The DeWitt wrestling team is young, but a 10-3 start through Jan. 1 has the Panthers’ season looking promising.
The majority of league duals have already been completed. While some matches still remain, the Panthers are looking poised to finish third in the CAAC Red behind St. Johns and Fowlerville, who have shown to be the class of the league so far.
“It’s a pretty young team and so we’re just looking right now to see a lot of growth in them and looking for them to develop as wrestlers,” DeWitt coach Brian Byars said.
A big win for the Panthers came in a conference meet earlier in the season against Owosso.
“We pulled out a win, 37-36. I think we started down 30-0 and came back to win. That was a pretty big growing moment for the team,” Byars said.
A week before school was off for holiday break, the Panthers participated in the Pinckney Invitational and went 3-2 to win the bronze bracket in the 16-team field, which split into gold, silver and bronze divisions after pool play.
DeWitt’s leader is senior Justin Schafer, who wrestles at 140 pounds in his third year on the varsity.
“He’s been a really good leader for us,” Byars said of Schafer.
Sophomore Chandler Reed and juniors Cameron Melton and Aaron Young wrestle at 119, 125 and 130 pounds and make up the team’s core along with Schafer.
“They’re trying to get out there and get some wins under their belts and (this start) definitely helps,” Byars said.