Weight class changes may complicate Panthers wrestling

Nov. 7—A combination of a long football season and lower weight classes will complicate the Panthers' wrestling line up, but the program's depth will come in handy.

Creston wrestling coach Cody Downing said the weight classes change too often. "It seems it's as soon as I get the weight classes figured out," he said. "It's evolution of high school sports in general. Adding 182 was geared at getting more bigger weight kids out, now it's gearing more toward those middle weights."

The previous weight classes were 106, 113, 120, 126, 132, 138, 145, 152, 160, 170, 182, 195, 220 and 285. Last season's starting wrestlers are returning at all weights except 132, 145 and 170.

The weight changes this season are after 138 excluding 285. The seven changed weight classes all are lower than they were a season previous. New this year are 144, 150, 157, 165, 175, 190 and 215.

With the success of the Panthers' football team comes less time for the wrestlers to prepare. Lane Travis, Lincoln Keeler, Austin Evans, Milo Staver, Will Bolinger, Jagger Luther, Jackson Kerr, Gunner Martwick, Quinten Fuller and Max Chapman were all starting wrestlers last season who are on the football team.

The seven weight classes will have to lose between one and seven pounds from a year ago to stay in their spot.

"We have guys that are probably out of the weight class so that's a little concerning, but we'll get there," Downing said. "December could look interesting. We've got enough depth even if we're not at the weight we'll finish at. It'll be interesting."

Senior Austin Evans placed seventh last year at the state tournament at 138 pounds, but may be wrestling as high as 150 to start the season.

With 12 seniors on the team and 35 out for wrestling, the competition will be fierce for a spot in the starting lineup on the team that placed fifth at state duals a year ago.

Also coming back after placing a year ago at 120 is Christian Ahrens, though his weight class and the two above won't be changing. Ahrens ran in cross country this fall.

The biggest challenge comes for senior Fuller who wrestled at 220 a year ago. With Chapman solidly in the heavyweight category, there will be nowhere for Fuller to move to should he not make weight early in the season.

New wrestlers may come up through the lineup this year including Weston Trapp, Jackson Pettegrew, Brandon Briley and Carson Rieck, all four football players.

Downing said nothing is set in place as he hopes for the Panthers to continue a long run into the playoffs. "We might only have a week of practice in before the first dual," he said. "It's a good problem to have."