By Perry Bell
The Journal Express
The Knoxville Panthers had two wrestlers compete at the 2014 Iowa High School State Wrestling Tournament in Des Moines last weekend.
Kieran Robuck, a senior, won his weight class (138 pounds) at the district meet to advance to state.
Brock Caviness, a sophomore, was a late arrival at state. He qualified for state after taking third at the district meet. The door to state for Caviness was opened when a wrestler from Mediapolis was injured on the eve of the traditional state meet.
The Mediapolis wrestler was hurt during competition in the state team duals.
Robuck opened state action with a pin in 3:50 over Joey Huntington of Creston. Robuck collected a first period takedown and led 2-0 entering the second period, where he collected the fall.
In the second round Cody Naber of Dyersville Beckman edged Robuck 4-3.
In his final match of his high school career, Robuck lost by fall to Christian Fox of Osage in 1:28.
Kieran Robuck finished the year with a final mark of 38-10.
Caviness managed to gain some experience for the future. He was pinned in his state opener in 2:34 y Tyler Christensen of Atlantic.
In his second match on Thursday Caviness dropped a 14-1 decision to Chase Bonner of Estherville.
Caviness finished the year with a final record of 19-30.
Panther Head Wrestling Coach Ron Peterson stated, “Brock didn’t find out that he had qualified for the state meet until we received a phone call at 9:10 p.m. Wednesday night. By the time I drove back to Knoxville to pick him up to take him to our hotel in Des Moines it was 11:15 p.m.”
“In my 34 years of coaching, I’ve never had anything like this happen before,” Peterson said.
“It was an unusual situation, but it goes to show that the third place match at district can pay off if you win the match,” Peterson commented. “It was a great opportunity for Brock to gain some experience at state.”
“As for Robuck, he wrestled well his first match and dominated to get the pin. In his second match, he wrestled well and gave his best. He just came up a point short to the kid that got fourth at the weight class,” replied the coach.
In Robuck’s final match he got caught on a move and was pinned by a wrestler from Osage that finished third.
According to coach Peterson Robuck is planning on attending Iowa State University, so his wrestling days are probably behind him.
Odds and Ends
Knoxville moves to the South Central Conference next year.
“I don’t really think it’s going to be any easier. You have the 1A state champion in Eddyville-Blakesburg-Fremont, Albia, was third in Class 2A. You have Chariton with a proud tradition in wrestling along with Davis County, who is another good team,” Peterson said.
Peterson said the Panthers will have 12 starters back for the 2014-15 campaign, five of them have district experience and one back from state.