Ches-Mont National Division
Avon Grove Red Devils
Head coach: Frank McCue
Last season: 1-4 division, 10-7 overall
Key wrestlers: Nick Barnhart, Sr., 152; Nick Buonocore, Sr., 182; Tim Smith, Sr., 145; Carson Peck, Sr., 160
Outlook: Barnhart peaked at the right time last year, qualifying for states for the first time after a third-place finish at regionals. He is at 95 career wins and could make a run at Edgar Garcia’s school record of 132. Buonocore and Smith had breakout seasons with 25 and 18 wins, respectively. The Red Devils only lost a couple seniors, but will have to find some scorers to compete in the National. Peck has improved each of his first three seasons and seems poised for a winning season.
Coatesville Red Raiders
Head coach: Jeff Bowyer
Last season: 0-5 division, 1-10 overall
Key wrestlers: Brennan McBride, Jr., 113; Nate Lucier, Soph., 120; Eli Lavalais, Sr., 106; Shamaur Hall, Sr., 152.
Outlook: The one-two punch of McBride and Lucier will be one of the strongest in the area, down low. McBride reached the blood round in his first trip to states last year and Lucier won 25 matches and qualified to regionals. Outside of that pair, no returners had a winning record last season. Hall was .500, and should give the Red Raiders some athleticism in the middle of the lineup. Fellow footballer, Ayden Geter (285) was a regional qualifier last season. The staff is looking forward to seeing what Lavalais can do with a starting spot as a veteran lightweight.
Downingtown East Cougars
Head coach: Joe Horvath
Last season: 3-2 division, 15-7 overall
Key wrestlers: Lukas Richie, Sr., 138; Keanu Manuel, Soph., 106; Matt Romanelli, Soph., 170; Jett Lucas-Murphy, Sr., 145.
Outlook: The Cougars have a nice core that will put up some points in most duals. Richie is a two-time state qualifier and will be one of the top wrestlers in the area when he returns from a preseason injury. Manuel and Romanelli had strong freshmen campaigns, reaching regionals. Lucas-Murphy and Spencer Uggla (160) give East veterans in the middle and Kyle Mittelstadt (132) won 20 matches as a sophomore. When healthy, the Cougars should be able to compete in a division without an apparent power.
Downingtown West Whippets
Head coach: Brad Breese
Last season: 5-0 division, 21-4 overall
Key wrestlers: Max Hale, Jr., 170; Chase Mielnik, Jr., 182; Pat Cusack, Jr., 195; Matt Micale, Soph., 220; Dominic Findora, Fr., 106
Outlook: Things will look a bit different for the two-time defending National champs. The Whippets graduated 219 wins from last season but there are still some strong remains. West will be very strong up top, starting with Hale, who won 50 matches last year and placed sixth in the state. Mielnik was a spot away from reaching states last year and Cusack will be better suited at his natural weight this season. Micale gets his chance after a strong middle school career and Findora brings a strong youth resume. West will have to solidify the middle to stay on top.
West Chester East Vikings
Head coach: John Gallo
Last season: 2-3 division, 15-5 overall
Key wrestlers: Corey Celenza, Sr., 126; Andrew DiBernardo, Sr., 182; Jamison Eadie, Jr., 138; Andrew Luke, Soph., 113
Outlook: The Vikings graduated only four starters so they expect to be in the mix in what seems to be a more wide-open National. This is the first time since 1995 two state qualifiers returned, as Celenza and DiBernardo start their journeys to get back to Hershey. Eadie and Luke won 19 and 18 bouts last season, respectively, and should take steps forward. East’s talent is spread throughout the lineup, with Syncere Cooper (220) and Hugh Lemmon-Kishi (285) solidifying the back end.
West Chester Henderson Warriors
Head coach: Rob Beighley
Last season: 4-1 division, 15-4 overall
Key wrestlers: Killian Delaney, Jr., 120; Sammy McMonagle, Soph., 113; Luke Phayre, Sr., 152; Gavin Range, Sr., 220
Outlook: Four Warriors reached states last year and Delaney, McMonagle and Phayre are back. Delaney was a state runner-up and is now the top dog in the National. His little brother, Palmer Delaney (126), is one of three freshmen who will see action, along with Brett Patton (106) and Billy Wilson (106). McMonagle and Phayre saved their best for the postseason and will be counted on to score points. Range was a 20-bout winner last year and gives Henderson some strength up top. Koh Bauman (160) is someone to keep an eye on.
Ches-Mont American Division
Great Valley Patriots
Head coach: Mike Semar
Last season: 4-2 division, 21-4 overall
Key wrestlers: Ethan Seeley, Sr., 195; Jack Semar, Sr., 152; Casey Capetola, Jr., 126; Andrew DiSanto, Sr., 170
Outlook: The bell cow for the Pats is Seeley, who won 35 matches and reached regionals for the second straight season. The expectations will remain high for the senior, who is 17 wins from 100. Great Valley doesn’t have any other big names, but returns Semar, Capetola and Nate Paollela (160), who are all former district qualifiers. DiSanto and Tyler Humphreys (182) should do better at their natural weights this winter and Tim Dyer joins the fold at 285.
Kennett Blue Demons
Head coach: Kevin Reigel
Last season: 0-6 division, 1-9 overall
Key wrestlers: Trent Kochersperger, Soph., 126; Collin Watson, Jr., 285
Outlook: The Blue Demons only have one senior on the roster, John Vogel (152), so this looks to be a growing year. Kochersperger is star of the squad as a returning regional qualifier. He will become the defacto leader and showed, by winning two matches at regionals, he’s not afraid of the big stage. Watson was a district qualifier a year ago, but no other active wrestler had more than four wins last season.
Head coach: Scott Gold
Last season: 3-3 division, 12-9 overall
Key wrestlers: Brandon Sheffield, Sr., 145; Sam Blevins, Sr., 285; Cooper Johnson, Soph., 126; Kevin Quin, Jr., 120
Outlook: Oxford brings back just about everyone, and there is some anticipation the Hornets can make some noise this year. Sheffield has dealt with injuries the last two years, but if he can stay healthy he should be in the mix to end his career in Hershey. Blevins and Johnson were regional qualifiers last winter and Will Johnson (170) has reached districts three straight seasons. Cannon Hershey (106) and Ben Smith (113) are expected to contribute as freshmen.
Head coach: Bill Taylor
Last season: 1-5 division, 5-16 overall
Key wrestlers: Tyler Mousaw, Jr., 182; Dom Chaclas, Sr., 132; Jacob Lehman, Sr., 138
Outlook: Mousaw rolled all the way to an eighth-place finish at states, making him the first returning medalist at Unionville since Mason Popham in 2010. Chaclas was a regional qualifier and Lehman placed sixth at districts last season. The Indians will have trouble filling out a lineup, but freshman Jackson Roberts (145) will help the replenishment process.
West Chester Rustin Golden Knights
Head coach: Brad Harkins
Last season: 6-0 division, 14-4 overall
Key wrestlers: Collin Hurley, Sr., 170; Josh Viarengo, Soph., 126; Jimmy King, Soph., 113; Alex Pratzner, Soph., 145
Outlook: Rustin has a good crew returning but was dealt a big blow when senior Tyler Kaliner was lost for the season with an injury during football season. Still, the Golden Knights should be in position to defend their American crown and be well-represented in the postseason. Hurley dealt with an injury all last season but could regain his state-level form from two years ago. Viarengo, King and Pratzner lead a strong sophomore class and Zack Jones (195), Owen Walsh (220) and Gabe Walsh (285) bring experience on the back end.
Church Farm Griffins
Head coach: Art Smith
Last season: 2-1 Bicentennial League, 7-7 overall
Key wrestlers: Sebastian Corrales, Sr., 152; Noel Gilgeous, Sr., 195; Emmanuel Lawal, Jr., 285; Edwin Kent, Soph., 138
Outlook: This might be one of the best cores Church Farm has ever had, with three wrestlers who have made states — Corrales, Gilgeous and Lawal — back in hopes of a return trip. Corrales has 81 career wins and is a three-time district champ, but hasn’t made states since his freshman season. The Griffins will have a big but inexperienced squad, but Kent give them stability in the middle after reaching regionals as a fershman.
Head coach: Tom Elicker
Last season: 6-2 Central League, 17-4 overall
Key wrestlers: Paul Pelham, Sr., 220; Morgan Lofland, Soph., 132; Ezra Toll, Jr., 145; Freddie Mucklow, Soph., 138
Outlook: The Pioneers have a lot back in their lineup and will have to hit the ground running with the top two teams in the Central League last year, Garnet Valley and Upper Darby, on the schedule in December. Pelham was a win away from states last year and will be one of the top upperweights in the district. Lofland was tied with Pelham for a team-high 32 wins as a freshman. Conestoga has a full lineup with a lot of experience and should be a district duals squad.
Malvern Prep Friars
Head coach: Nate Lautar
Last season: 5-0 Inter-Ac League
Key wrestlers: Henry Hague, Sr., 152; Nick Florschutz, Sr., 182; Dalton Harkins, Jr., 138; Dayton DelViscio, Jr., 113; Nick Gueriera, Sr., 195
Outlook: The Friars graduated some very big names and though the lineup will lack some of the national flare from years past, this is still one of the top prep programs in the country. DelViscio, Harkins, Hague and Florschutz are returning All-Americans and Gueriera wasn’t far behind. There is another batch of freshmen coming in — six are ranked in papowerwrestling.com‘s top incoming freshmen list — that has Lautar excited, starting with Nick Feldman (160), Caden Rogers (145) and Jack Wehmeyer (132). The road to the Inter-Ac crown will go through Malvern once again.
Head coach: Jay Farrow
Last season: 19-7 overall
Key wrestlers: Jack Shea, Sr., 132; Ethan Kisiel, Soph., 106; Mohammad Mustafa, Sr., 113; Jack DeVuono, Sr., 220
Outlook: There is a lot of turnover at Westtown, but the Quakers will still take a run at repeating as Friends School League champ. Shea was all-league with 26 wins and Kisiel was an honorable mention with 19 victories. The Quakers have some veterans spread throughout the lineup with Mustafa and DeVuono, as well as Harrison Williams (195) returning from an injury.
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