HOLLAND – Council Rock South junior Eric Woloshyn was injured last year so he did not take part in the 13th annual Escape The Rock wrestling tournament held the first month of each year on Rock Way.
After placing fourth at Cumberland Valley and sixth at King of the Mountain, Woloshyn was invited to compete in the 14th edition of the ETR tournament. He started off his ETR performance with an 8-2 decision win over Paulsboro 138-pounder Mike Keen.
“I had a good start to the year,” said Eric, who was seeded 10th in the ETR rankings. “I placed at Cumberland Valley and King of the Mountain and just missed the blood round at Bethlehem (Holiday Wrestling Classic).”
Trailing Lower Dauphin sophomore T.T. Elhajj, 4-2, after two periods in round two of the ETR, he got a takedown in the first 15 seconds of the third stanza only to see the No. 7 ranked Elhajj score a reversal with 1:10 remaining in regulation.
Try as he might, while Woloshyn recorded an escape point with 35 seconds left in the third period, he could not score another to send the match to a sudden victory round.
“We got into a scramble position and he wound up on his back,” explained Woloshyn. “But I wound up not getting back-points. It was close; I don’t know if I did (score back-points), or not.
“Then, he wound up reversing me.”
There was also a question about whether or not Woloshyn scored an escape point coming away from the second period. The match official ruled Elhajj kept a hand locked with Eric however, so no escape point was awarded the Hawks’ wrestler.
“It’s tough but I just have to bounce back and do better,” said Eric.
Woloshyn did rebound from the tough loss to Elhajj, posting a 7-2 decision win over Parkland junior Kale Cummings. His ETR outing ended, however, when he dropped a 9-4 decision to Delsea High’s Tim Spatola.
Now in its 12th year as an individual tournament, ETR started out as a dual meet tourney in 2005 before switching to individual bracketing in 2007.
The 2007 tournament featured just seven state or national prep champions while the 2017 edition sent out 31 champs. According to theopenmat.com, this year’s field included four teams ranked in the top 20 nationally – LaSalle (Ohio), Delbarton, Malvern Prep and Bethlehem Catholic – and three wrestlers ranked in the top two at their respective weight classes.
“This is one of the hardest competitions we have this year,” said Woloshyn. “It’s a really tough tournament.”
“There’s a lot of good teams here from other states –some of the top schools in the country.”
Competing in a field of 48 teams, Bethlehem Catholic took first place with 173 points followed by Cincinnati LaSalle (171.5) and Delbarton. CR South placed 11th and sister school CR North was 38th.
Seeded at No. 2, CR South sophomore Kyle Waterman came through with the best performance among area wrestlers, grabbing a runner-up ribbon in the 106-pound weight class.
After recording just eight wins last year as a freshman, Waterman has over 20 victories on the mat this season. At ETR, he went 3-1 including decision wins over Asa Walton (Delsea, N.J.), Jimmy Baxter (Canon McMillan) and Dustin Norris (LaSalle, OH).
He finally fell 3-1 in the final to top-seeded freshman Nico Nardone, of Delbarton (N.J.), which captured third place in the team standings.
Eleven of the top seeds captured ETR Championship belts with Delbarton grabbing four first-place finishes including sophomore Anthony Clark (113 pounds), senior Patrick Glory (126) and senior Travis Tavoso, a No. 5 seed who nipped 7th-seeded Cole Handlovic, of Bethlehem Catholic, 1-0, in the 145-pound bracket. Glory garnished Outstanding Wrestler honors.
Bethlehem Catholic had the most runners-up with four, including No. 2 seed Ryan Anderson, a junior ranked No. 2 by FLO Wrestling who lost 3-2 in an ultimate tiebreaker vs. nationally top-seeded Quinn Kinner, of Kingsway (NJ) in the 138-pound title tilt.
Classmate Luca Frinzi worked his way up from a No. 9 seed to challenge for the 152-pound belt, but dropped a 3-1 decision to 4-seeded William Evanitsky, of Scranton High.
In the 195-pound bracket, BC senior Robert Spezza came in seeded eighth and still challenged for the title belt before eventually falling 9-1 to top-seeded Michael Beard, a Malvern Prep senior who is ranked No. 2, nationally by both Intermat and FLO.
After taking third his first year as a Malvern Prep 106-pound freshman and second last year at 113, CR South junior Shane Hanson-Ashworth, working the mat his first year for the Golden Hawks, captured a third-place ETR medal in the 120-pound bracket.
While Shane won all three of his matches on day one, he dropped an 8-1 decision to Parkand junior and eventual 120-pound champion Brandon Kassis in the semifinals. To his credit, he wrestled back with decision wins over 7th-seeded Brandon Wittenberg (Battlefield, Va.) and No. 8 Antoine Allen (La Salle, OH).
“The competition here is tough,” said Hanson-Ashworth. “You’re always going to get tough matches, no matter what weight class you’re in.
“You just have to push the pace and grind through it and try to win.”
In the 113-pound bracket, CR South junior Max Mendez also won his first three bouts to punch his ticket to the ETR semis. On day two, however, Mendez was majored by Anthony Clark (Delbarton), then dropped a 7-0 decision to Liam Logue (Father Judge). To his credit, he wrestled his way to a fifth-place medal with a 13-5 major decision win over 8th-seeded Dayton DelViscio (Malvern Prep).
CR North senior Shane Thompson (145 pounds), sophomore Cameron Robinson (138), sophomore Luke Lucerne (120) and freshman Kyle Hauserman (106) each went 2-2 in the tournament.
In his ETR opener, Robinson took just 2:40 to pin Northampton junior Eric Schreck, a District 11 qualifier in 2017. He also decisioned Owen J. Roberts sophomore Anthony Petrucelli, a South East Region medalist last year as a freshman.
“There are some studs here – a lot of nationally ranked kids but it’s good to wrestle tough kids throughout the season,” said Robinson, who was ranked sixth in his bracket.
“This is mostly about getting ready for states and that’s really all that matters.
“This is just a fun tournament to go out and wrestle tough.”
On day two, facing even stiffer competition, Robinson dropped a 3-1 decision to No. 3 seed E’lan Heard, a sophomore from LaSalle (Ohio). Cameron then bowed out of the tournament when he dropped an 8-6 decision to Father Judge junior and No. 8 seed Caesar Fountain.
The two were deadlocked at 6-all but the Crusaders grappler – who captured Philadelphia Catholic League (PCL) and District 12 title belts last year as a sophomore – won via sudden victory in overtime.
Lucerne entered the tournament ranked sixth at 12o pounds and Hauserman – a freshman – was fifth at 106.
ESCAPE THE ROCK (Jan. 13-14 at CR South)
106 — #1 Nico Nardone (Delbarton, NJ) dec. #2 Kyle Waterman (Council Rock South), 3-1
113 — #1 Anthony Clark (Delbarton, NJ) dec. #2 Lucas Byrd (La Salle, OH), 1-0
120 — #2 Brandon Kassis (Parkland) dec. #1 Jaret Lane (Southern Columbia), 1-0
126 — #1 Patrick Glory (Delbarton, NJ) won by tech. fall over #2 Logan Macri (Canon McMillan), 6:00
132 — #1 Nick Raimo (Hanover Park, NJ) dec. #3 Jonathan Miers (Easton), 3-2
138 — #1 Quinn Kinner (Kingsway, NJ) dec. #2 Ryan Anderson (Bethlehem Catholic), 3-2 UTB
145 — #5 Travis Tavoso (Delbarton, NJ) dec. #7 Cole Handlovic (Bethlehem Catholic), 1-0
152 — #4 William Evanitsky (Scranton) dec. #9 Luca Frinzi (Bethlehem Catholic), 3-1
160 — #1 Zachary Hartman (Belle Vernon) dec. #2 Gerrit Nijenhuis (Canon McMillan), 5-0
170 — #1 Jackson Turley (St. Christopher’s, VA) dec. #2 Gaige Garcia (Southern Columbia), 4-3 UTB
182 — #1 Bill Janzer (Delsea, NJ) dec. #2 Ryan Karoly (Malvern Prep), 5-4 UTB
195 — #1 Michael Beard (Malvern Prep) maj. dec. #8 Robert Spezza (Bethlehem Catholic), 9-1
220 — #1 Ian Edenfield (Laurel Highlands) dec. #2 Trent Ragland (New Kent, VA), 3-1 SV
285 — #1 Jonathan Birchmeier (Broad Run, VA) dec. #2 Bryan Wallace (Clarke County, VA), 7-4
120 — #3 Shane Hanson-Ashworth dec. #8 Antoine Allen (La Salle, OH), 3-2
113 — #4 Maximino Mendez maj. dec. #8 Dayton DelViscio (Malvern Prep), 13-5
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