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Hello again our faithful Alumni, Supporters, and Friends,
Another week in competition down and another week closer to our overall goal of qualifying at least 7 wrestlers for the individual finals in Champaign and taking the team as a whole to dual team state finals in Bloomington. Some may say this is a stretch but it is nothing short of reality with the talent and the hard work of your Panther Wrestling team.
Your Panthers had a good week ending the stretch at 4-1 out of 5 duals. Our only loss can to a tough 17th state ranked Prairie Central team 36-35.
We started with Prairie Central and GCMS at GCMS on Thursday evening. We started the night with GCMS who has some tough wrestlers that are also state ranked individually. Your Panthers were led by this yearâ€™s captains Schuyler Lindsay at 132 and Anthony Franc at 152. Also helping Manteno to the victory was Mark Deery at 170, Jordyn Wasiel at 182, Drew Crawford at 195 all won by fall. Tucker Presler at 106, Travon Done at 113, Dakota Schipman at 145 also helped the cause winning their matches by decision taking the final score to 42-29 in Mantenoâ€™s favor.
The second dual has been a long time coming, a rematch of last yearâ€™s of the team Sectional Final against Prairie Central in which it came down to the last match and unfortunately Manteno came out with the short end of the stick. We started the dual at 132 with Lindsay getting a chance at redemption; he was up against an opponent that handed him a loss at last yearâ€™s sectional finals. This year was a different story and he came away with a 2-0 victory starting us off on the right foot. At 145 Dakota Schipman wrestled a heck of a match against a previously state ranked opponent, it was a back and forth battle with Dakota just running out of time losing a close decision 9-5. Anthony Franc started the rally again with a quick pin at 160 and was followed up by wins from Mark Deery, and Jordyn Wasiel. Senior wrestler Dan Cravens showed exactly what we are trying to teach, which is to fight. Fight for the take down, fight for the back points, fight off the bottom, and if case may be fight off your back and donâ€™t give up. He was in a dog fight with an evenly matched Prairie Central wrestler that unfortunately put Cravens to his back a few times in the third but Dan fought. He fought of his back and only gave up 3 team points instead of 6, which is a victory in itself. The score was 25-24 Manteno at that point when we received at forfeit at 106 and gained a major decision from Travon Done at 113. This all but sealed the victory for Manteno putting the panthers ahead 35-24. We had two matches left in the back and forth battle but Manteno came up short losing the final 2 matches ending the dual Prairie Central 36, Manteno 35. It was heartbreaking for the team and coaching staff but puts things into perspective, that works needs to be done and we still have time to do it.
Finally, Saturday we had 3 non-conference duals against Rich East, Clifton Central, and Bismark- Henning. Manteno started a little slow against a much improve Rich East team but found its rhythm towards the middle of the line up and rode it all the way through the rest of the day. Manteno came out of the day unscathed at 3-0, but they were hard fought. Manteno 39, Rich East 25; Manteno 54, Clifton Central 13; and finally Manteno 40, Bismarck-Henning 24. The final match was an exciting one against Bismarck-Henning. It was a back and forth battle again as it was on Thursday and your Panthers worked hard not to let this one end up in the loss column. Senior wrestler Cody Cunningham and Freshman Jarod Knight started the day with two state ranked opponents. Cunninghamâ€™s match was close all the way to the end with him unfortunately losing a hard fought decision, 9-7, in OT. Knight went out there to battle against another tough wrestler from Bismark but again was handed a loss putting Bismark ahead 9-0. Manteno battled back at 132 with a close win by senior wrestler Tyler Blanchette 9-8. Then followed up by wins from Dakota Schipman at 145, Mark Deery 160, Dietsch 170, Wasiel 182, Crawford 195, and finally Done at 113. We had several wrestlers that had a great day going undefeated starting with Presler at 106, Done 113, Lindsay 132, Schipman 145, and Jordyn Wasiel at 182.
Your Manteno JV squad are also improving with some valuable mat time this past Thursday and Saturday. They too are buying into the system following in the footsteps of their varsity leaders, pushing the issue and their opponents forcing them to make mistakes for them to capitalize on. Junior wrestler Alejandro Lopez worked for 2 wins Thursday and was followed by Senior Mitchell Greise, Sophomores Dalton Cope, Justin Wood, and Freshman Haley Presto. It just shows the hard work and dedication is contagious and does pay off.
Finally this week we go head to head with one of the best in the state in #2 ranked Wilmington High School as we dual them and Reed Custer at home Tuesday night at 5:30 PM. We then travel to Lowell, IN to participate in the Lowell Super Duals where we will see some competitive schools from Illinois and Indiana. Please come out to show your support and cheer us on to victory.
I am following up with the second shirt order with hopes of its arrival before Tuesday but again I will let you know and we are just waiting for them to be delivered to the school. If you have any other questions please feel free to contact me.
Thanks again for your support.