Panthers battle on the mat in Paonia

RANGELY I “Our wrestlers arrived in Paonia ready to battle,” Panther wrestling coach Derek Stolworthy said. The Panthers may have lost some battles but know they are still in the war.
Five Panthers placed, including two runner-ups and Stolworthy is excited about how his team is wrestling.
Sophomore Jo D Stults advanced to the finals of the 112-pound bracket but lost, as did 152-pound senior Cole Barlow.
“It’s exciting to witness the event of a wrestler who starts putting pieces together, taking his wrestling to a new level and I witnessed this event with Jo d last weekend,” Stolworthy said.
Barlow is currently ranked second in 2A by On the Mat Rankings and will probably keep the rank for now after losing 2-3 to Donnie White, currently ranked No. 1, of Fowler.
“Cole lost to the No. 1 ranked kid in the state but I am confident that when we meet this kid again the tides will turn,” Stolworthy said.
The Panther coach was also pleased with senior Blake Wanstedt, who won three of five matches and finished fifth in the 135-pound bracket.
“Blake is competitive in every match he wrestles,” Stolworthy said. “It’s hard to find a wrestler who works harder than Blake.”
Stolworthy was also proud of junior heavyweight Patrick Brown, who finished fourth.
“Patrick wrestled with all he had even being sick,” Stolworthy said.
Senior Chad Peterson (140) and sophomore Colton Coombs (145) both won two of four matches but did not place.
“They never quit,” Stolworthy said.
The Panthers will travel to Ignacio for another tournament this weekend.
“We’ve improved every tournament and we are looking tough,” assistant coach Claude Rose said.