Kerns, who had been the coach for the Cougars for the last 22 years, was honored in-between rounds for his service to the school's wrestling program.
The announcement and presentation was tempered by an 0-4 day for the Cougars as they lost rounds to Indianapolis Chatard, Rockville, Whiteland and No. 16 ranked New Palestine.
Zach Ruble, Dean Klieber and Eric Davis each went 3-1 on the day for the Cougars, with Joe Mindiola finishing 2-2. Laren Sanford was 2-0, with Randal Cox, Michael Smith and Dan Taylor all getting a win apiece.
North Putnam head coach Benny Ault was a little disappointed with the team scores but not with the squad as a whole.
"I think the boys are wrestling really well. They're working a lot of moves that we work on in practice, which is nice to see. All in all, the team is coming along nicely," Ault said.
"We've got two boys coming back at the first of the year, which is going to help the team out. We had a couple out through injury today, which provides the other teams with forfeits."
The presentation to former coach Kearns was one that was undertaken during the week and had an impact on the Cougars before their next dual.
"Right after we announced that, we wrestled Whiteland, which is a 5A school. They brought their varsity team here and sent their JV team somewhere else. We ended up tying them with a chance to win," Ault said.
"I think it did give them a spark and it was nice to see that spark in them, for Kenny," Ault added.
With the Putnam County Tournament upcoming, Ault said the challenge from Saturday would prepare his squad for the rest of the county schools.
"I like this meet because it really helps us get ready for the county meet. County is next Thursday. We faced Cloverdale earlier and had a chance to win but lost by three in the final match," Ault said.
"We think that will be a good match with them again. South Putnam's tough, of course, and they have some really good upper weight classes."
"We haven't seen Greencastle but facing teams like this helps us later on in the year when we face Avon, Danville and some of the other big schools in the sectional. It gives them that experience to know what to expect."
At North Putnam
Team Champions: New Palestine (4-0)
North Putnam Team Scores
L No. 16 New Palestine (0-79)
L Indianapolis Chatard (24-60)
L Whiteland (36-36, Tie-Breaker)
L Rockville (36-39)
113 -- Zach Ruble 3-1
120 -- Dean Klieber 3-1
126 -- Josh Coulter 0-4
132 -- Michael Smith 1-3
138 -- Joe Mindiola 2-2
152 -- Larry Sexton 0-4
182 -- Dan Taylor 1-3
195 -- Randal Cox 1-0
220 -- Laren Sanford 2-0
285 -- Eric Davis 3-1
Next meet -- North Putnam will compete in the Putnam County Tournament Thursday at Cloverdale, starting at 5:30 p.m.