FEB. 20 OFF THE MARK COLUMN — MARK SPENSLEY, CO-PUBLISHER
Panther wrestler Logan McQuillen, returned to Monticello Sunday afternoon atop a fire truck with a state championship to his name and a stunned look on his face.
As he entered the high school to a standing ovation from a large contingent of both wrestling fans and Logan McQuillen fans, Logan’s smile said it all.
And after both Panther AD, Tim Lambert, and Logan’s coach, Ryan Luensman, fired up the crowd, it was Logan’s turn to address everyone. He was speechless. It was a classic moment from a very classy kid.
Logan did in fact muster up some words, thanking his coaches, the fans, his teammates, the wrestling cheerleaders, his friends and most importantly of all, his parents and sister.
He was especially grateful for all of the time they spent carting him around to the hundreds of youth tournaments that helped cement his place in Monticello wrestling history.
State Champ Logan, you are a state champ! The first in Monticello’s not so storied wrestling history. Now the wrestling program has a start to that history. You have paved the way for the many up and coming young grapplers in this program.
The Panther wrestling program has come close a few times. Mike Kennedy is the last one to appear in a finals match back in 1999 and he also came close in ’98 placing third. Dale Andrews took third in 1969 and Chuck Hubbard was the first Panther to appear in a final back in 1966.
Only 11 Panther wrestlers have reached the podium at the state-wrestling meet. But now they have a champ, and momentum and dreams that can be attained if these young guys put in the hard work like Logan has.
Logan said it best on Sunday, “This is a surreal moment.” And it is. Savor every minute of it Logan. Enjoy it! Wear it proudly! Relive it in your mind over and over. You are a State Champ!
More Olympic wrestling thoughts. I came across a list of sports that is contending for the possible vacated spot in the Olympics if wrestling does indeed get taken away from the games. Some of these are bizarre and just makes me shake my head in disbelief.
In no particular order, here is the list: Baseball/softball, karate, squash, roller sports, sport climbing, wakeboarding and wushu.
Here are my thoughts on all seven. Baseball/softball; I have no problem with these two sports being in the Olympics, as long as they are played by amateurs (I have the same issue with basketball).
Karate is another sport that deserves Olympic consideration. Any thoughts of squash should be squashed. Wushu is a martial art form, so maybe if karate fails.
These next three borders on compete idiocracy that they are even being considered; roller sports, are we talking skate boarding? Sport climbing; first one to the top of the hill wins? Wakeboarding; are there really any elite wake boarders out there?
Gable and company to the rescue!