Wrestling 101Tuesday, February 14, 2012 By Kelly Evans
The Paint Branch Varsity Wrestling Team took to the mat against the Blake Bengals and Springbrook Blue Devils on February 4 in their first home tri-meet of the season. Springbrook and Blake took the mat first, competing for a little over an hour until the Blue Devils finished the match with the win. In the Panther’s first match against Blake, Michael Barnes took the lead, pinning his opponent quickly, staking them to a 6-0 lead. The teams then exchanged wins in a tight, back-and-forth match before freshman Ryan Van Meers aggressively wrestled his opponent and won his match by a score of 11-5, bumping the overall score to 21-18, Panthers. Taylor Van Meers, Chris Young, Oumar Adam–Bechir and Mitchell Zio pinned their opponents, starting a dominant trend for the Panthers. The last wrestler, KC Hill, took control and pinned his opponent to make the final score 39-29, Panthers. Junior Malik Kelly, in the 160-pound weight class, began the next match with a pin of his Springbrook opponent. The lead did not last long though as Taylor Van Meers lost his match, and then Paint Branch forfeited a weight class to drop behind by a score of 12-6. The Blue Devils pinned a total of four Panthers in the match; however, PB did have some highlights. Ryan Van Meers, the seventh wrestler after two forfeits, put up a fight against his opponent. About halfway through, Van Meers encountered an injury to his shoulder (similar to one that Mark Burgess suffered against Blake). After a short timeout, Ryan shook it off and got back in the match with just enough to win. In the end, Paint Branch lost 64-9 to the undefeated Blue Devils.