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Panther Mark Nothum to wrestle at state; Mehlville High looks toward bright future


February 16, 2005 - By STEPHEN GLOVER

For the Call

Mehlville Senior High wrestling team's 12th-place finish of 13 teams at last weekend's District 1 tournament seems like a disappointment.

But Panther head coach Joe Fisch be-lieves his squad's improvement throughout the season is a sign of a positive future.

"We only qualified one wrestler for state," Fisch told the Call. "But I think that our team in general had a good season. We seemed like we were improving each day."

Mark Nothum was the lone Panther who qualified for the state championships in Columbia this week. The senior racked up a 23-13 record overall this season and qualified for the state tournament with a fourth-place finish at the Class 4 District 1 tournament. Nothum is scheduled to wrestle Sean Dietz, 35-7, of DeSmet in the first round of the 160-pound weight class.

"He (Nothum) wrestled pretty well," Fisch said. "He got to the third place match and overall, I think he had a positive day."

The Panthers also had strong showings from juniors Justin Robidoux, 130 pounds, and Travis Dearmont, 189 pounds. Both grapplers lost in the consolation semifinal, which prevents them from advancing to the state tournament.

Robidoux had been ranked 10th in the state before the beginning of the districts.

"Justin had a good year and I think he's disappointed in not qualifying," Fisch said. "He had some good matches and battled his way back to the last match of the consolation semifinal. He just came out on the wrong end of it.

"Travis is another one who was disappointed in not qualifying," he added. "Hopefully he can use this for his benefit next year."

Sophomores Bryson Morgan, 112 pounds, Cameron Halloran, 119 pounds, and heavyweight Eddie Fischer also show a positive future.

"We have a bunch of sophomores that wrestled really well in the tournament," Fisch said. "The good thing was that they were disappointed in not qualifying and I think that's a good sign because they'll work hard in the off season."

The state wrestling tournament begins at 4 p.m. today — Feb. 17 — with the state championship matches scheduled for 5 p.m. Saturday. All matches will be at the Hearnes Center on the University of Mis-souri-Columbia campus.

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