FRANCONIA >> Eric Fuentes had no delusions of winning the 132-pound crown at the PIAA Class AAA Southeast Regional Wrestling Championships at Souderton Area High School.
The Norristown High senior was battling returning state medalist Zack Trampe of Council Rock South, and it would have take a Herculean effort just to lose close.
Fuentes didn’t win, but his second-place finish gave him what he has never had, a berth at next weekend’s PIAA Class AAA Championships.
Fuentes’ runner-up finish was one of the local highlights at the tournament, which saw 11 locals earn state berths, while several more just missed out.
The biggest disappointment of the day was Methacton’s Bryce Reddington watching his season and Methacton career end when he lost by injury default in the 145-pound semifinals.
He and Coatesville’s Brent Wendle shot simultaneously, with Reddingon ‘s left foot getting caught under him.
He stayed down, and ultimately was carried from the mat and taken to the hospital.
The diagnosis was a spiral fracture of the left fibula.
The result – the senior’s season is over.
But it wasn’t all bad news for the locals.
Matt Parker eased to victory in the 120-pound finals.
The Pennridge senior, who spent most of the day listening to rap on his headphones, eased past CR North’s Aidan Burke, 9-2, and then rapped about heading back to the state tournament
“I really haven’t changed my approach,” said the Rams senior. “I’m doing what I think will get me to Hershey, it’s all about getting there.”
Along with Fuentes’ second-place finish, North Penn’s Colin Shannon took second at 152 pounds when he was the victim of an incredible move by Coatesville’s Chase Stephens, who flipped Shannon to his back after a flurry and pinned him midway through the second period.
“We were scrambling and I was trying to get off my back,” Shannon said. “It was just a big throw that came out of left field.
“(Stephens) is really good with stuff like that.”
Not that Shannon was disappointed with the result.
“As long as I wrestled my best, I have no problem with the outcome,” Shannon said. “He hit a good move and capitalized on it. All I can do now is get ready for states.”
Pennridge’s Josh Stillings will go to Hershey as the 160-pound Southeast champ after blanking Ryan Resnick of Owen J. Roberts in the finals
Stillings said a change in philosophy after losing to Erin Hahn at Escape the Rock changed his approach and his fortunes.
“After I lost that match I realized I still had a lot of energy left,” said the Rams senior. “After that I’ve decided to expend all my energy in all of my matches.”
In the heavyweight final, Hatboro-Horsham’s Nick Chapman, all of 219 pounds, bested Joshua Walls of Avon Grove, then said he used quickness to earn the crown.
“Usually I go for the low shots, use my quickness to its full advantage,” he said.
It was also a goal to earn the regional championship for outgoing head coach Glenn Kaiser, who is stepping down as the Hatters head coach.
“I really wanted to send him out with a championship,” Chapman said.
Brian Kennerly of Upper Darby, who stunned state-ranked Joe Doyle of Council Rock South in the 220-pound final, was named the tourney’s Outstanding Wrestler.
Top Photo: Norristown’s Eric Fuentes holds Downingtown West’s Nick Lilley for a 5-4 come-from-behind victory in the 132-pound semifinals at the Class AAA Southeast Regional on Monday, March 4, 2017. (Nate Heckenberger/For Digital First Media)