SOUTHAMPTON – Council Rock South senior Zack Trampe became Lower Bucks County’s all-time wins leader when he opened districts with a tech fall win over CB South freshman Dominic Stoughton.
The historic win that the 132-pounder for the Golden Hawks will always remember is the 4-2 decision win he posted in a PIAA championship bout over Hazleton senior James Hoffman.
“It feels amazing. I’ve been working towards it for a long time,” said Trampe. “It feels good to know all my hard work paid off.”
To reach the state final, Trampe pinned DuBois junior Kolby Ho in 3:31 and then majored Central Dauphin junior Andrew Wert, 10-2
In the PIAA title tilt, Trampe won the flip and took down. Working from the bottom, he got a takedown in the first minute of the match. With about 40 seconds to go in the first period, however, Hoffman got a reversal to deadlock the score at 2-all.
Trampe would work from the bottom twice more, getting escape points late in the first period and midway through the second to go up by two. After that, he took the top position and rode Hoffman out in the third period to a 4-2 victory.
Getting the win over Hoffman – who defeated Trampe in the state semifinal match last year and again this year at the Bethlehem Holiday Classic – in the final made victory that much more sweeter.
“I don’ think he should have ever beaten me and I wasn’t worried,” said Trampe, adding that he was looking forward to the rematch. “I knew there was no way he was ever going to beat me again.”
Despite the slim lead going into the third period, Trampe said he was confident.
“I just wanted to stay on top, look to turn him and ride him out for the rest of the match,” said Trampe.
Teammate Joey Doyle – who will accompany Trampe to the SUNY Binghamton wrestling program next season – was right there watching his old pal win states.
“Zack and I have been friends since we were five or six years old,” said Doyle. “It was great seeing him finally reach a goal he had been working for his whole career.”
Big Joe also appreciated the irony contained in the matchup with Hoffman.
“That just proves that Zack got the last laugh,” said Doyle. “He won when it mattered the most.”
For the Golden Hawks, who finished in sixth place in the tournament, Zack is the team’s first state champion since Billy Rappo captured CR South’s eighth PIAA title belt at 113 pounds in 2012. Rappo also won states the year before as a 103-pound junior.
A 220-pounder for the Hawks, Doyle so much wanted to become the team’s 10th state champion after finishing fourth in the PIAA tournament last year.
After posting a pair of decisions in his first two bouts, Big Joe dropped a 6-2 decision to Laurel Highlands junior Ian Edenfield, the eventual PIAA runner-up at 220 pounds.
“I wasn’t aggressive enough in that match and that’s why I lost,” said Doyle. “It was tough – watching everything that I had worked so hard for slip through my fingers.”
To his credit, Joey put the loss aside and pinned in his last two bouts to capture a third-place PIAA medal, his best finish in states.
“After I lost, my coaches told me to forget about it,” said Doyle. “They said to go out and have fun and that’s what I did.”
It might have been fun for Doyle but there certainly wasn’t any hilarity involved for his remaining two opponents in states.
It took Doyle more than two periods but “The Ice Man” pinned Cedar Cliff junior Francis Duggan – the eventual fifth-place winner – in 4:32. In the third-place matchup, Doyle pinned Belle Vernon senior William Korber 47 seconds into the second period.
“That just proved that that’s what I need to do when I wrestle for now on,” said Doyle. “That’s the way I’m going to wrestle in college – I’m going to go out and have fun and everything will work itself out.
“I was too nervous in the semifinal and that caused me to be too cautious.”
Big Joe says he has mixed feelings regarding the outcome of his performance in states.
“I’m on the fence with that,” he said. “On the one hand, it was disappointing not winning the whole thing. But it was fun going out with pins in the last two matches of my high school career.”
This dynamic wrestling duo should make a tremendous addition to the SUNY Bearcats’ collegiate program. Two current Binghamton grapplers – senior Dylan Carauna (141 pounds) and junior Steve Schneider (184) – recently captured Eastern Intercollegiate Wrestling Association (EIWA) titles.
And this season, the Bearcats are sending a program record eight wrestlers to the NCAA Championships March 16-18 at the Scottrade Center.
With Trampe and Doyle on the team, Binghamton should hit double digits in that category next season.
Contact Steve Sherman at ssherman@21st-Centurymedia.com or @BucksLocalSport on Twitter
TOP PHOTO: Council Rock South senior Zack Trampe, top, captured a PIAA Class AAA wrestling medal with a 4-2 win over Hazleton sophomore James Hoffman in the title match March 11 at the Giant Center in Hershey. (Betsy Palmer – For 21st-Century Media)