Panther Valley head coach Tim Robb knew he had a young team coming into the 2011-12 season, so it's safe to say that the veteran coach's expectations were very realistic heading into their first couple of matches. The Panther wrestlers wanted to give Robb an early Christmas present and so far this year that's exactly what they have done.
The Panthers won three out of their five matches at the Jim Thorpe Duals this past weekend and followed that performance up with a 45-34 win over a solid Tamaqua team on Tuesday.
The Raiders came out strong with state-qualifier hopeful Colin Mashack making quick work of Seth Oriel, pinning Oriel in just 16 seconds. Mashack is considered to be one of the more talented 113-pounders in all of District 11 and won 28 matches last season.
Some of the best matches of the evening came at the 126, 145, and 152 pound classes, which were all won by the Raiders.
Dylan Rinkiewicz took a 17-5 decision at the 126 pound weight class controlling most of the match, but the Panthers Zach Glassic challenged Rinkiewicz at times to push the match to the distance.
Nick Toth at 145 and Evan Mashack at 152 were both trailing to PV wrestlers in their respective matches, but both bounced back to pin their opponents.
The key match of the night came at the 132 pound class where Panther Valley's Czar Founds got the pin fall against Tamaqua wrestler Steve Matukonis. Founds look to be on the ropes early, but shot hard at Matukonis and finished hard as well getting an all important match win for the Panthers.
"That was a big win for us with Czar getting the pin," said Robb. "We didn't know what they had at 132, so we put Czar in there and he came through."
Although the Raiders didn't pull out the victory, Tamaqua head coach Jim McCabe thinks the Raiders wrestled well.
"I think we wrestled pretty well tonight," said McCabe. "We didn't have our heavy weight so that hurt us, but that's the life of a wrestling coach. We're going to really focus on our cardio and technique in practice and our goal is to just get better every match."
Now that the Panthers have shown Robb they have the ability to win some matches, the coach thinks his kids are starting to work through the growing pains.
"I'll be honest I didn't expect us to start out 4-2," added Robb. "I think our guys are just starting to realize that they can wrestle at the varsity level and it showed here tonight."
Panther Valley 45, Tamaqua 34
106- Lenny Ogozalek (PV) won by forfeit
113- Colin Mashack (T) pinned Seth Oriel (PV) in :16
120- Derek Hill (T) won by forfeit
126- Dylan Rinkiewicz (T) major dec Zach Glassic (PV)
132- Czar Founds (PV) pinned Steve Matukonis (T) in 3:11
138- Hunter Davidyock (PV) pinned Dustin Silkowski (T) in 3:04
145- Nick Toth (T) pinned Dustin Marblestone (PV) in 3:48
152- Evan Mashack (T) pinned Gage Rohlfing (PV) in 5:38
160- Jared Eickoff (PV) dec Adam Toth (T) 6-0
170- Brandon Silkowski (T) pinned Matt Boss (PV) in 1:18
182- Stephen Snyder (PV) won by forfeit
195- Richard Nase (PV) won by forfeit
220- John Horvath (PV) pinned Austin Chartier (T) in 2:20
285- Rian Shubeck (PV) won by forfeit