Another dual meet season has come to an end……
After the electric atmosphere we had at the P-burg match, we finished our season with senior night against East Stroudsburg and an away match against Liberty.
Every year it is always a bittersweet night when we honor our seniors in their last home dual meet. These seniors are always a positive presence in our program from youth all the way to high school. As coaches, it is certainly sad to see them depart. While we will certainly miss them when they are gone, we take solace in knowing that they will do well in their futures and develop into great contributors to society in the future.
Jimmy obviously has the whole world in his hands as he is moving on to West Point. There could not be a better fit of a kid for a school and vice versa. Evan will wrestle at a great academic school such as Rider in the Eastern Wrestling League and will do well there as well. While Jacob has not picked a school thus far, his strong academic record and strong athletic background will provide him great opportunities to find his niche and flourish. Casin is one of the top students in his class and an absolutely outstanding student-athlete. He has always taken his studies very seriously and will have his pick of where he wants to go to college. Craig still has a lacrosse season to finish and will have numerous offers when he ultimately chooses a school whether it be for football, lacrosse, wrestling, or simply to be a student and focus on academics. Big John has been accepted to a number of colleges and is weighing all his options to find his best fit. RJ and Ryan Brown are undecided about their futures but have discussed with us the possibility of enlisting in the armed services. That would be tremendous for both boys. While we are proud of our boys on the mat, we are equally proud of their endeavors off of it. We take great pride in seeing the boys use tools they have learned through wrestling and implementing those tools in their development into outstanding citizens as adults. All the boys will be missed.
After our senior night, we had a very nice win to close out our regular season against Liberty. Liberty is a tough team that we always have to be prepared for and that dual was no different. Coach Karam juggled his lineup to try and get a win and our boys overcome the matchups. Ethan DiRenzo won a big match early on to set the tone and Max also dominated one of Liberty’s best guys in our first two bouts. Craig defeated a wrestler who defeated him last year, while Big John racked up another headlock fall. Even RJ Zimmerman gave Andrew Gunning fits in a loss by decision. The match was mostly in the books when a few bouts later freshman Gaven Krazer upset a solid senior from Liberty. That was a great win for Gavin. After wins by Evan and Hayden late in the bout, Darius and Jimmy closed out the bout.
Our next match was the league championship dual meet event we hosted at EAMS against Parkland. We were not sure what to expect with the new format pitting the division champions against each other before deciding the league championship, but were very pleased with the event. It was very exciting having the top six teams in the EPC on the mat at the same time. Our middle school gym was the perfect venue for it. The crowd was good and it was well run. Things like that are good for our district and good for the sport.
It was an extremely tough exciting dual meet with Parkland. We started out strong with big wins by Stahlecker, Williams and Zimmerman. A forfeit at 106 turned the momentum away from us as we dropped four consecutive matches until Evan Fidelibus stopped the bleeding. Hayden Keleher had to fight off his back and came back to drop only a decision to the very tough Brayson Haas. Darius and Jimmy came through with big wins to give us some momentum. Alex Montes filled in for Ethan and fought his way through the match, which was a huge performance for us before Max closed out the match with a win for us. We ended up tied at the conclusion of the dual meet. The match would come down to the criteria for most combined first points scored. About 15 minutes after the match, we learned we would have to wrestle Parkland again in the first round of district duals. Go figure….
District duals saw us defeat a tough Parkland team again, before having a semifinal loss to eventual state champion Bethlehem Catholic. When we dropped to the losers bracket, we knew we would have three very difficult matches against Liberty, Parkland (again) and Nazareth. After finishing third in the dual tournament, we would face Nazareth for a true second. Our team wrestled much better against Nazareth than we did the first time around, but lost a few toss-ups that we felt we could have won. This 36-23 loss concluded our dual meet season and set us up to prepare for the individual championship season over the next few weeks.
Despite missing out on state duals for the third year in a row, we improved immensely as a team. We saw huge improvements in our young guys such as Jake Koerwitz & Ryan Dilts. Ethan DiRenzo and Nick Nunez improved immensely from the previous year and will only continue to get better. Max, Darius, & Diego all won 25+ matches despite not having many varsity wins last year. Also our upper weights in Craig, John, and RJ contributed so much to the team over the stretch run of the season. As always our group of seniors was a constant. As mentioned above, they will be sorely missed.
On the road to Hershey
Thanks for reading