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Colton Jordan, Jackson Erb lead Neshaminy wrestling back onto the mat

Neshaminy junior Colton Jordan (top) is back on the mat after missing the second half of last season with an injury. (John Gleeson – 21st-Century Media)

LANGHORNE – Two years ago as a freshman, Neshaminy lightweight Colton Jordon captured a Suburban One National League title belt at 106 pounds and a third-place medal in districts, winning 31 matches and qualifying for the SE Region AAA Tournament.

He had 13 wins under his belt last year including winning three of four matches at Governor Mifflin’s holiday tourney when he injured his arm the middle of last January at Souderton’s Big Red Duals.

“He’s crazy excited to be back,” said Skins head coach Mike Stewart. “He’s back where he was and he’s ready to go.”

Jordan won six of his first 10 bouts last year and two of his last three at the Big Red Duals when the injury occurred.

“It was tough,” explained Stewart. “You take a kid of his caliper – in his freshman year, he went to regions and won a match or two at regions.

“Then, he had that injury that put him out – that’s a tough one.”

Along with junior Jackson Erb, the dynamic duo leads Neshaminy back onto the mat this season. The Skins open their mat season at the Mountaineer Tournament Saturday, Dec. 9 at Phillipsburg-Osceola High School. Eight teams will battle for tournament title belts in 14 weight classes.

Erb is a two-time regional qualifier who took sixth last year in the SE Region AAA Tournament. A year after going 34-8 as a freshman, he went 31-8 as a sophomore. He needs just 35 wins to reach the century mark.

Jackson took second at SOLs after dropping a 3-1 decision to Truman sophomore Gunnar Fuss, a wrestler he pinned in the regular season. At districts, he fell to fourth after dropping a 5-4 decision to Pennsbury junior Anthony Martoccio.

At regions, he lost 7-6 to Marple Newtown senior Zack Elfernani then wrestled back with wins over Martoccio and Kennett senior Gerhardt Reiter.

“He was one match away from going to Hershey so Hershey is one of our goals this year,” said Stewart, of the site at which Erb wants to wind his current campaign at.

“We’re expecting big things from Jackson and he’s been working hard – like crazy – so we’re excited.”

While the five freshmen in the lineup last year return with a year of experience under their belts, Neshaminy is still considered a youthful squad.

“We had so many freshmen in our varsity lineup last year; we had like five freshmen,” said “They’re all coming back and they’ll be sophomores – a little wiser, a little better shape.

“It’ll be exciting to see what their second year will look like.”

One of those freshmen from last year was Zach Magdelinskas. With 16 wins, Zach was the winningest 9th-grader on the team last year and he also grabbed a third-place medal at SOLs wrestling at 182 pounds. He will work the mat at 195 pounds this year.

“Zach is definitely one of the wrestlers we’re excited about this year,” said Stewart. “He’s older, he’s stronger, and he’s got a little more experience now.

“He went to camp and he’s done a lot of stuff in the offseason. He’s also a football player so he’s a very busy kid as far as working out

The Skins have just two returning seniors – Brock Leinbach, who captured a league title last year at 170 pounds and Austin Saba, a district qualifier last season at 138.

Junior Matt Soska, who wrestled at 220 last season, will take the spot at heavyweight vacated by 2017 graduate Kyle Osterhaudt, a state qualifier last season at 285 pounds.

“It’s a different world but he’s got the size,” said Stewart. “It is a different weight class but we’ll find out.

“Over the summer, he was wrestling a lot more heavyweights trying to prepare himself and he did a good job with that.”

A second-year wrestler, Soska got some good experience wrestling at SOLs and districts last season.

“We’ve had some great heavyweights over the years with Bruce Graeber (Bloomsburg) and Kyle last year,” explained Stewart.

“He’s one of the guys we took to camp and he’s working hard to try and fill Kyle’s shoes.

“He’s young but he’ll grow quickly and fill the spot up for us.”

Over the summer, Stewart took the team to a five-day wrestling camp at Penn State.

“The kids loved it. The instructors were all Penn State wrestlers. (PSU head coach) Cael (Sanderson) was there instructing on the mat.

“We have a young team so it was real nice for the kids to get a chance to bond and get to know each other a little better.”

Among the incoming freshmen for Neshaminy this season are Zac Martin, a 113-pound club wrestler with plenty of experience, Shawn Merion, a 106-pounder who comes with some experience from the Neshaminy Youth Club and Kenny Monaco, a 220-pounder who comes with little experience at Poquessing Middle School.

The Skins are returning to the Mustang Holiday Tournament Dec. 28 and 29 at Governor Mifflin and also to the Hamburg Hawk Mountain Duals Jan. 6 at Hamburg Area High.

A new wrinkle in this year’s schedule is the addition of a dual meet vs. Ches-Mont rival Downingtown East That meet is set for Wednesday, Feb. 7 at home, 10 days before Neshaminy heads to SOLs, taking place Feb. 17 at Bensalem.

Last year, the Skins outpaced Pocono Mountain East 37-27 before heading to the postseason.

Like last season, Neshaminy’s first dual meet is Dec. 13 facing Philadelphia Catholic League rival Father Judge. On Dec. 20, they’ll take on defending SOL National and District 1-AAA champion Council Rock South.

Both the match with the Crusaders and the league meet against the Golden Hawks are on the Skins’ home court.

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