Early deficit no problem for Council Rock South wrestling (GALLERY)

NORTHAMPTON – You know that any wrestling team that falls behind by 25 points and still remains confident certainly qualifies as a powerhouse. The Golden Hawks of Council Rock South are just such a team.

In their first dual meet of the year against a tough Neshaminy team CR South lost the first five bouts of the evening. Thanks to pins by Kyle Osterhoudt, Bruce Graeber, and Mike Megahan, a major decision by Colton Jordon and a decision by Jackson Erb, the Skins reeled off 25 unanswered points.

Yet the Golden Hawks showed little concern. Their Murderer’s Row, featuring five returning state qualifiers, was on deck. Zack Trampe, the 132-pound leader of the pack, stayed calm. “We weren’t really that worried. We knew we had the heart of the lineup coming up.”

Zack and his teammates are no strangers to pressure. Last year, Zack won SOL National and District One titles and then went on to place second in the Southeast Regional and PIAA State Championships. This year, he has already run his record to 10-0, including first-place finishes at the prestigious Cumberland Valley Kickoff Classic and the King of the Mountain Tournament. His 10 victories include five pins and four major decisions.

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Against Neshaminy, after Cary Palmer got the Golden Hawks with a technical fall, Zack started his normal pre-match preparations, “My biggest thing before a match is I have to get a sweat going before I go out there. I have to get my heart racing. I’m constantly moving before my match.”

The motion does not stop when Zack steps foot on the mat. “I wrestle a lot on my feet. I like non-stop action, that’s my biggest thing. I like to keep moving.”

The South coaching staff had other ideas against Neshaminy, They wanted a quick six points. “I took him down a couple of times. I kept looking over at my coaches and they kept saying don’t mess around. They kept yelling, “Pin him! Pin him!” I was trying to wrestle a bit but they said just end it. We were down a lot and needed the points.”

Zack quickly complied and pinned his opponent, Austin Saba, a minute and 20 seconds into the bout. The sudden fall set off an avalanche of 47 straight South points. Eric Woloshyn, Nick Verdi, Lucas Martoccio, Dylan Schwartz and Joe Doyle all pinned their foes. Junior Riley Palmer and classmate Tyler Gettmann won by decision.

Zack recognizes that such dominance really starts in the practice room. For the Golden Hawks, that entails some all-out internal battles. “I wrestle a lot with the Palmer brothers and Ben Radner. We really go at it. Our relationship is totally different in practice. It gets pretty heated sometimes but it makes us all better.”

The steady improvement has a very futuristic aim and that goes beyond winning a single dual meet. “Everything we do out there is preparing us for the postseason. For a dual meet, you just have to get yourself ready for one match. But for a tournament, you have to get ready for a whole weekend.”

For Zack, the intensity of the scholastic season carries right over into the spring and summer. He continues to perfect his techniques and build his conditioning by working out in the Apache Wrestling program directed by his coach Brad Simplieri.

The complete dedication partially explains Zack’s dominant career performance. Overall, he sports an 81-17 record. Last year, he went 45-5. His five losses were all by decision with the largest margin of defeat being three points. Perhaps, the most disappointing moment came in his 5-2 loss to Bethlehem Catholic’s Luke Karam in the PIAA state championship bout.

Zack does not want a repeat this year. “I want to get the state title and improve from last year. I want to take a step up on the podium.”

Based on their 47-25 come-from-behind victory over Neshaminy, Zack will not be alone when time comes for a trip to Hershey and the state wrestling wars.

Council Rock South 47, Neshaminy 25

(December 16 at CR South)

220 — Kyle Osterhoudt pinned Shane Anderson, 3:10; 285 — Bruce Graeber pinned John Anderson, 3:35; 106 — Colton Jordan maj. dec. Maximo Mendez, 11-1; 113 — Mike Megahan pinned Collin Waterman, 5:03; 120 — Jackson Erb dec. Mike McKinney, 3-2; 126 — Cary Palmer won by tech. fall over Asaph Alexander, 4:40, 20-5; 132 — Zack Trampe pinned Austin Saba, 1:20; 138 — Eric Woloshyn pinned Trevor Gaydula, 3:09; 145 — Riley Palmer dec. Joe Little, 5-2; 152 — Nick Verdi pinned Brock Leinbach, 0:58; 160 — Lucas Martoccio pinned Vincent Stabilito, 2:43; 170 — Dylan Schwartz pinned Jon Albarran, 2:41; 182 — Tyler Gettmann dec. Noah Kisselback, 4-3; 195 — Joe Doyle pinned Ben Stern, 2:39.

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