Patron takes a step closer - claims runner-up spot in the NCAA Division III Championships
March 11, 2018| Written by: Editor | Photos by a great camera with a great lens taking pictures on a great monitor of streaming video which makes the smaller versions look best!



CLEVELAND, OHIO - Guy Patron, Jr., a 2016 LHSAA Division I state champion for the Jesuit Blue Jays, took the runner-up spot at 197 lbs. for the Loras College Duhawks at the 2018 NCAA Division III Championships on Saturday.  It was a loss, but it was in the right direction, as he improved from his third-place finish in 2017 and proved his six-match win streak after an opening round loss in that event was no fluke.

Seeded second, on Friday the sophomore defeated Drew Kasper of Otterbein in a close 7-6 round one match, and later defeated #7 Wesley Schultz of Wisconsin-LaCrosse 11-4 in the quarterfinals.

In Saturday morning's semifinals Patron defeated #6 Triston Engle of Brockport 3-2, a score that belies Patron's early domination.  Patron scored the only takedown of the match in the first minute of the first period to take a 2-0 lead.  Shortly thereafter Engle scored an escape, which would be his only offensive point of the match.  Starting the second period on the bottom, Patron escaped for a 3-1 lead, which he held onto going into last period.  Unsuccessful in takedown attempts against Patron so far, Engle chose the top position to start the third period.  The taller of the two, Engle tried leg-rides and cradles but was unable to turn Patron.  Engle did get a point for riding time, making the final score 3-2 in Patron's favor.

Patron after his 3-2 semifinals win

In the finals Saturday evening Patron faced top-seeded Kyle Fank of Wartburg.  The two had met twice during the season, with Fank winning 8-5 and 6-1.  In their third meeting Patron fared little better.  By the third period Fank had a 7-0 lead and had stymied all attempts by Patron to score, save an escape point with 31 seconds remaining.  Fank earned another point via riding time to make the final score 8-1.

"Tale of the Tape"

2018 NCAA Division III Championships 197 lbs. Bracket

Patron entering the finals stage Single-leg attempt Down only 2-0 after the first period On the podium

Patron finished his sophomore season with a record of 33-4.  Three of those losses were to Fank, while the other was to James Lehman of Wisconsin-Parkside, which is an NCAA Division II program.  Patron won his second Super 8 Invitational tournament in Platteville, Wisconsin, the Matman Invite at Cornell College, and placed third at the Concordia University Wisconsin (CUW) Open and the NCAA D3 Regional tournament.

In his freshman year as a Duhawk, Patron recorded a 35-6 record.  Two of those losses were to Fank and another was to Lehman of Division II.  Entering the 2017 NCAA Division III Championships, Patron was 29-5 and unseeded.  He lost his first match to #6 Kyle Koser of Messiah 8-4, but then he went on a six-match winning spree, which included wins over the 4th, 8th, and 2nd seeds, before knocking off the unseeded Engle 9-2 to place third.  It was in the consolation semifinals of the 2017 championships that he earned his only victory over Fank, 7-6.  Koser lost his next match and won only one consolation match before he was pinned by Engle.  Fank finished 5th while Koser finished 7th.  (In the 2018 tournament Koser was seeded third, but he lost his first match 9-8.  He won his first two consolation matches but then fell to the 5th-seed and did not place in the top-8.)

Next season looks very promising for Patron.  Fank is a senior and will not be around.  Nor will Koser, who is also a senior.  Lehman will be a senior, but if he remains at Wisconsin-Parkside, he will still be in Division II.

It is common for a third-place winner to be in a better mood than a second-place winner.  After all, the third-placer won his last match and walked off the mat happy.  The runner-up does not have that luxury.  But the disappointed feeling after that kind of loss is fleeting, and after a short while second place feels pretty damned* good.  The real appreciation, however, will probably not be complete until Patron goes home to New Orleans.  When he places his new award next to last year's third-place one on his NCAA championships awards shelf, the runner-up trophy is going to look much, much better.  His parents, Guy, Sr., and Marie, have to make sure the awards shelf is wide enough to fit two more.

*  It's college, so I can write that, can't I?

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