Exeter takes aim at the state team tournament

The Exeter Township High School wrestling team has enjoyed a real resurgence in the program over the last several years. Last year, the Eagles were 6-1 in Division 1 of the Berks League, and had two state qualifiers. In fact, the Eagles qualfied for the state team tournament for the first time in the program’s history.

The 2014-15 squad will be without four graduating seniors from last year’s team, but they still have state qualifiers Brett Kulp and Ethan Stever who will lead a very talented group of wrestlers.

Kulp is only a junior this season. As a sophomore, he was a district champion and came home with a fifth place medal in the state tournament. Kulp is certainly among the best wrestlers Exeter has ever produced, and maybe the best when his high school career is over. He was pretty much a guaranteed six points for the Eagles in all of their dual meets, and don’t expect anything different this season.

Stever is back for his senior season and will be the only senior on the team. Last year Stever earned a fourth place medal at the District 3 meet, then qualified for the state tournament. Kulp and Stever represent a one-two punch that few teams in the county can boast.

Head Coach Jonathan Rugg also has a pair of two-year starters in juniors Scott sSchaeffer and Trey Harkness. Sophomores Austin DeSanto and Tyler Bagoly are also expected to make a big impact on the team this year. Bagoly came extremely close to qualifying for the state tournament as a freshman last season. He wrestled in the districts, but lost in the quarterfinals and finished in fifth place in the 113 pound weight class, one place away from a state berth. Obviously, there are high hopes for Bagoly this year, as well as the following two years.

“The team has a taste for the state team tournament, and hopes to return to Hershey this season to measure themselves against the states elite,’ said Rugg. “Their strength lies in the lower/middle weights, while they expect to be competitive top to bottom in every match.’

They have the talent to contend for the league title this season, and much more. The key, as it is with most wrestling teams in the county, is health. If they can stay healthy, there is no limit to how far this team can go.

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