Panthers regroup for pair of Fulk wins
By Gary Larsen
Rebounding from a loss is one thing; rebounding from a monumental loss takes a little doing.
After host Glenbard North lost 47-14 to Minooka in what Panthers’ captain Jimmy Chase called “probably the worst loss we’ve had here in fourteen years,” the Panthers headed out of the gym in Carol Stream to regroup before returning to take on Batavia.
“We got a little inspirational talk from coach (Mark) Hahn,” Chase said. “We had to pick our heads up and forget about it.”
The Panthers did just that to record a 46-25 over the Bulldogs to go 2-1 in Glenbard North’s annual Fulk Quad Wednesday. The hosts beat Lincoln-Way Central 40-25 in their opening dual of the night.
Chase (140) and fellow returning state champion Tony Ramos (130) both went 3-0 on the night, while Cody Brandle (103), Joe Gosinski (125), and Chris Wahrman (189) each went 2-1.
With a swarm of new varsity wrestlers in the lineup, this year’s Panthers will likely have to fight through some early-season growing pains while again wrestling one of the premier schedules in the state.
“It’s the beginning of the season, and it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish,” Chase said. “Hopefully me and Tony can lead them to believe that you can beat anyone on any given day. It doesn’t matter what a guy is ranked. It’s just you
and him out on the mat.
“Our younger guys just need to learn to wrestle tough, and not give up.”
Batavia will also battle growing pains early this season. With a bevy of young wrestlers entering the first varsity matches of their careers Wednesday, the Bulldogs struggled throughout a 43-24 loss to Minooka in their opening dual.
“That first one was a nightmare,” said Batavia coach Tom Arlis. “We were sloppy; we were slow; and we just did not wrestle well. We gave away four matches that we were leading in, and not only give it up but then we get pinned.
“I don’t know that we have the horses to beat a team like Minooka, that’s a heck of a squad, but it sure should have been a lot closer.”
Arlis assembled his troops in the hallway after the loss and “told them to forget about it. I told them to come back out and salvage the next one. And they came out and wrestled well.”
Batavia earned an 8-6 edge in matches and won 43-28 against Lincoln-Way Central. The Bulldogs received pins from Logan Arlis (112), Charlie Ryan (130), Andrew Rudd (160), Danny Watson (171), Luis Campos (189), and Jake Hillard (285) against the Knights.
“We needed to stop making mistakes that cost us the match,” said Logan Arlis, who won three matches on the night. “We stopped making those careless errors in that second (dual). We came out with some fire, and got the job done.”
Steve Cherry won by major decision at 103, and Tyler Patton won a 2-0 decision at 135 pounds for Batavia.
“We've got a lot of good, young kids that just need to learn how to wrestle at this level. We rebounded in that second one, and that’s what it’s about,” Tom Arlis said. “It’s the first day of the season and we’ve got a lot of kids that never wrestled a varsity match before.”
Lincoln-Way Central did not have the services of 2008 state 119-pound runner-up Justin Farmer or Pete Damiani for the evening. The Knights gave up 10 pins worth of bonus points in their two losses, before loading up the bus for the trip back to New Lenox.
“Obviously, we’ve got to stay off our backs,” said Knights’ coach Bernie Ruettiger. “That’s what killed us tonight. We also lost a lot of one or two-point matches, and we got put on our backs and pinned.
“We’ve got a lot of room to improve. We’ve got to get better.”
Knights Adam Heimer (145), Tommy Gross (152), and Darren Daugherty (285) went unbeaten on Wednesday. Heimer and Gross posted a pair of pins, and Daugherty earned one on the night.
“Adam Heimer really came out ready to wrestle tonight,” Ruettiger said. “He wrestled like a senior tonight.”