The FZN varsity wrestling team recently captured top team honors at the Desmet "Bobby Christian" Invitational held December 27 - 28. The Panther grapplers outpaced runner-up Marquette by a narrow 5 point margin. The Panthers trailed Marquette entering the final round of the tournament, but prevailed based on the strength of winning 8 of their final 9 bouts. The Panthers entered the tournament shorthanded due to illness and injuries, but 9 of the 10 wrestlers who entered the meet earned medals for the Panthers. Three individual wrestlers captured championships: Teddy Hickey (120 lbs), Jack Ederer (152 lbs), and Cameron Pickering (182 lbs). Ederer, the quarterback for the varsity football team, made his season debut in fine fashion as he defeated previously undefeated Darys Webb of Sumner 13 - 9 in a highly entertaining finals bout. Pickering, who won his second straight tournament championship, was one of the most impressive wrestlers at the meet as he pinned all eight of his opponents at Desmet. Hickey improved to 20 - 1 on the season with a 3 - 1 victory over Fox's Kyle Kamp. Other Panther wrestlers earning medals at Desmet: Ayden Daniels (3rd - 106 lbs), Deven Kulp (5th - 113 lbs), Derick Buda-Smith (3rd - 145 lbs), Josh Spense (5th - 170 lbs), Ryan Medley (6th - 195 lbs).
This weekend the Panthers will compete in the highly competitive GAC Wrestling Tournament. The Gateway Athletic Conference is widely regarded as one of the strongest in the state. The two day event, hosted by St. Charles High School, will be held at Lindenwood University. Wrestling is scheduled to begin at 5:00 pm on Friday and 10:00 am on Saturday.