Panto, Roughies getting ready for wrestling postseason tourneys
Brad Panto is enjoying the moments.
The Catasauqua senior played a pivotal role on the football team this fall, and he also has held a similar position on the wrestling team.
Panto has been an instrumental part in the Roughies’ success this wrestling season, winning the Colonial League West and also participating in the league duals.
With individual districts beginning in a week, Panto plans to cherish the final run.
“It’s definitely been a fun ride in four years of wrestling,” said Panto. “This year definitely has been the most exciting, starting with the Rough Rider tournament where I think we surprised ourselves a little bit with our performance and being as successful as we have been.”
Panto has felt the thought of finality transform from football to wrestling.
“It is a weird feeling that I felt in football, but more so in wrestling because it’s much more individual,” said Panto. “We fellow seniors are the main guys now, and the ones everyone is counting on to perform. The coaches are counting on us to deliver, and our coaching staff has done an incredible job instilling a sense of leadership in us.”
Head coach Joe Russo realizes he can count on Panto.
“He (Panto) has been an excellent leader,” said Russo. “He always had worked hard and has had a big influence over the younger wrestlers. Brad always has been there and has had a great four-year run.
“We’re looking forward to see what he can do in districts.”
Panto, who finished sixth in districts last year, had an overall 9-14 mark with six falls beginning this week, wrestling between 170 and 182 pounds.
“This has been my best season so far, and every day I am trying to get better,” said Panto. “I’ve wrestled a good amount of guys I am going to see at districts and I am working to be prepared. We wrestled some good teams at the league duals and it helped us become a better team.”
With individual districts signaling the final phase of his career, Panto has kept everything in its proper perspective. He plans to enroll in active duty in the United States Army after graduation.
“Winning the (Colonial League) West (Division) was a goal of ours and we’re not done yet,” said Panto. “Our coaches are keeping us focused and having us take it one day at a time. I think our team has responded to the challenge and we’re all looking to do the best we can in districts.
“I can’t thank the coaches enough for what they have done. It has been a fantastic ride and it’s not over yet.”