‘Taking care of business’ can be a bit of an overused axiom, but it aptly describes what the Panther Creek wrestling team did at Green Hope Wednesday night.
The Catamounts won eight of the first nine matches of the evening in handling the Falcons 52-14 to move into a three-way tie for second in the Southwest Wake Athletic Conference with Cary and Athens Drive. All three programs fell short against first-place Holly Springs.
Kjaun Gough (126) Anthony Young (145), Chad Laska (160) and Matt Stober (182) won via pins over their respective foes. Adonis Adkins (138), Jonathan Pattishall (170) and Ryan Callahan (220) were among the victorious with one-sided decisions for Panther Creek (15-6, 5-2).
Green Hope (7-14, 1-6) enjoyed a few highlights, including Michael Eastwood improving to 37-0 on the season with a pin of Steven Thibault at 106-pounds and Jourdan Leroux’s 15-0 domination of Dakota Howell at 113-pounds.
“The excitement of senior night got me focused on my opponent,” said Eastwood, who recently won his 100th career match according to his coach. “I try to wrestle my best each and every match though.”
Panther Creek prepares for postseason
Panther Creek coach Chad Sichak was pleased his squad didn’t overlook Green Hope, despite having nearly three times as many wrestlers.
“These guys came out and wrestled well, our seniors really prepared the underclassmen and have been showing them how to succeed,” Sichak said. “They have really worked well with them.”
The Catamounts have hard-working seniors such as Callahan and Stober.
“Coach has motivated us in the (practice) room,” Stober said. “Teammates are pushing each other to perform well and it shows.”
Callahan said there’s no time to waste as the postseason looms and the competition level rises.
“With the season coming to an end the guys seem really dialed in,” Callahan said. “There’s an increase in focus because we have a desire to succeed.”
Green Hope hopeful for future
Green Hope coach Steven Gursslin was pleased with his grapplers’ positive approach, despite the one-sided overall result.
“There’s a big difference in numbers and experience when it comes to Panther Creek and us,” Gursslin said. “Some of my guys are filling in weight classes.”
Gursslin’s hope is Eastwood and Leroux’s success will rub off on their younger teammates for the coming years.
“Seeing the better wrestlers step up to the challenge can only be a good thing for them,” Gursslin said. “I think we’ll see that in the next year or two.”