Council Rock South primed and ready for districts

NORTHAMPTON — When Council Rock South gets to the District 1 East Class AAA tournament on Saturday, the Golden Hawks won’t have with them the only two wrestlers that made it to states last year.

What South will have going with it to districts is six Suburban One League (SOL) champions with 172 wins between them. Even with 106-pounder Riley Palmer and 132-pounder Joe Little who both failed to make weight at SOLS, the Hawks are still taking 11 wrestlers to districts which begins 9 a.m. Saturday morning at Interboro High School.

“The name of the game is advancing and getting to the next round,’ said head coach Brad Silimperi. “We’re looking for all of them to compete and get as many guys through as we can. If we can get a bunch through, we’re going to be pretty competitive.’

Last year, South sent six grapplers on to South East Regionals including Palmer, sophomore Zack Trampe (126), along with seniors Ben Kenis (195) and Thaison Nguyen (220). This year, Silimperi doesn’t see any reason why all 11 of his guys can’t advance to regions.

“When you see the experiences they had last year, you know they have to be really confident this year in knowing that they’re good enough to not only get to the state tournament but place,’ said the coach.

Forgetting the fact that every wrestler is simply better than they were last year after another season’s experience on the mat, the rules have changed to allow the top four grapplers in each weight class to advance to the next level.

Last year, when it was only the top three, experienced wrestlers like senior Robbie Fasciocco (132) and junior Luke Martoccio (145) just missed regions with fourth-place finishes at districts.

In some spots, South has been infused with some good young talent. In others, some veterans have stepped up to make a postseason challenge. Stepping in for Palmer and Little, freshman Mike McKinney (106) took third at SOLs and Fasciocco finished fourth.

“It speaks to the depth of our team. When one of our starting guys is out, we put somebody else in and they’re getting on the podium. It’s pretty exciting.’

A senior with seven more wins than he had this time last year, Kenis (32-9) took second in districts last year and fourth in regionals. He’s looking to make states and medal his last time on the postseason mat.

“Placing in states is what I’ve been aiming for all year,’ said Kenis “I wouldn’t be happy with just making it there because I feel like I’d be selling myself short for my senior year.’

As a team, Council Rock South won the District 1 title last year, it’s first in three seasons, edging favored Pennridge, 137-131. Kenis, Nguyen and Trampe all won runner-up trophies while Fasciocco, Dylan Schwartz and Martoccio took fourth-place medals.

What that meant though was that all six dropped their last bout. Kenis says the Hawks are looking to avoid that this time around.

“We were all upset,’ said Kenis. “Coach told us if we don’t want the same thing to happen this year, we just have to work harder. We can’t get down on ourselves. We just have to keep looking forward.’

Looking ahead, Silimperi says he envisions Trampe grabbing a PIAA medal his second time around in the postseason after just missing out on states last year as a freshman. Zack is 37-3 with title belts at King of the Mountain and the Bethlehem Hurricane Classic.

“You have to be able to weather his storm, which is almost impossible,’ said Silimperi. “He’s going to go at you for six to eight minutes and it’s going to be non-stop.’

“He’s a fierce competitor. You put his conditioning together with hating to lose and it’s tough to beat a kid like that.’

While he is just a freshman, Ben Radner holds 23 wins heading into districts. The coach thinks he’ll make regionals.

“He’s already one of the best kids on the team,’ said Silimperi. “When it’s all said and done, he’s probably going to go down as one of our best. He’s going to find his name on our wall of legends.’

Meanwhile, junior Dylan Schwartz (152) has posted a solid season. His 35-5 record entering districts includes a title belt at Bethlehem and medals at King of the Mountain and Escape the Rock.

“He’s physically at the top of his game,’ said Silimperi. “He’s expected to be at that state tournament and getting on that podium; that’s how good he is.’

Competing at 170 pounds, sophomore Joe Doyleis 19-8 with a sixth-place medal at ETR. In district duals with his team hanging on to a four-point lead, he pinned Spring-Ford junior Steve Rice in the second period to help cement a 33-23 win over the Fords.

“He’s big play Joe Doyle, We expect him to do big things,’ said Silimperi.

Meanwhile, senior Scott Mackin has come on late in his career in the 182-pound weight class. Mackin (15-17) registered a pair of wins in PIAA Duals, winning by fall over Father Judge freshman Sean Armstrong and General McLane junior Kyle Sult.

“He’s had a great senior year. He’s very scary, offensively. The guys who wrestle him, they need to be ready to go because he’s getting better as the year has gone on and he’s more confident. When you have that, good things happen.’

Additionally, Martoccioi is 26-8 including a 7-1 postseason record, a mark that includes three straight wins in district duals including an impressive 3-1 win over Spring-Ford senior Jon Cooper.

While Nguyen doesn’t have as many wins as he had last year, he’s come on of late, posting a 4-2 combined record in district and state duals.

Junior Shane Flanagan is 14-14 with a win in both district and state duals. He’s won three of his last six bouts.

Council Rock North is sending nine wrestlers to districts including SOL champs Kyle Thorpe, a senior who nipped Nguyen 1-0 in the league title tilt. Sophomore Aidan Burke also won a title at 106 pounds and the Indians had three runners-up in Jake Potter (126), Josh Shalinsky (160) and Mike Rademacher (182).


SOL National Conference Championships

(Feb. 14 at Neshaminy)

Championship Finals

113 — Ben Radner (CRS) maj. dec. Dennis Burns (T), 14-4

126 — Zack Trampe (CRS) won by inj. default over Jake Potter (CRN), 3:15

138 — Eric Mongiello (P) won by forfeit over Shane Flanagan (CRS)

145 — Lucas Martoccio (CRS) dec. Dustin Stone (T), 6-0

152 — Dylan Schwartz (CRS) maj. dec. Dominic Stabilito (N), 9-1

170 — Joe Doyle (CRS) dec. Alex Cwenar (P), 4-2

195 — Ben Kenis (CRS) pinned Keshon Guiellmo (A), 0:45

220 — Kyle Thorpe (CRN) dec. Thaison Nguyen (CRS), 1-0

Third Place

106 — Mike McKinney (CRS) dec. Mike Megahan (N), 5-2

132 — Austin Vossbein (T) dec. Robbie Fasciocco (CRS), 3-1

182 — Kenny Hickman (P) pinned Scott Mackin (CRS), 0:58

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