Thursday night in Moberly, the Centralia Panthers varsity wrestling team beat the Battle Spartans, 63-12. They finished the night by beating the host Moberly Spartans 45-35.
Against Battle, Centralia’s match winners were: Jase Cox – 106 lbs.; Austin Dawson -145; Grafton Littrell – 170; Hunter Phillips – 182; and Trevor Bodine – 220. Gabe Maenner, AJ Hombs, Max Michael, Anthony Stevens, Quentin Foster and Dominick Berck won by forfeit.
Against Moberly, Hombs – 132; Michael – 138; Dawson; Stevens – 152, Phillips and Maenner – 113, won their matches. Bodine and Cox won by forfeit.
“It was nice to wrestle other people,” Centralia Head Wrestling Coach Luke Gramke, said afterward. “Tonight, we began to get a gauge of where we are at.”
While the wins were nice, he said, the season’s first match was not so much about wins and loss as it was about evaluation.
“This time of year, it is more about wrestling well than winning or losing,” Gramke said. “Grafton Latrell’s loss hurt, but that was against a returning state medalist, somebody we will have to contend with in the future. But we wrestled well, we wrestled tough and it was a good night.”
Gramke said he still had to watch the match films but one thing hoped his wrestlers took away from the evening was that going for the takedown paid off. “We want to watch the film first, but it looked like whoever was shooting for the takedown was winning the match.”
He also said all his wrestlers were certified at their eventual competition weights. Gramke said fans would likely see Duke Newsted in the mix soon and Foster at 182, Littrell at 160 and Phillips at 170.
The Panthers’ next match is Saturday, Dec. 1, at the Marceline Cat Classic..