Weary but proud Tracy-MIlroy-Balaton/Westbrook-Walnut Grove wrestlers celebrate with their fans after defeating the Canby Lancers, 36-34, in the Section 3A Wrestling finals in Lamberton on Saturday. See Pages 6 & 7 for coverage of Saturday’s tournament. Photos / Per Peterson

Panther wrestlers are state-bound after winning their third straight section 3a title

At 5:48 p.m. on Saturday, a school bus carrying Canby wrestlers rolled through Tracy, headed west through town en route to home. About 20 minutes later, another bus rumbled down Hwy. 14, but this one was led by a number of fire trucks and was trailed by ecstatic, horn-honking Panther parents and fans.

Both buses were coming from Lamberton, where earlier the Panthers claimed their third straight Section 3A title by defeating Canby, 36-34, in the section finals.

“I think it’s just cool to watch the kids enjoy everything,” TMB/WWG head coach Karl Campbell said after catching his breath at the school Saturday night. “For me, it’s a big sigh of relief, but the kids just had a blast with it. At one point on the way back I stood up in the bus and said, ‘Look at the commotion you guys created here today.’ And they all started hootin’ and hollerin’. It’s cool. They enjoy the heck out of it and appreciate the support. It’s fun to get the community behind us.”

After the bus pulled up to the sidewalk on the east end of the Tracy Area High School campus, wrestlers disembarked to a throng of fans who had lined the sidewalk leading up to the school.

“Three-peat sounds pretty cool,” Panther coach Karl Campbell said to an excited crowd gathered if only for a few moments and photos in the Panther wrestling room Saturday night.

See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.