Quakertown's wrestlers are forced to read the same sign everyday.Taped to the door of the practice gym, it serves as a reminder that even during a year where Quakertown has achieved so much, they still have a lot more to prove.
"68-0. We have some work to do."
The sign is a reference to the 68-0 clobbering that Northampton put on them on January 26. It makes the blowout impossible to forget, which actually turns out is just the way the Panthers want it.
"It serves as a lot of motivation," said senior Bubba Smith. "Seeing that everyday makes us want to get better and work harder."
After struggling throughout the season with teams in Lehigh and Berks counties, the Panthers wanted to prove they could contend with the top teams in the area.
And what could have been a better time than on Senior Night?
Quakertown (21-6 overall, 8-0 SOL) proved themselves on Saturday, as they made a thrilling comeback to beat the
East Stroudsburg South Cavaliers by a score of 48-18 on Senior Night.
The Panthers, who put themselves in a hole to start the meet, were able to dig themselves out in a big way. The Cavaliers won the first three matches, which put the Panthers at a 15-6 deficit.
Then the Cav's met the potent part of the Panthers lineup.
After Cavalier forfeits at 285 and 103, Nick Ronzano started the Quakertown momentum with a 7-2 victory at 112 pounds, and it continued with Colin Bynum's pin at 119, and Briar Malischewski's win at 125.
"We started in the meat of their lineup and we hit their best guys at the opener," said Quakertown Head Coach Kurt Handel. "We knew though we would cycle around and they were going hit the meat of our lineup."
After Quakertown's 130-pounder Matt Rust narrowly fell by a 5-4 score, the Panthers secured another four straight wins to make it a blowout. The victories completed a 42-3 run that turned a close match into a lopsided one.
"It was a big win, especially on Senior Night. It definitely means a lot to us seniors," said Smith.
The non-league win might not have been of great importance standings-wise, but the victory added momentum and a whole lot confidence to a team that is looking to stay strong with Districts right around the corner.
"This was our 21st dual meet win. Quakertown has never won 21 dual meets before in one season," said Handel. "It was just a big win for our seniors and the entire program."
And you better believe the Panthers don't need any reminders for that one.
Kyle Gargan is an intern at The Free Press. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.