PBL High School wrestling to start Tuesday, Nov. 21, at Bismarck-Henning

PAXTON -- The Paxton-Buckley-Loda High School wrestling team will start its season with a dual meet on Tuesday, Nov. 21, at Bismarck-Henning. 
The Panthers' home opener will be in the PBL Junior High School gym at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 30, against Braidwood Reed-Custer and Westville.
In the meantime, PBL went through its first week of practice with a roster of what head coach Erik Ronney estimated to be 14 wrestlers as of Friday's PBL High School Winter Scrimmage event, although he said he might have had a few missing for the team photo.
“We should be relatively light again this year, but we'll see where we can spread them out weight-wise. I haven't put them on weight classes yet. We'll see where we fall in," Ronney said.
“It's been a good first full week of practice. The kids have been good with the new wrestlers. The new wrestlers have already improved. They're understanding the fundamentals. They've gotten great help from the kids who already know what's going on. They're showing them some moves and working hard. We'll be looking forward to seeing how they do against Bismarck. Even if they don't have a varsity match, I'm hoping to get them all some mat time for an exhibition, at least.”
The Panthers go into the 2017-18 season with no seniors.
“We've got a young team. I'm happy that we can build from this," Ronney said. "We'll see how we do. February's a long way away, so it's going to be one week at a time.”
One of the juniors wrestling for the Panthers is Keyn Humes.
As a freshman, Humes became the first wrestler under the Paxton and Buckley-Loda consolidation to win an IHSA regional championship. 
He had to miss his sophomore season, however, after ending his 2016 football season with a knee injury.
“It's hereditary," said Del Humes, Keyn's father. "There's nothing we can do about it, so he's just going to have to live with it.”
“We're excited. He's back and healthy," Ronney added. "We're looking forward to having him.”
Humes is not the only PBL wrestler coming back from injury. Tanner Bowen hurt his knee midway through a season in which he went 6-10 with four pins as of Jan. 11, 2017.
“I'm really excited to have Tanner back. He's been hitting the weights really hard. He's in good shape right now, and I'm excited to see how he progresses throughout the season," Ronney said. "He was doing so well at the beginning of the season last year, and it's unfortunate that he had a knee injury.”
Humes and Bowen are joined by Hunter Anderson, who was 8-10 with three pins as of Jan. 11, 2017, and Christian Denam, who was 4-7 with one pin as of that date last season.
“Hunter, Keyn, Tanner, Denam – everyone has potential. It just depends on our work ethic – if we can get them to want it," Ronney said. "We can shape any athlete into a great wrestler. We just need them to have the commitment. I think those guys want it. They're hungry. They want to stand out and improve themselves and prove to others that they mean business, so I'm excited for it.”
Categories (3):Prep Sports, Wrestling, Sports


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