As always, a busy season is followed by an even busier off-season.
We always open up our Gold Medal Wrestling Club the week of Regionals and runs up until the next November. Our numbers through the spring were fantastic. Thanks to some of the New Jersey coaches such as Dave Post, Tim Flynn, and others who supplied us with a plethora of fresh blood for our kids to work out with throughout the spring. In addition, Lehigh assistant John Hughes came in to do numerous clinics throughout the off-season as well.
During the spring, we went to the Delaware Valley HS spring duals in Milford to get our guys matches. We also had a number of our kids who wrestled Freestyle throughout the off-season as well. These were tune-ups before we went to our tournament in New Orleans in June. In New Orleans we came away with a fifth place finish and defeated nationally ranked Archer, GA in the fifth place match. As it was in 2014, the New Orleans trip was a second to none experience for the boys and it was a pleasure to take them down there and watch them display their improvements. Next year we are in preliminary talks to take our team to Disney Duals to get a new experience.
We followed that up with our annual summer sports camp in July. For that camp we had John Hughes, Easton Alum Mitchell Minotti, NC State Coach Pat Popolizio, and Duke Coach Glen Lanham.
In addition, Robbie Rizzolino brought up a crew of guys from NC State including National Champion Nick Gwiazdowski to do a clinic at Gold Medal. Robbie enrolled at NC State this past summer and will be taking a redshirt this year. He recently placed second in the East Stroudsburg Open.
We also took teams to the Waterway Duals, Interboro Duals, and Delaware Valley Duals. These tournaments provided a number of our younger guys great opportunities to get matches throughout the off-season. A number of our athletes also went up to the 1000 island duals and got matches there as well. Brad Wilson of the Express wrote a great article on the performance Craig Stahlecker had at that tournament as well.
In mid-October, we ran our Easton Elite Fall Duals and got each one of our kids lots of matches. In this format, we included junior high weights which gave some of our younger kids opportunities to wrestle with the high school team. The event went so well and we were very appreciative of all the community support to coordinate a great event to benefit our kids.
Individual Highlights in the Off-Season
Jimmy Saylor was 2nd in Junior Nationals in Virginia Beach, Competed at the Junior National Freestyle Championships, Journeyman Classic, Super 32, and was Outstanding Wrestler of the Lock Haven Fall Classic. It should also be noted that Jimmy recently commit to wrestle at the United States Military Academy at West Point. We are very proud of Jimmy and will enjoy watching him pursue a state championship in his senior season.
Jimmy Saylor, Jacob & Alex Montes, and Max Viduszynski completed all three legs of the Spartan Race throughout the summer. Nick Nunez, Ethan DiRenzo and our manger Megan also completed various legs of the race. What a great team building opportunity to complete those physical challenges it was for the boys.
Evan Fidelibus placed 6th in the NHSCA Junior National Championships in Virginia Beach and 7th in the Super 32 Challenge.
Alumni Robbie Rizzolino placed 2nd in the East Stroudsburg open for NC State
Alumni Mitchell Minotti recorded a fall in the NWCA All-Star Match at Georgia Tech University
We also offer our prayers and condolences to the families of Ray Nunamaker and Tony Iasello due to their passing over the summer. They were certainly legends in the sport and we hope to honor them by carrying on the excellent tradition they helped establish in the District 11 Wrestling community.
Right now, we are into our second week of practices and the seniors are collecting wood for the bonfire as we speak. This is certainly an exciting week to be a member of Rover Nation. We hope you and your family have a happy Thanksgiving as we head toward a new year and a successful season.