On a night where the Panther Valley wrestling team honored the past, it also showed how bright the future is.
The Panthers (10-6) earned a tightly contested, 36-31 victory over Schuylkill League rival North Schuylkill on Alumni Night, assuring itself a spot in District Duals this coming weekend.
The contest went back-and-forth form the very beginning, with neither team winning more than two consecutive bouts through the first 10 matches. Both teams knew each point was crucial.
North Schuylkill (10-3) held its biggest lead of the contest after Garet Grove pinned Matt Buss at 170 to give the Spartans a 31-21 advantage.
That was the last match the Spartans would claim on this night.
Panther Valley reeled off four consecutive match wins, starting with Dylan Moyer's 10-6 decision over CJ Steinhilber at 182. Rich Smith won the next match for the Panthers by way of forfeit, and Richard Nase and Rian Schubeck earned decisions at 220 and 285, respectively, to seal the win.
Panther Valley coach Tim Robb felt the team fed off of the energy in the gym all night.
"The kids just wrestled and it was a lot of fun," Robb said. "The excitement was here with having a bunch of alumni here and we had a nice crowd.
"It was a lot of fun all the way around. You could hear there were wrestling fans in the gym because they saw the points and knew what the calls were."
Robb knew that the heart of his lineup would come near the end of the contest, with Nase (22-9) at 220 and Shubeck (29-1) at 285. The Panthers made the most of their advantage and overpowered the Spartans.
"Shubeck's been a stone for us all year," said Robb. "That part of our lineup, 195, 220, and heavyweight has been real tough for us."
Robb is now looking forward to the District Duals this weekend, where he hopes this result improves his team's chances.
"I think this will give us a better seed," said Robb. "I think we were probably in either way, but hopefully this will move us up and give us a little better seed."
Robb knows the team can't rest now, even after a potential season-altering win like this.
"We've still got work to do," Robb said. "We've never won a match there (District Duals), so that's out goal.
"If we can win a couple that's great, but let's get that first one and take baby steps. We're excited for the weekend."
Panther Vy. 36, No. Schuylkill 31
*106 - Len Ogozalek (PV) won by forfeit
113 - Jess Wetzel (NS) dec. Darren Goida, 3-1 SV
120 - Shane McGrath (NS) maj. dec. Mike Lazar, 11-3
126 - Justin Rodriguez (NS) pinned Seth Oriel 2:50
132 - Hunter Davidyock (PV) pinned Lorenzo Fisher 4:37
138 - Zachary Glassic (PV) pinned Drew Grove 1:15
145 - Jordan Shinkus (NS) pinned Jared Eickhoff :56
152 - Grant Lorkowski (PV) dec. Nick Price, 10-9
160 - Auston Hummel (NS) pinned Patrick Lezzoni :50
170 - Garet Grove (NS) pinned Matt Buss 2:55
182 - Dylan Moyer (PV) dec. CJ Steinhilber, 10-6
195 - Rich Smith (PV) won by forfeit
220 - Richard Nase (PV) dec. Tanner Dean, 8-1
285 - Rian Shubeck (PV) dec. Nathan Gadinski, 8-2
* Match started at 106.