It was all business in Hesperia on Wednesday as the Panthers’ wrestling team played host to Montague and Manistee. Ditching their usual green garb for neon pink singlets, Hesperia made quick work of both the Wildcats and Chippewas, going 2-0 on the day.
Starting off the evening’s action, Hesperia matched up with Manistee for their first dual. With a starting weight of 190 lbs, the Panthers found themselves the beneficiaries of several wins by forfeit. Of the eight matches that did take place between the two, the Panthers were victorious in every single one – taking each by pinfall.
Coming out with pins to start the night were Marcus Hoaglin (215 lbs.), Stephen Priese (106 lbs.), Connor Brogan (106 lb. exhibition), Alex Sayer (113 lbs.), Wyatt Roberson (132 lbs.), Scott Quinn (157 lbs.) and Brock Bolles (165 lbs.).
Several others earned wins through forfeited matches. Logan Kammer (190 lbs.), Noah Walker (285 lbs.), Blake Sayer (120 lbs.), Skyler Stalbaum (138 lbs.), Ryan Fuentes (144 lbs.), Alex Gleason (150 lbs.) and Deegan Klaus (175 lbs.) all walked away 1-0 against Manistee due the Chippewas’ shorthanded roster.
After sitting through a short intermission where Montague and Manistee faced off, it was time for the main event. The mats were converged into one, the lights went out and a spotlight was placed over the center of the lone mat.
Flashing lights, walk-up music and plenty of fanfare accompanied each Panther wrestler as they took on their Montague counterpart.
The Wildcats did put up more of a fight than Manistee, giving Hesperia a loss in between several consecutive wins. The highlight of the night was when Alex Gleason, a top five state finisher last year, took on a No. 7 state ranked Montague grappler. Gleason fought hard, but lost by a 7-2 decision giving him a 1-1 record on the night.
Also going 1-1 after losing their matchup with Montague were Roberson, Walker and Kammer. Hoaglin, Priese, Alex and Blake Sayer, Stalbaum, Fuentes, Quinn, Bolles and Klaus all won and went on to finish 2-0. All of those matches – save a 9-3 decision win by Quinn – were taken by pinfall.
The scoreboard stood at 51-20 in favor of Hesperia at the end of that dual and Hesperia defended their home gym with a 2-0 win.