Great Bend Middle School Wrestlers traveled to Salina for a duel tournament on Saturday. “I’m very proud of our team. These guys sacrifice a lot just to participate in wrestling. The fact is this group gave up a Saturday to work their tails off and achieve something pretty special.” commented Panthers Coach Norbert Muth. Ten teams attended the tournament. The teams were split into two pools and the winner of each pool would wrestle for the championship. The Panthers first duel of their pool was against Manhattan Eisenhower who they defeated easily 72- 24, Junction City was next up for the Great Bend team. “We gave up some size and strength at a lot of spots. That’s always a disadvantage but we stepped up and wrestled well,” Coach Muth said. The Panthers won in a tiebreaker decision 48-48. Emporia was the next match. Coach Muth took the time to focus the team and strategize. “Emporia is always a tough group. We need every one of you to beat this team. We can’t give up pins and we need to stay in better position. We need to start scoring better from out front.” Great Bend won another very close match 51-49. The last duel of the pool was Salina South who the Panthers defeated handily, 81-18. Great Bend went undefeated in their pool so they advanced to the championship duel, meeting the other pools champion team Salina Lakewood. When 165 lb., 7th grader Kevin Miramontes pined his opponent it put the duel out of reach for Salina. The final score was 51-46 leaving Great Bend Middle School the undefeated champion of the tournament. “The kids were really excited to win. They got metals and celebrated as a team. Today was a real growing up day for us as a team. We’re developing a little maturity and starting to hit our stride,” commented Assistant Coach Jake Hofflinger. Undefeated wrestlers for the day were Drew Liles, Gage Fritz, Brady Daniel, Jonas Meeks, Kaden Schroeder, and George Webber.