By Allen Hamrick
The 2019 Bob Stover Classic is in the annals of history for wrestling fans near and far. Eight wrestling teams from around the state came to try to take the home team down, and it would take some great wrestling by the Panthers to hold their ground.
This year the tournament was in the duals format where it’s team against team and the best team wins. This event would be tough to win for any of the teams because of the quality of wrestlers attending. Wrestling isn’t a sport for everybody, and it can be said to be neither pain nor pleasure, but serious business. To put it simply, wrestling can send a body home to Grandma’s house for milk, cookies, and a big box of tissues to dry their tears; or land them at the top of the food chain, it just depends on the guts and skills. The Panther team brought a hundred percent to the mats, gave no quarter and took none. To take down the Panthers in their own den takes some outstanding wrestling.
At the tournament there were teams from Clay, Hoover, Huntington, Roane, Calhoun, Buffalo, South Charleston, and Robert C Byrd. The Panthers gave what they had and did pretty well. In the end, it was the Panthers and the Huskies going head to head for the title. When the smoke cleared, it was the Huskies over the Panthers in the matchup that proved to be some of the best wrestling of the day. The top three finishers were Hoover at 1st place, Clay at 2nd place, and Huntington at 3rd place. The Panthers will be back in action at the Armory in Summersville on Friday and Saturday this week. If you get the chance, come out and enjoy some good matches.
Let it be known there and many people who get this tournament underway and make it a success; without them it would never take place, so thanks to those that care enough to make it great. The ladies who prepare the hospitality room for the coaches and referees outdo themselves each year. Their banquet of food would be fit for a palace. This is evidenced by the mounds of food on the plates, the amount of bellies that were filled and the smiles on the faces. It was said that the hospitality room at the Bob Stover Classic is second to none in the state, and I believe it. Thanks to coaching great Bob Stover who was in attendance and handed out the trophies in the end. Coach Stover is well known throughout the state and beyond as one of the best who ever put on a coaching hat, and we are glad he is here. Go Panthers!