Lower Bucks wrestling teams got their season off to a good start last weekend with Council Rock South taking second in the Cumberland Valley Kickoff, CR North grabbing a runner-up trophy in the Brian Bealer Memorial Duals and Neshaminy taking second in the at the Mountaineer Tournament.
Both the Golden Hawks and the Indians took fifth in the same tournaments last year. For the Skins, this was their first time out in the Mountaineer Duals held Dec. 9 at Phillipsburg-Osceola High School where they went 4-1. Neshaminy went 1-4 in their opening dual meet tournament last year at Bethlehem Freedom.
CR South’s performance in the CV Kickoff might be the most surprising. The Hawks lost a ton of talent to graduation last year including 132-pound state champion Zach Trampe, 220-pound PIAA third-place medalist Joey Doyle, 145-pound South East Region champion Riley Palmer and 138-pound regional medalist Cary Palmer.
Making their way to the CVK championship finals for CR South were senior Ben Radner and Kyle Waterman, a sophomore who pinned Cumberland Valley’s Ruston Dzielak 33 seconds into the final frame to capture a 106-pound tournament title belt. Radner won his first three bouts before falling by the slimmest of margins to Easton sophomore Jonathan Miers, a 132-pounder who won 40 matches and qualified for states last year as a freshman.
CR South juniors Braden Ricchini (113 pounds), Shane Hanson-Ashworth (126), Eric Woloshyn (145) and Nik Korbich (170) each went 1-1 in the last two rounds of consolations to earn fourth-place medals in the tourney. Woloshyn, who failed to place in districts last season and dropped a close decision in his first match at the CVK, won four bouts including decision wins over Shippensburg’s Ian Reed and Delaware Valley’s Jack Dardia. Both opponents are seniors who qualified for regionals last season.
Sophomore Cole Flanagan dropped decisions in his last two bouts to fall to sixth in the tourney, though he recorded the most action on the mat for his team after going 5-3 in the CVK’s 160-pound weight class. After posting a major in his first match, Flanagan found himself on the wrong end of a cradle going up against Canon-McMillan’s Gerrit Nijenhuis. The sophomore for the Big Macs took third in states last year as a 152-pounder.
To his credit, Cole wrestled back with three straight wins by fall, pinning Phaelan Wolfe (Shikellamy), Sterling Shetter (Shippensburg), and Austin Sauder (Manheim Central). He also posted a 7-5 decision win over Gage Moran, a senior who won 20 bouts for Exeter last season.
Wrestling in a competitive 126-pound field, Hanson-Ashworth – a recent transfer from Malvern Prep – went 3-2 in the tourney, dropping decisions to Downingtown West senior Doug Zapf and Canon McMillan senior Logan Macri. Zapf was a state champion last season at 106 pounds and Macri took fifth in the 120-pound class.
To his credit, Shane won three other bouts including a 7-3 decision win over Shikellamy sophomore Cade Balestrini, a state qualifier who won 32 bouts last year as a 113-pound freshman.
Over at Rock North, the Indians posted dual meet triumphs over Governor Mifflin (48-30), Interboro (69-12) Boyertown (40-30) and Unionville (63-15) before falling 38-25 to Bethlehem Liberty in the championship.
Worth noting in the match with Boyertown is that North surrendered 12 points on forfeits at 195 and 220 pounds and still toppled the Bears by 10 points.
Winners for the Rock in the win over Boyertown were Kyle Hauserman (106 pounds), Luke Lucerne (126), Sammy Hayes (132) Shane Thompson (138), Cameron Robinson (145), Gianncarlo Flores (152), Nick Nucero (160) and Dillon Sheehy (170). Lucerne, Hayes, Thompson, Robinson and Nucero each won by pin.
Going unbeaten at 5-0 in the tourney were Hauserman, Hayes, Thompson, Robinson, Flores and Nucero. Lucerne went 4-1 in the meet, falling only to Bethlehem Liberty senior Sebastion Mateo, a senior who grabbed a fifth-place 115-pound medal at the ACWA War at the Shore Folkstyle Nationals last April at the Wildwood Convention Center.
Senior heavyweight Chantz Kouveras and junior Tykee Jackson – who wrestled at 220 and 285 pounds – each won two bouts including a pin. Junior John Shalinsky won three matches including a win by fall wrestling in the 113-pound weight class.
Competing for the first time in the Mountaineer Tournament, Neshaminy juniors Colton Jordan and Jackson Erb captured individual title belts in their respective weight classes.
After missing most of last season with an injury, Jordan looks like he’s back in form, after pinning Curwensville junior Blake Passarelli and earning a tech-fall win over Phillipsburg-Osceola sophomore Chase Chapman to earn a Mountaineer title at 126 pounds.
Erb, who entered his third season on the mat with over 60 wins and a South East Region title belt wrestling last year at 126 pounds, has bulked up and is working the mat at 145 pounds this time around.
Jackson pinned in his first two bouts then earned a close 7-6 decision win over Marion Center senior Charlie Beatty, a state qualifier last year at 132 pounds.
Senior Brock Leinbach (170 pounds) along with freshmen Shawn Marion (106) and Zachary Martin (113) also punched tickets to the finals and finished second in their weight class.
Earning third-place medals with wins in consolation finals were junior Manon Djurayes (120 pounds), sophomore Luke Landman (132), senior Austin Saba (138), junior Rory Rienzi (152) and sophomore Gunner Spain (160). Djurayes, Landman and Rienzi each pinned in their bouts.
Sophomores Jason Pascucci (182) and Zack Magdelinskas (195) took fifth place in the tournament. Freshman Kenny Monaco placed sixth at 220 pounds.
Meanwhile, Pennsbury finished fifth in the Saucon Valley Invitational. Sophomore Davis Lee captured a 220-pound title belt after pinning Emmaus junior Luigi Mannino and Saucon Valley’s Jared Harka.
Seniors Antonio Martoccio (132), Jack Karel (145) and Shaun Peel (152) finished third after winning consolation finals. Martoccio and Karel each pinned in consolations. Martoccio is a three-time District 1 medalist who punched a ticket to states as a freshman and earned a South East Region berth last year.
Ryan McGurrin (106), Colin Miller (120), Mark Hertkorn (126) and Elijah Slaughter (285), each finished fourth for the Falcons.
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