The Raymore-Peculiar wrestling squad rode a pendulum of emotion Dec. 17, crushing the Grain Valley Eagles 46-12 and falling to the Blue Springs South Jaguars 46-22.
“It’s so weird; I have coached so many teams where it’s that way,” Panther Coach Brett Barbarick said. “One kid loses, then the next and the next. It’s easier to quit because the guys ahead of you lost. But when everyone is winning, there is the mentality of not being the only one to lose.”
That’s exactly what happened to Barbarick’s team. Because of the format of a dual meet, the Panthers had an opportunity to regroup as a team while the Jaguars and Eagles took to the mat.
Barbarick told his wrestlers that their first match against Blue Springs South was unacceptable. After the match he said that the coaching staff shared some of the responsibility as well.
“As coaches we need to be more accountable making sure our guys are ready to go in that first dual because tonight we weren't. It opened our eyes and in the second dual we decided to wrestle,” Barbarick said.
One Panther who heard the message was 113-pound wrestler Jacob Clabough. During the first period of his match he was on the ropes against Grain Valley’s Wolfgang Clapper. Clabough was nearly pinned before the period expired.
In the second period, Clabough turned the tables on Clapper and pinned his Grain Valley opponent.
“You know it was exciting. He did in that match what we couldn't do in the first dual. We needed someone to step up and get the momentum back on our side and pick up a win by doing something unexpected. Our whole team, from then on, felt like we could do this. Maybe he was the one who woke us up,” Barbarick said after the match was over.
Finally, the Panther pendulum of positive energy had shifted in Raymore-Peculiar’s favor. Nine of the next 11 wrestlers won their matches. Three of those nine wins were by pins, securing the victory over Grain Valley.
Later this week Raymore Peculiar will compete in the Harrisonville Christmas Wrestling Tournament. Teams from as far as Kirksville, St. Louis and Deer Creek, Okla. will be competing against the Panthers.