PANORA — Seven Panorama wrestlers will be aiming for a coveted spot at the state tournament when they participate in their Class 1A District Saturday at Truro. The tourney, hosted by Interstate-35, will begin at 12 p.m.
Each weight class has four-man brackets, with the sectional champion from Guthrie Center facing the runner-up from the Southeast Warren sectional and vice versa. The district champion and runner-up will both advance to the state tournament.
Coaches always stress the importance of winning the first match at district, and for good reason. A wrestler who loses is automatically eliminated if the opponent who beat them then loses in the finals, as that victor would advance on a ‘prior’ victory. The only hope for a first-bout loser is that the grappler who beat him then wins the finals, resulting in a winner-advances wrestle-back.
Three Panthers were sectional champions and will open against the runner-up from the SE Warren sectional.
Leading the way in sophomore Wyatt Appleseth (36-3), who is ranked eighth at 145. Appleseth was 43-12 and placed eighth at 132 pounds last season at the state event as a freshman and is the sole returning qualifier for head coach Jason Kirtley’s squad.
He will face Central Decatur senior Elliot Ness (26-16), with SE Warren senior Kaleb Bauer (7-5) battling AC/GC senior Gabe Rowley (38-11) in the other 145-pound opener.
Senior heavyweight Hunter Holmes (25-18) will be pitted against I-35 freshman Ryley Snell (33-10), with the other half of the bracket featuring fifth-ranked Mt. Ayr senior Josh Cox (21-5) against West Central Valley junior Rush Rowan (15-21).
The other Panther sectional champ is 113-pound sophomore Logan Christe (23-18), who will square off with Moravia junior Wil Martin (20-8). The opposite pairing has seventh-rated Mt. Ayr sophomore Bryce Shaha (39-3) facing Nodaway Valley sophomore Ben Breheny (24-13).
Senior 152-pounder Noah Kirtley (30-14) was stopped at the district level last season while competing at 138 and will look to make the next step beginning with a dual against senior Ethan Elliott (38-1) of I-35, currently ranked fourth. WCV senior Cole Sackett (33-7) faces SE Warren junior J.T. Rowe (24-18) in the other match.
Junior Emry Colby (25-12) bowed at the district meet at 145 last year and will try to reach state this season at 160, his quest starting against second-ranked Drew Venteicher (29-1) a junior from Bedford/Lenox. Seth Kiesel (28-21), a junior from AHSTW, will compete against Hunter Cobb (27-5), a senior from Wayne, in the other 160-pound match.
Garret Fox is 30-13 at 170 pounds and the Panther senior will contest I-35 senior Drew Kirkpatrick (37-7) for the right to face the winner of the duel between Trevor Flettre (24-12), a senior from Nodaway Valley, and Brady Langloss (19-10), a junior from Wayne.
Also in action for Panorama will be 182-pound freshman Cooper Andersen (15-8), who opens against seventh-ranked senior Colby Page (18-2) of SE Warren. The opposite pairing features top-ranked senior Gabe Pauley (31-2) of AHSTW against junior Joey Bregar (30-14) of I-35.
The Class 1A state tourney will begin at 1:30 p.m. Feb. 14 at Wells Fargo Arena in Des Moines.