After losing some matches to Becahi, Northampton, P-burg, and Freedom, we knew we needed to put together some solid performances to finish out our season. Despite major improvements over last season, we knew we were capable of turning some of those dual meets around. With the exception of our Becahi match, all the other matches that we had lost to date were winnable dual meets. As a team we simply kept reinforcing that we need to deal with adversity in a positive way. Certainly we were excited to turn things around with District Duals around the corner. It also helped that we would have the opportunity to gain some retribution on three of the teams that we lost to so far.
Our first match was against Northampton at District Duals. They beat us in a stomach-wrenching match a few weeks prior, so our boys were certainly looking to turn that result around. It certainly helped that we would have Jacob Montes back from an injury and ready to help solidify our middle weights.
Regarding our game plan for the match, we decided to weigh Jimmy Saylor in at 152 in an attempt to chase Cade Moisey if we won the coin toss. We ended up losing the coin toss, and the match started at 160. We felt we needed to put Jimmy on the mat to start and make Northampton maneuver their line-up around on of our top kids. They sent Moisey, whom Jimmy would end up defeating. This was followed up by huge wins by Ethan DiRenzo, Isaiah Walker, and later John Williams at Heavyweight. In the end, Evan Fidelibus and Jacob Montes helped seal the deal later in the match. Next we would get another crack at Freedom.
As most people know, our Freedom match started out with us dropping the first five weight classes by fall in the first period. Certainly our stress level was very high being down 30-0 that early in the match. Thankfully, each one of the successive nine guys really stepped up. Each kid slowly chipped away at Freedom’s lead and swung the momentum back in our favor. Both Roche brothers were absolutely huge in their matches. Isaiah beat a kid who beat him a week prior and Anthony beat a kid with a very good record. In addition, Hayden Keleher finally came through with a huge signature win against a top guy. Hayden has been primed for a breakout match for quite some time and it was great that he got it when he did. Nick Nunez & Darius Joyce came through huge in potential toss up matches, while Jacob and Evan did their jobs as well. This all set the stage for Jimmy Saylor to wrap things up against Freedom’s Evans who had one loss up to that point. I think our entire side of the gym felt great knowing we had our state qualifier captain on the mat to close out the historic night. In the second period, Jimmy got the fall and the rest is history. It was a great night to be a Rover.
Our kids looked good during Saturday’s semifinal and we actually wrestled quite well against Becahi in the final. Like most DXI teams, we just did not have enough horses to get by them. We were able to turn two bouts around that we lost the previous time. This dropped us down to true second where we were set for our rematch against Parkland. We felt good about our chances based on how the early season match had gone. While we lost that match, we felt we could turn a number of those matches around. Unfortunately, our magical few days ended in defeat. We ended up one match short. Certainly not having the chance to wrestle as a team in Hershey is disappointing, however, nothing can take away the huge strides our boys have made in a year’s time. We know what we need to do overall as a team going into next year having most of our line-up back.
We will be taking advantage of the next few weeks to get ready for the individual post season. Our next order of business is defending our streak. We will have a number of guys with legitimate chances to make a run extending our streak. Our boys are fully committed to making it 68 years in a row.
Thanks for reading. #roadtohershey