Panther fares well at tourney
By KEITH NIEBUHR
© St. Petersburg Times, published April 11, 2001
Harold Skidmore's two losses this season left a bad taste in his mouth and a tear in his eye.
The two losses he sustained last weekend at the National High School Championships in Newark, Del., had the opposite effect.
Instead of feeling terrible, Skidmore headed home feeling pretty good about himself after going 2-2 against a field that included only high school seniors who finished in the top two in their respective states.
"The big thing is that (college coaches) want to see if a kid can win matches, and I did," Skidmore said.
"My first match, I wrestled against a North Carolina state champ, and I beat him 16-7."
Skidmore, a two-time state runner-up for Lecanto, lost his second match then went 1-1 in the consolation bracket. He was eliminated by nationally ranked Dustin May of Kansas 6-1.
"I did all right," Skidmore said. "If you look at my last match, it was against a four-time Kansas state champ. He was ranked fourth in the country. It was tied 1-1 with 10 seconds left, and I made a mental mistake. I thought it was 2-1 in his favor, so I tried a headlock and missed. And then he got a takedown and two more back points."
Despite being ousted by May, Skidmore said he was pleased with his effort and believes college coaches were, too.
"I think my last match impressed a lot of people," Skidmore said. "A lot of college coaches came up to me and were asking me what my name was. I pretty much dominated (May). I should have won the last match, but I think I wrestled good and represented myself well."
After watching him compete, coaches from Appalachian State invited Skidmore to take an official visit to the school's Boone, N.C., campus. He will make the trip in the next two weeks.
Skidmore already has a scholarship offer from Campbell. He also is considering Gardner-Webb. During the next two weeks, Skidmore will take a break from wrestling to train for the Class A state weightlifting meet April 21 in Bell. He qualified for the event in the 139-pound class and is among the favorites.
Once weightlifting is done, Skidmore will return to the mat.
In June, he will compete at the National High School Coaches Association Open in Birmingham, Ala. The following month, he will travel to Fargo, N.D., for the Junior Olympics.
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