By Brendan Hanaphy — Panther Press
On T uesday, November 3, the wrestling team kicked their season off with an intra-squad wrestle-off in the Freeman Center. Even though it was only an intra-squad competition and had no MCAC or NAIA ramifications, the results of the Blue/Black Wrestle-Offs definitely are important for a couple of reasons.
Firstly, the winner of each match can go a long way to determining who will lead the representation for York College Wrestling in that particular weight class. Secondly, it gave Coach Smith an in-depth look at his roster in live action to see how they cope in front of a live crowd and under increased pressure. For many of the wrestlers, it was their first exposure to a wrestling event in front of a crowd at college level, and Coach Smith was happy to see that all of his men, whether victorious or in defeat, showed signs of progress from drills they have been doing in practice.
"Fundamentals are being picked up every day by our boys,” says Smith, “especially our new boys, and it's great to see them being implemented here today".
He also noted that what the fans saw today was only the beginning. Coach Smith feels that his roster has much potential to improve, and by the time Nationals roll around in March, that many of his wrestlers will have progressed a long way.
"We are a young team, but with youth comes potential. With each match like the ones here tonight our boys are gaining experience, and each day in practice they are getting tougher, so come March, when it's time for Nationals, I expect them to have developed a lot and that this will end up being a very successful year for our program."
The Panther Wrestling team does not have a home meet until January, but their upcoming away meets should be online via webcast for Panther fans to view. Their next meet is this Saturday, November 7, at the Baker Dual in Baldwin, KS. Coach Smith really appreciates all the support from Panther fans, and he was delighted with the fan turnout for the Blue/Black Wrestle-Offs, so be sure to continue supporting the team by watching, when available, their video webcasts at the upcoming away meets.