams. Two of the Panther wrestlers never lost a match. Brandon White, who returns to the floor for one more season at CCHS, went undefeated. Also coming back to the floor after a year layoff is Ryan Stewart who is back on track and hasn’t lost his grit. He also went undefeated. Austin Dobbins is also back for his senior season and will be in the hunt for the gold.
The Panthers travel to the Richie County Invitational this Saturday. If you get the chance, make the trip. You will be glad you did. As a bonus, after rooting on the Panthers, you can stop by Clarksburg on the way home for some Christmas shopping. Go Panthers.