Kutztown looking to turn things around

Okay, everyone knows what its been like for the Kutztown Area High School wrestling team. They haven’t won more than one Berks League match since the 2006-07 season. They’ve struggled to get numbers on the team, therefore making it very hard to compete.

Head Coach Dan Aruscavage hopes things will start to turn around this year. The numbers are up, so that’s a good first step. They may not have a full line-up every night, but they will be close. Last year, when they went 0-6 in league play, they forfeited five or six matches against a team with a full line-up. That pretty much assures a team of a loss no matter what happens in the rest of the match.

“it will be nice to have close to a full line-up,’ said Aruscavage. “We have good leadership from our captains, and I think we will be able to hang in most matches this year. I cannot say what the win/loss record will be, but we will be more competitive than last season.’

There will be some experience on the team. They have lost just one wrestler to graduation, and will add two freshmen and two sophomores to the line-up.

The team will be led by Kody Reichert, who will be one of the leaders of the tam. He was a sectional runner-up last year and will be counted on heavily to be even better this year.

Phil Donner will be one of the captains of the team, though this will be only his second season of wrestling for him.

“He’s is a tough kid who works very hard,’ said Aruscavage. “If he is able to build off his work from last year, watch out.’ Nathan Bowman is back for his senior season and the coach is anxious to see what he can do for the team this season.

“Nathan is going catch many by surprise this season,’ said Aruscavage. “He has the make-up to be a very good one and have a strong senior year. He has the strength and toughness. We can clean up his technique and people will be talking about him in the county.’

Justin Fairchild is a senior in his first varsity season.

“He is as tough as nails and very strong for his weight,’ said his coach. “He worked hard in the off-season. It might take him a little time to get used to being on the mat, but once he is comfortable, he will be hard to handle. ”

The goals for this team are mostly individual ones. Aruscavage wants to see as many of his wrestlers moving on in the Berks, sectional, district and state tournament as they can. It will still be difficult for the team to win too many Berks League matches. There will be less forfeits, but there are still several slots filled with younger and inexperienced wrestlers. But when there are young athletes, its always tough to predict how any season will go.

“If we work hard in the room, and push each other, then we will see success on the mat,’ said Aruscavage. “If we work hard, then all that talent that I know we have will show up at tournaments and duals. If we wrestle to our potential, it will be a memorable year for Kutztown wrestling.’

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