NEWTOWN – Council Rock North has returned to the wrestling mat with plenty of promise.
A year ago, the Indians went 12-4 overall, 5-1 in the Suburban One League (SOL) National Conference, finishing second in both the league standings and in the SOL National Tournament.
Back on the mat for Rock North are last year’s fabulous freshmen Luke Lucerne, Cam Robinson, Dylan Sheehy and Sammy Hayes. Now sophomores, all were regional qualifiers except Hayes, who was a 20-plus match winner for the Indians.
“We are very excited about this young group,” said Vivacqua. “We’re going to be very young; we’re still going to have ninth-, 10th-graders in the lineup.”
“We have three or four seniors who will probably start but after that, we have a lot of young bucks.”
In his first time out on the varsity mat, Lucerne went 36-8 on his way a league title belt at 106 pounds along with medals he captured at districts (2nd), South East Regions (2nd) and states (6th).
Robinson was 35-11, capturing league (2nd), district (2nd) and region trophies (3rd) at 132 pounds on his way to states. Twice in the postseason, Cam wrestled and lost to then CR South senior Zach Trampe, who captured a state title belt at 132 pounds last year.
The first time, he was pinned with 22 seconds left in the bout at SOLs. At districts, he found himself on the short side of a 30-15 tech-fall.
“That was good for him to wrestle Zach,” said Vivacqua. “You’re wrestling the state champ. He wrestled him at leagues, districts – that’s fun.”
“He didn’t wrestle him at regionals but he got out to states, won a couple matches.
“As a freshman, that was great experience for Cam.”
Sheehy also captured postseason medals, grabbing second at 145 pounds at SOLs, while finishing third in districts. Dylan will start the season at 160 or 170 pounds and work his way down, from there
Hayes won over 20 matches last year and took his first two bouts in the league tournament including a pin of Abington senior Matt Spross. Unfortunately, he lost by a point to CR South sophomore Eric Woloshyn and 2-1 on a tiebreaker to Neshaminy sophomore Jackson Erb, who captured medals in both districts and regions.
Senior Nick Nucero is back for his final year on the mat. Nucero went 27-10 on his way to a 152-pound SOL title belt and runner-up ribbon is districts.
Nucero will have help from classmates Shane Thompson and Gianncarlo Flores. Thompson had perhaps his best season last year, winning 19 matches on his way to league ruuner-up finish and a District 1 title belt at 113 pounds.
Flores did not compete in the postseason last year, though he won medals in both SOLs and districts as both a freshman and sophomore.
Good news on the personnel front is that junior John Shalinsky is back. Shalinsky took a year off the mat last season, though he competed mostly at 106 pounds two years ago as a freshman. He’ll go at 113 or 120 this time around.
“He’s going to help us down low,” said Vivacqua, of Shalinsky. “He’s wrestled a few years and he knows what he’s doing.”
Some bad news on the personnel front is that junior Alec Leyferman is not returning to wrestle as a heavyweight. Alec captured a pair of medals in the postseason last year including third at SOLs and sixth in districts but decided not to come out for wrestling this season.
The good news is that senior Chaniz Kouveras, another heavyweight, is back on the mat after taking his junior year off.
CR North has also added a pair of freshmen in Kyle Hauserman and Max Harar. Hauserman gained 15 pounds in the last six months and can wrestle at 106 while Harar can go at 215 pounds.
For the Indian grapplers, the season starts Jan. 9 at the Brian Bealer Memorial Duals at Boyertown High School. Along with the host team, the Rock will battle Governor Mifflin, Interboro and Unionville.
North took fifth place in the tournament last year with a 10-point win over Mifflin.
From there, the Indians travel to Penn Manor Dec. 15 and 16 to compete in the Comet Classic, where they took third last year.
On Dec. 20, North will host Philadelphia Catholic League rival Father Judge in a dual meet then wrap up the year Dec. 29 and 30 at the Bethlehem Holiday Wrestling Classic. That’s a switch from previous campaigns when the Rock competed in the Manheim Holiday wrestling tournament at Manheim Central High School.
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