Panthers drop duals versus Wapello, Highland

Pekin's Michael Jones reacts after a victory over Wapello's Christopher Ewart during a meet at Pekin High School on Jan. 9.

PEKIN — The scoreboard said otherwise on Thursday night, but the Pekin Panthers and their coaching staff felt like they had a successful outing during their home duals against Wapello and Highland on Jan. 9. Pekin fell 39-36 to Wapello and 41-23 to Highland.

The Panthers came into the night short-handed, missing two wrestlers due to injury and three due to illness. Overall, Pekin took six of 12 contested matches from Wapello and Highland. Pekin coach Al Chapman was pleased with his team’s performance.

“To come out with those types of scores when you’re only putting in basically half a team, we’ll take that away,” he said. “I was pleased with how hard they fought, and even though our backs were against the wall with the forfeits we had to give up, that’s all I asked for them to do was go out and compete and give them a show, the ones that were on the mat.”

In their first matchup of the evening, Chapman’s Panthers actually dominated the Indians of Wapello. Pekin took five of the seven contested matches from the Indians. However, as Coach Chapman stated, the forfeits dug the home team a pretty big hole to climb out of. Wapello received 30 points via forfeits, which ultimately gave them the victory.

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