Tuesday, December 06, 2016

SPORTS STORY >> Cabot senior wins at Central

Leader sports editor

The wrestling season got underway Saturday as the Cabot Panthers took part in the Little Rock Central Classic. Panther senior Harris Sutton picked up right where he left off as the defending state champion in the 220-pound division. He went 3-0 and won his weight class again on Saturday, but he is the leader of a very young and inexperienced Cabot team this year.

Sutton’s 26 points accounted for all but five of Cabot’s varsity points. C.J. Long went 2-2 for the Panthers’ only other two wins in the varsity tournament.

The junior varsity team, consisting almost entirely of freshmen, as does most of the varsity team, fared better. Mikale Nelson won the 152-pound division in the JV tournament while several other team members won at least one match.

Cabot coach David Payne is taking a patience-first approach to such a young team this season.

“We have a very young team, and although the results don’t show it, they did a very good job,” said Payne. “It was the first time 90 percent of them have wrestled. This group comes to the gym every day eager to learn and works extremely hard. I was proud of the way they competed.”

Sutton received a bye through the first round. In the quarterfinals, he made short work of Little Rock Central’s Jermaine Taylor, pinning Taylor just over a minute into the match. It took slightly longer for Sutton to take care of Benton’s Hunter Lansford. He fell at the 1:56 mark to send Sutton into the championship match against Greenbrier’s Drew McCoy.