By Allen Hamrick
The CCHS wrestling team has had one of those crazy seasons that seems to throw a metric wrench on a carriage head bolt. At the beginning of the season, the Panthers looked as though they would have a full team that would once again put the CCHS Panthers at the top of the food chain. Covid-19, however, had a different idea. Matches were being cancelled and wrestlers had to quarantine; it’s been tough to get your dog through the briar patch, as the older folks used to say.
The Panthers took it to the mats when they did get the chance and have had wrestlers at the top in every match who have put in the time and grit to get a chance at a state title. With the LKC tournament cancelled, the Panthers travelled to Braxton County for the Regional Tournament on Saturday. When it came time to load the bus, two of the wrestlers had to quarantine which ended their season and left just six Panthers to compete in the event. The usual persona or the typical idea is that a six member team doesn’t have much hope of making a difference on the mats. These six wrestlers, however, have proven in pools of sweat and blood that they are warriors that have no regard for anyone’s pity. They are there for one reason and that is to win and never give up. Once again, they demonstrated power, determination and grit as they competed for a spot at the state competition.
The top four in each weight class at the Regionals will wrestle the top four from the other regions in Huntington beginning on April 21st. The Panther wrestlers did the county proud as they walked away with two individual champions, two 3rd place finishes and one 6th place finish. Individual champs were Colton Casto, a powerhouse in his final season, who pinned every wrestler he faced in the tournament, and Zane Minger, a freshman, who is letting the wrestling world know he is coming for the title, and it may just be this year. Third place finishers was Noah Casto and Bo Roat. These four wrestlers will compete for a state title in their weight divisions in Huntington. Sixth place went to Caden Delwarte, another freshman who is making a name for himself. Congratulations to all of the CCHS wrestlers. The talent is here to once again have one or more state champions come out of the CCHS wrestling dynasty. When these four CCHS wrestlers hit the mats in Huntington, one can rest assured it will be war on the floor and no quarter given. So, if you have time and need a little vacation, break out that new credit card and splurge for a night in Huntington to root for the team. They have worked extremely hard this year, and for some, it is their last year of school and last chance to put on the dog. It is the toughest six minutes anyone can endure – tougher than playing chicken with a Carolina Reaper pepper and sweatier that doing jumping jacks in a 200 degree sauna with a drill sergeant keeping count. It is indeed a tough sport, but we have four guys willing to run the gauntlet of guts and determination to be number one. If you get the opportunity, support the wrestlers in Huntington on April 21st for their last time on the mats this season.