Council Rock South senior Joey Doyle, left, captured an ETR championship belt at 220 pounds Sunday on the Golden Hawks’ home court with a 2-1 decision over Bishop McCort junior Josiah Jones. (Betsy Palmer – 21st-Century Media file photo)
SOUTHAMPTON >> Council Rock South senior Joey Doyle made sure his Golden Hawks team was well-represented at last weekend’s Escape the Rock wrestling tournament Jan. 14 and 15 at CR South.
Last year’s Suburban One National, District 1 East and South East Region champion at 195 pounds, Doyle captured a first place championship belt at 220 Sunday, Jan. 15 with a 2-1 decision over Bishop McCort junior Josiah Jones, a District 6 champ, South West Region champ and state runner-up last season in the Class AA bracket.
Doyle paved the road to the final with a 4-1 decision earlier in the day over Broad Run (Va.) junior Jonathan Birchmeier. The day before at ETR, Doyle set the stage for his dramatic win with a second-period pin of Huntingdon junior Landon Fisher (2:42) and a 5-0 decision win over Robinson’s (Va.) Thomas Mukai.
Doyle finished fourth at ETR last year and was also a fourth-place PIAA medalist at 195 pounds.
Meanwhile, CR South sophomore Max Mendez, this year’s 106-pound champion at the Bethlehem Holiday Wrestling Classic, took fourth place in the same bracket with a 4-2 record at ETR.
Mendez made his way to the championship semifinals with three wins on Saturday including a 9-1 major he recorded against Canon McMillan freshman Jacob Gargner.
On day two of the tournament, Mighty Max squeezed a 2-1 decision win over CR North freshman Luke Lucerne in between a pair of major decision losses suffered at the hands of grapplers from the Garden state.
CR South senior Riley Palmer, after getting nipped 5-4 in a close decision loss to Athens senior 152-pounder Kaidon Winters on day one, looked like he was on his way back to a third-place bout on day two when he suffered an injury going up against Belle Vernon junior Brock Godzin in the consolation semifinals.
Earlier in the day, Palmer had posted a second-period (2:17) pin win over Mariana Bracetti Academy freshman Angel Garcia and a 5-3 decision over Malvern Prep junior Christopher Hisey. With Palmer unable to wrestle, however, Boyertown senior Chris Berry took the fifth-place medal by medical forfeit.
Riley was an ETR champion last year, working the mat at 138 pounds.
Meanwhile, Council Rock North’s freshman duo of Luke Lucerne and Cameron Robinson continue to impress with Luke earning a fifth-place medal after his 12-0 major decision win over Collingswood’s Andrew Clark and Robinson taking an eighth-place medal after going 3-3 in the two-day tourney.
A lightweight, Lucerne is 23-4 in his first season on the mat while Robinson is 22-6 wrestling at 132 pounds.
Cameron started off with a 15-3 major decision win over St. Christopher’s (Va.) Seth Wagner and an impressive 3-1 decision win over Canon McMillan senior Matt Oblock. He also pinned DelVal junior Mike McKinney in the third period on day two. McKinney was a District 1 third-place finisher and regional qualifier in 2016.
Lucerne started the tourney off with an 8-4 decision win over Malvern Prep freshman Dalton Harkins before getting majored by St. Paul’s School (Md.) Kurt McHenry. He wrestled back, however, with a 1-0 win over Father Judge sophomore Liam Logue and a 9-0 major decision over Aaron Howell, of Robinson, Va.
Luke’s only setback on day two was a 2-1 loss he suffered at the hands of Mendez. With Lucerne wrestling at 113 pounds at the time, the two did not square off in the Hawks’ 47-30 dual meet triumph over the Indians earlier this month at CR North.
Meanwhile in the 120-pound bracket, North senior Aidan Burke finished sixth after going 3-3 in the tourney. A state qualifier the past two seasons, Burke sure looked like he was on his way when he finished day one of the tournament with three straight wins.
Those included a 15-0 tech-fall of Delaware Valley freshman Machias Magill and a major decision win over Easton freshman Mason Werkheiser. A 4-1 decision win over Killian Cardinale (Brentsville, Va.) put Burke in the championship semifinals where he suffered an injury, however, that caused him to take medical forfeits in his last two bouts.
At 98-37 for his varsity career, Aidan is coming up on 100 wins.
With 49.5 points, North finished 25th in a field of 49 teams. South took 13th with 75.5 points a year after taking third at ETR.
This year’s ETR tournament was held in memory of Jimmy Vollrath, a 2009 Council Rock South graduate who went on to post a 72-24 career record at Penn State. Competing primarily at 157 pounds, Vollrath was a member of four NCAA and Big Ten Championship teams (2011, ‘12, ‘13, ‘14). At South, Vollrath was a three-time District 1 champion, two-time regional medalist and PIAA medalist at 152 pounds for the Hawks in 2009. A high school All-American that season, Jimmy notched over 130 carrer wins for Rock South.
The ETR wrestlers finishing second through fourth in the various weight classes were presented plaques, while those placing fifth through eighth got medals. The champions received the gaudy championship belts for which the tournament has been renowned. … Malvern Prep, with two individual champions and runners-up, was the team champion with 164 points. Last year’s District 1 Duals and South East Region-AAA Champion, Boyertown finished in fifth-place (97 pts.) a year after earning a runner-up trophy at ETR. … Big Spring’s Britain Shields, with four falls at 170, was recognized as the top pinner.