170 Ponder Calvin Naftzger punched his ticket to the state finals on Saturday.
Panther Wrestling Qualifies 2 for State15:38 PM February 09, 2019
Four EP Wrestlers were one win away from earning a trip to the IHSA State Finals at the Byron Sectional on Saturday afternoon. The top four finishers at each weight make the trip and unfortunately only one of the four Panther wrestlers made it to the third-place match. A fifth Panther wrestler, Gabe Friedrichsen, qualified for a trip to state by winning his semi-final match on Saturday morning.
At 120# Cameron Abell started the day with win over Mastoriann of Winnebago by fall in 5:43. He won by fall over Cassany of Aurora CC in the succeeding match to reach the wrestleback semi-finals. He lost to Russell from Sherrard 8-4 in a hard fought battle to finish his junior season with a 24-16 record.
Senior Mat Garrison failed to return to the state finals as an injured hip plagued the 160 pounder. He beat Parker of Rock Falls by fall in 2:49 and followed that with a win by pinning Signards of Stillman Valley in :27. That brought him to the wrestle back semi-final against Certa of Aurora Christian. Garrison aggravated his hip injury during the match and fell 11-1. He finishes with a 24-7 mark.
Trevor Pratt won his first match of the day defeating Gray of Stillman Valley by fall in 1:51. The senior then defeated Lee of Rockford Luthern by fall in 4:08. To earn a trip to Champaign he faced Kuehl of Lena-Winslow with a 39-4 record. Kuehl got the win by fall in 1:26. Pratt closes out his career with 31-14 record.
Calvin Naftzger was the first Panther on the day to advance to the third place match as he defeated Herd from Orion, coming from behind to win by fall in 5;21. Herd had defeated Naftzger a week ago in the Sherrard Regional 10-1 to win the title. Naftzger lost in the championship semi-final to Wenzel of Dakota 10-4 earlier in the day.
182 pounder Gabe Friedrichsen will wrestle for first palce this evenling with Naftzger vying for third.