Heading into Wednesday night’s wrestling match at Central Valley, the Mead Panthers had beaten Greater Spokane League foes by a 57-12 team average score.
The outcome was scarcely different against the once-beaten Bears, who were expected to provide a stiffer challenge.
With brutal efficiency, the Panthers throttled CV 52-14 in a makeup of last Thursday’s snowed-out first-place showdown.
“It’s time to build up Mead,” said Bears coach John Owen, who was unable to stop the juggernaut. “They’re well coached, well-conditioned and have great individuals who make the others better.”
The Panthers (8-0) won 10 of 14 matches. Six were by pin, one by technical fall (a 15-point victory margin) and two others by eight-point major decisions.
For most, there was nothing flashy in the outcomes, just a matter of technical and physical superiority.
The Panthers are a blend of old and young, 182-pound national standout Jordan Rogers said.
“The old guys need to be role models for the young guys,” he said. “All started when they were kids and have worked at it.”
There was scarcely a hole in Mead’s lineup. Three of the four losses came against CV (6-2) state qualifying bets.
Two-time state champion Rogers and his sophomore brother Chandler, at 160 pounds and a returning state champ, were two of the winners by pin. Returning state placer Sam Voigtlander at 170 pounds had the technical fall, winning 16-1 in two periods, and two-time state champion Jeremy Golding at 145 pounds put on a takedown clinic with nine during his 18-7 major decision. Tyler McLean (152) took care of business with a first-round pin in the second of the strength weights.
But they weren’t the only ones. Freshman Tate LeClaire at 106 pounds and sophomore Matthew Petrini at 113 pounds had first-round falls for a 12-0 start to the night.
“They really impressed me,” Mead coach Phil McLean said of the victory margin.
But don’t anoint the Panthers just yet.
“We have to finish the fight first,” McLean said. “But they keep surprising me. I guess I’m just a worrier.”
Tonight, during season-ending rivalry matches, Mead travels to Mt. Spokane (6-2), its last obstacle to an unbeaten league season. Central Valley travels to University (7-1), Ferris (2-6) is at Lewis and Clark (2-6), North Central (3-5) is at Shadle Park (3-5), and winless Gonzaga Prep is at Rogers (3-5).
Mt. Spokane 45, Rogers 30: Most matches went according to form, with Riley House’s 3-0 victory over Cameron Jennen in the third-to-last match at 106 pounds key to clinching victory. John Hoover at 145 pounds got a takedown with 30 seconds remaining to beat Ian Smith and remain one of three Wildcats unbeaten in the GSL. Pirate Dwayne Robinson remained unbeaten at 220 pounds and Luke Rogers (160) continued his late-season surge with a pin.