Candelaria comes home a champion

The Panther wrestling team competed in the Buena Vista Open on Saturday, Dec. 1 and ECC's Hector Candelaria (Phenix City, AL) came home a champion. Carter Cox (Atlantic, IA) and Charles Griffin (Baltimore, MD) both finished runner-up in their weight classes.

Candelaria had a very successful day. He had a tight match in the semi-finals but besides that, he dominated the rest of his matches. "When we recruited Hector we knew that he had some big upside and it is starting to show," said ECC Coach Cole Spree. "This is only his third season wrestling folkstyle, but he is transitioning quickly.  Overall great weekend and excited to see him continue growing."

Cox had his second straight solid tournament. He was in control of all of his matches up to the finals. In the finals he caught an individual he has had some solid matches with in high school, but unfortunately this time got caught out of position early. "Carter is gaining confidence and slowly eliminating his mistakes which is exciting to see," said Spree.

Griffin had some really solid matches throughout the day and then some not so solid ones. Early on he wrestled a little slow and sloppy, but in the semi-finals he may have wrestled the best match he has ever wrestled in an Ellsworth singlet. "Really just trying to get him to be more consistent, and if we do he will be a very dangerous individual," Spree said about Griffin.

"Overall I feel that we competed very hard as a team," commented ECC Head Wrestling Coach Cole Spree. "We made some mistakes which cost us a few matches, but overall we competed hard. As a team, I like how the guys are committing to what we as coaches are teaching them. We have one more competition next Saturday and then off for Christmas break the next couple weeks."