Panthers Turns in Third WVC Mat Win
By Ken McKenzie
The SPASH Panther varsity wrestling team moved to 3-0 in Wisconsin Valley Conference matches Thursday night as they defeated the Marshfield Tigers 40-31.
After posting wins over Wausau East (73-6) and Wausau West (43-27) these past two weeks, the Panthers got creative in their match-ups and came away with a great team win.
“This is perhaps the closest and best team effort in my time here coaching,” said winning Coach Duane Groshek after Thursday’s match. “With two of our better wrestlers down to injury (Fritz Schierl at 152# and Nate Engel at 195#) and with Marshfield having matched nearly identical scoring wins over the two Wausau squads (East and West) as we had, we knew we were in for a tough night. But we moved some kids up, wrestled hard and to get a win like this is a huge boost to a young team.”
After Jeremy Brost won by major decision (17-7) over Logan Reed to give Marshfield an early 4-0 advantage, Joey Roth (160#) won by pin at :53 to put the Panthers ahead, 6-4. Mitch Hertel won via pin for Marshfield at 3:05 over Jake Harlow at 170# but Paul Zalewski fought back with a 14-5 decision to tie up the dual match at 10 for each team.
Marshfield’s Josh Lang (195#) and Brandon Cramer (220#) each scored pins over Austin Reed and Noel Winch respectively to boost the Tigers ahead on the scoreboard, 22-10. Joe Miller (285#) then bested Nic Humphrey to draw SPASH back to 22-16.
SPASH wrestlers then won three straight to post a 34-22 margin on pins by Brady Koontz (106#) at 1:12; and by Dylan Koontz (113#) at 1:19 with Kaide Pope then adding a win by forfeit at 120#. Anthony Kanable defeated Chance Bailey, 6-2, to draw Marshfield back to 34-25 before Nate Duffert scored a 7-5 decision over Anthony Christmas to make it 37-25 with two matches remaining.
Marshfield’s Noah Schulz scored a pin on Garrett Kvatek at 3:40 at 138# before Dakota Kelz finished the night for the Panthers with a 7-4 win to notch the final 40-31 team win margin.
The Panther grapplers now will take part in Saturday’s Marty Loy Invitational at Fond du Lac and then post Christmas holiday will take part in the Oshkosh Lourdes Invitational on the UW Oshkosh campus at the Kolf Sports Center on Dec. 29-30. Early in the new year the Panthers hjt the road onJanuary 9 for a huge dual match against a solid Stoughton team before a road visit to huge WVC rival and sixth ranked Division 1 Wisconsin Rapids on January 15.