It’s been a banner season for the Hamburg Area High School wrestling team. The Hawks won the Division 2 championship in the Berks League with perfect 6-0 league record. They then advanced on to the league championship match where they lost to the three-time champions from Wilson.
The season was made even sweeter on Jan. 30, when the Hawks defeated ELCO, then Northern Lebanon in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds of the District 3-AA Team Tournament held in Hamburg.
The two wins not only earned the Hawks a spot in the district championship match on Saturday, Feb. 1, against top-seeded Boiling Springs at 11 a.m. at Milton Hershey High School, but it earns the team its first trip to the PIAA State Team Tournament in the program’s history.
“I think it’s great for the kids on the team, especially the seniors,’ said Hamburg head coach Derek Sola. “It’s also great for the program moving forward. I think it’s a step in the right direction. Hopefully we can build on this for the future.’
Hamburg’s quarterfinal match-up against ELCO went pretty much Hamburg’s way from the start. After ELCO’s Alex Centeno gave his team a 3-0 lead on a decision in the 170 pound weight class, Hamburg got pins from Cody Miller (182) and Austin Bashore (195). Miller barely broke out in a sweat, needing just 23 seconds to get his pin, while Bashore pinned his opponent in 1:15.
ELCO earned a pin and a technical sandwiched around a Logan Lackey (220) pin for Hamburg in 3:03.
Then Hamburg just blew ELCO away, getting five pins and a forfeit victory in the final seven matches. Romeo Eaddy (106), Sean Stanish (120), Chris Kummerer (132), Nick Oswald (138), Andrew Kochel (145) and Ronald Lavigne (160) all won by pins, while Kerry Mega (126) won by a forfeit.
The victory sent the Hawks to the semifinal round where they took on Northern Lebanon, a 43-21 victor over Wyomissing in the quarterfinals.
Hamburg had a 27-0 lead after the first five bouts (three pins, a forfeit and a decision). Then after Northern Lebanon’s Zach Kelly (113) got a pin for his team, the Hawks followed with a pin, decision and technical fall to make it 41-6 with five bouts to go.
All pins would not be enough for Northern Lebanon to mount a come back.
Coach Sola couldn’t be happier about his team’s performance in the two district matches.
“I thought the guys went out and wrestled hard in both matches,’ said Sola. “You could tell they really wanted to advance to the district championship and the state tournament.’
It will be Hamburg’s first trip to the district championship, and the first trip to the state tournament. But Coach Sola said that making it to the state team tournament was one of the goals he team had in mind when the season began. This came as no surprise to him.
“It was something that we have been talking about since the beginning of the year,’ said the coach.
Of course before the Hawks head to the state tournament, they still have Boiling Springs to deal with on Saturday. A district title would be the icing on the cake of a great season.