Mehlville High wrestling team surprises such opponents as Oakville, Fox

Mehlville back in action Wednesday against Kirkwood

By STEPHEN GLOVER

The Mehlville Senior High School wrestling team has surprised a lot of its opponents this season.

The Panthers not only grabbed a win over rival Oakville this season, but also a 36-33 victory over longtime powerhouse Fox.

“I don’t know if I could ask of anything more from these guys,” Mehlville head coach Brian Brennan said. “We’ve done really well in all of our tournaments this year and our two biggest wins this season were against Oakville and Fox.”

Brennan believes that the team’s current formula for success is a direct result of hard work in the off-season.

“I think we have some kids that have dedicated themselves to the program,” Brennan said. “They spent a lot of time in the off-season on the mat and have decided that this is something that they want and will do whatever it takes to get there.”

On Jan. 25, the Panthers hammered CBC 51-19.

“We had a rough night the night before at Parkway South,” Brennan said. “For this team to come back the next night and wrestle the way we did was a big step for us.”

A.J. Haratin, Bryson Morgan, Nick Lauer and Eddie Fischer have made a big impact this season.

Haratin, a sophomore who wrestles at 103 pounds, has shown a considerable amount of improvement this year.

“He basically jump starts the team,” Brennan said of Haratin.

Morgan is a senior at 125 pounds and is one of the leaders of this year’s squad.

“A lot of times, the kids kind of go as he goes,” Brennan said. “He’s had a couple of weeks where he’s been off, but he really came on strong this week.”

Lauer, a junior, competes at 140 pounds and has brought a hard-nosed attitude to the team this season.

“Nick’s really brought in some toughness that this group has lacked,” Brennan said. “He’s really improved this season and has a great work ethic.”

At the heavyweight division is Fischer, a senior who’s lost just three matches this season.

“Eddie came a match away from qualifying for state last year,” Brennan said. “He’s done nothing but worked hard this year. Eddie’s really tough and smart when he’s on the mat.”

The Panthers are back in action at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday when they travel to Kirkwood for a Suburban West Conference meeting with the Pioneers.

“They (Kirkwood) have four kids that are really good,” Brennan said. “Matching up against them, it’s probably going to be a 50-50 split. Kirkwood’s like us in that they’re much improved this year and that’s going to change the dynamic of the district, which is fun to watch.”