Panthers take third in Rochester Tournament
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by STEVEN SPENCER
Jersey County Journal
Jersey Panthers wrestlers took third place after competing in the Rocket Invite in Rochester on Saturday, Jan. 21.
Almost everyone on the team placed, with a first place win for Jaydon Busch, second place wins for Connor Chin and Hunter Hodge, third place finishes for Nick Hartley and Mason Martinez, a fourth place win for James Busch, and fifth place wins for Kaeden Hutchens and Ethan Daniels.
Freshman Hunter Hodge, who placed second in the varsity tournament, said it was good day.
“Wrestling a varsity tournament as a freshman and coming out in second place was really special for me,” Hodge said.
“I watched the match between my opponents and knew they were both tough competitors. I just wrestle every match like it’s my last one. You are never going to get to repeat the match, so I go out there and give it all I’ve got. It felt good today,” Connor Chin said after causing two upsets in the 170 bracket.
“You could tell that the other teams were getting tired,” Senior Jaydon Busch said. “We have worked hard in practice and it is showing. The team getting third place was a big deal because we normally don’t place. It’s the first one we have won all year and it feels good to jump from the bottom to the top in a couple weeks.”
Coach Frank Speidel said the team was excited to see they were sitting in third place which pushed the team to work even harder.
“About halfway through the day we realized we were winning a lot of matches and decided to see where we stood in the tournaments,” Coah Speidel said. “We were excited to see that we were sitting in third place which just energized us to work even harder. It is nice to see some of our new and young wrestlers start to piece things together and find success.”
“This tournament was a good one for the Panthers because they will face many of these same opponents in two weeks when they wrestle in the 2A Regionals in Jacksonville,” Coach Speidel added.
The Panthers are set to wrestle in the MVC conference duals this Saturday, Jan. 28, at Civic Memorial.