Head coach: Tony Haley, second year.
Last year’s record: 2-1 Pioneer Athletic Conference (Liberty Division), 6-1 overall.
Wrestlers to watch: Chance Babb, Sr., 152; Nick Montayne, Sr., 160; Dom Sheridan, Sr., 145; Luke Heimbach, Jr., 113, Ryder Gheris, So., 145-152; Gavin Sheridan, So., 120.
Outlook: The Bears’ roster is bolstered by the presence of freshmen Beck Babb (132), Brody Coleman (106) and Shane Stankina (126). … Chance Babb (14-6) placed eighth at 138 in last year’s PIAA Class AAA tournament after scoring a third in the East AAA Super Regional. Sheridan (12-4) was third at 106 in the South East AAA Regional, and Heimbach (10-5) fifth at 113. … “We are looking to compete for a PAC title,” Haley said. “However, we will have to get through Spring-Ford, Owen J. Roberts and Perkiomen Valley to get there. As for the district, we would really like to get back in the top 4 and qualify for the team state duals. We have a great mix of experience and youth. We will need to fill in some of our heavier weight classes and stay injury free. It is great just being back in the room and hopefully get a full season in.”
Head coach: James Hogan, fifth year.
Last year’s record: 5-2 Berks Conference (Division 1), 13-8 overall.
Wrestlers to watch: J.T. Hogan, Sr., 152; Colin Leahy, Sr., 285; Gavin Richard, Sr., 126; Tucker Hogan, So., 171; Dean Houser, So., 106.
Outlook: Tucker Hogan (18-3) qualified for the 2021 West AAA Super Regional at 172. J.T. (17-2) was fourth at the South Central AAA Regional at 138. … With 82 career wins to his credit, J.T. is in position to join the Mercury coverage area’s 100-win performers this winter. … Richard (120) and Leahy (285, 15-4) also qualified for the regional’s first level in 2021. … “Dean, Gavin, J.T. and Tucker should all reach the state podium,” Coach Hogan said. “They all have the ability. We have some young guys who are going to take their lumps, but they have to be successful scoring bonus points and keeping matches close. They all have to come together for us to have team success.”
Head coach: David Hoffman, fourth year.
Last year’s record: 0-0 (No season outside National Prep Open).
Wrestlers to watch: Kelvin Griffin, Sr., 145; Joey Asterino, Jr., 132; Luke Cawley, Jr., 285; Kade Davidheiser, Jr., 126; Colby Isabelle, Jr., 160; Hunter Sloan, Jr., 120, Robert Pavlek, Fr., 120, Zak Zindle Fr., 170.
Outlook: The Blues’ roster is bolstered by the addition of freshmen Robert Pavlek and Zak Zindle, a NUWAY National Champion (freestyle and folkstyle) and NHSCA Middle School National Runner-up. … Griffin is currently ranked No. 12 in the country. His credentials include being a Super 32 Placewinner, fourth at Beast of the East, an NHSCA Junior National champ, a National Prep runner-up and three-time National Prep All-American. … Davidheiser is a National Prep Champion and two-time National Prep All-American; Isabelle is an NHSCA Sophomore National runner-up, a National Prep All-American, Maine state champion and New England Champion. Sloan was fourth at National Preps and an NHSCA Sophomore All-American. … “The Hill School wrestling team enters the season ranked number eight in the country among prep schools and will expect multiple wrestlers to compete for individual National Prep titles,” Hoffman said. “ Hill has compiled an extremely competitive schedule, with partial teams entered at the Walsh Jesuit Ironman, Beast of the East and Escape the Rock. This year’s team has a nice mix of returning veterans and talented freshman and has taken one more step to returning the program to national prominence.”
Head coach: Mark Harner, second year.
Last year’s record: 0-4 Pioneer Athletic Conference (Liberty Division), 4-5 overall.
Wrestlers to watch: Grant Baker, Sr., 145; Brody Borkowski, Sr., 160; Eddie Carbajal, Sr., 138; Josh Cancro, Jr., 215; Damian Moser, Jr., 285; Levi Borkowski So., 172; Isaiah Peoples, So. 189; Joe Simko, So. 120.
Outlook: The Warriors’ roster is bolstered by the presence of freshmen Ryan Hayes (106) and Matty Shumaker (152). … Borkowski (6-5) and Moser (7-4) each won bouts at last year’s District 1-AAA Section North Tournament. … Baker posted a 7-2 record at 145 his junior year. … “We should be much improved over last season,” Harner said.
Head coach: William Evans, first year.
Last year’s record: Team didn’t compete in 2020-21 season.
Wrestlers to watch: Chris Carter, Sr., 189-215; Todd Picard, Sr., 189-215; Eric Whitt, Sr., 285; Doug Cawley, Jr., 113-120.
Outlook: Carter, Picard and Cawley are all returning Eagle grapplers while Whitt is a new face in the program. “There’s some strong underclassmen at the lighter weights that I feel will be contributors this year,” Evans said. “We’re still trying to get stronger in our middle weights, but as the season goes on we’ll see improvement there.” … Evans will be joined on his coaching staff by assistants Rich Maggio, Brandon Parker and newcomer Gabe Lacovino. … “I feel like this should be a good season for Norristown wrestling,” Evans said. “We’re coming off of a year where we didn’t compete due to COVID concerns. Building towards the post season is what our focus will be on, and I think we have some wrestlers who are going to make some noise there.”
Owen J. Roberts
Head coach: Steve DeRafelo, 19th year.
Last year’s record: 2-2 Pioneer Athletic Conference (Liberty Division), 7-2 overall.
Wrestlers to watch: Matt Englehardt, Sr., 126-132; Vincent Langford, Sr., 152-160; Frankie McCoy, Sr., 215; Bryce Schmoyer, Sr., 132-138; Mason Karkoska, Jr., 138-145; Brady Quinn, So., 113-120; Dillon Bechtold, So., 171-182; Sam Gautreau, So., 138-145; Dyson Neil, So., 138-145.
Outlook: Englehardt (7-5) and Karkoska (9-3) were the furthest advancers of the Wildcats’ returnees from 2021. Both reached the District 1-AAA Section South tournament before bowing out in the consolation semifinals. … “We are excited about getting back on the mats,” DeRafelo said. “We have been working hard to prepare to compete to the best of our ability. We have a number of kids who made great strides in the off season. We will be looking to our seniors to provide the leadership needed to continue to grow. We still have a lot of work to do if we hope to be competitive in the PAC, the best wrestling league in District One. The PAC is loaded top to bottom with talented coaches and outstanding wrestlers. There will be a number of teams competing to be at the top of the PAC. It is hard to remember a time when the PAC was so competitive.”
Head coach: Dave Thomas, second year.
Last year’s record: 1-2 Pioneer Athletic Conference (Liberty Division), 7-2 overall.
Wrestlers to watch: Luke Ricci, Sr., 145-152; Grant Euker, Jr., 215; Kelly Kakos, Jr., 138; Gavin Pascoe, Jr., 152-160; Cole Euker, Fr., 285; Luke Hanlon, Soph., 113; Aiden Stratton, Soph., 126-132.
Outlook: Kakos (17-5) and Grant Euker (13-3) were District 1-North champions last year at 132 and 189, respectively. Kakos was a Southeast AAA Regional runner-up, third at the East AAA Super Regional and eighth at the PIAA Class AAA Championships. … Thomas has high hopes for his top-end group. “I expect Ricci, Grant Euker, Kakos (and) Gavin Pascoe to make it to PIAA Individual Championship in March,” Thomas said.
Head coach: Brad Clark, first year.
Last year’s record: 3-1 Pioneer Athletic Conference (Frontier Division), 3-6 overall.
Wrestlers to watch: Kael Gilbert, Sr.; Mason Koch, Sr.; Owen Koch, Sr.; Justin Myers, Sr.; John Volpe, Sr.; Jake Geiger, Jr.
Outlook: Clark takes charge of the Phantom mat program from younger brother Brandan Clark, who was the head coach since the 2017-18 season. Brad had previous head-coaching stints at Pottstown (2016-17) after serving one year as assistant coach, and Methacton (2017-19). … Owen Koch placed sixth at 172 in the 2021 South East AAA Regional. … “We look to continue the success that was built over the last few years,” Clark said. “We are looking to win our side of the PAC and end the year with a potential state qualifier.”
Pope John Paul II
Head coach: Chris Sheetz, third year.
Last year’s record: 0-4 Pioneer Athletic Conference (Frontier Division), 0-9 overall.
Wrestlers to watch: Alan Alexander, Sr.; Nick Togno, Sr.
Outlook: Alexander placed sixth at 152 in the 2021 PIAA Class AA Championships. He was also a champion in the District 1/12-AA tournament, third in the South East AA Regional and fourth in the East AA Super Regional. He was PJP’s lone returning wrestler to advance through the post-season. … Golden Panthers, with nine wrestlers on their roster, more than doubled the size of their team from 2020-21.
Head coach: Jeff Madden, 14th year.
Last year’s record: 2-1 Pioneer Athletic Conference (Frontier Division), 2-3 overall.
Wrestlers to watch: Matt Bechtel, Sr., 145; Shane Caffrey, Sr., 160; Landon Shivak, Sr., 172; Trenton Allen, Jr., 138; Dominic DeMeno, Jr., 215; Dominic Sithens, Jr., 152; Bryce Caffrey, So., 126; Nathan Gillin, So., 132.
Outlook: Allen and DeMeno were among the Falcons’ qualifiers for the 2021 District 1-AAA Section North tournament. … “I feel good about the way the guys have been working,” Madden said. “They’re doing an excellent job. The seniors are establishing themselves, and the rest of the guys are pulling along. Even our juniors are doing a nice job helping to pull the younger guys along.” … Seeing action in only five dual matches during the 2020-21 season, Pottsgrove is looking forward to a season that kicked off at the Pottstown Invitational over the weekend.
Head coach: Nick Wade, fifth year.
Last year’s record: 2-3 Pioneer Athletic Conference (Frontier Division), 2-9 overall.
Wrestlers to watch: Mia Bumbarger, Sr., 145-152; Jonah Grice, Sr., 126; Devon Green, Jr., 160-172; Malachi Jones, Jr., 132.
Outlook: Bumbarger competed in the 2021 MyHouse PA State Girls Championship, finishing sixth at 147. She went 3-3 in the tournament at Spooky Nook Sports. … “We are excited to have some new faces in the room,” Wade said. “We will be inexperienced when it comes to varsity mat time, but our wrestlers are already proving to be willing and able to put in the work. We are intrigued about some wrestlers that unfortunately missed last season and are ready to prove themselves this season. We will continue to get a little better each day and are excited to compete.” Junior Devin Green was the squad’s top finisher at the Pottstown Invitational on opening weekend with a third-place finish at 172.
Head coach: Tim Seislove, 23rd year.
Last year’s record: 10-0 Pioneer Athletic Conference, 14-1 overall.
Wrestlers to watch: Ryan Lepore, Sr., 152; Dom Ortlip, Sr., 120; Anthony Attilio, Jr., 152; Cole Smith, Jr., 113; Quinn Smith, Jr., 126.
Outlook: Cole Smith (19-4) was both a District 1-AAA Section South and South East AAA Regional champion at 106. He ended up sixth in the East AAA Super Regional. … Ortlip (19-5) was a section champ at 113 and third at the South East AAA Regional. … The Rams graduated a state champion, Joey Milano, and PIAA runner-up, Jack McGill, from a team that was a section and regional team champion, a District 1-AAA team titlist and third place in the PIAA Class AAA Duals. … “We lost a great group of seniors last year,” Seislove said. “Right now, we are working hard and are hoping to be competitive in an always tough PAC league.”
Head coach: Chris Falcone, second year.
Last year’s record: 1-4 Pioneer Athletic Conference (Frontier Division), 1-10 overall.
Wrestlers to watch: Nick Hutchinson, Sr., 189; Jacob Kruszynski, Sr., 145-152; Jeifer Perez Hernandez, Sr., 172; James Shore, Sr., 215; Casey Lamey, Jr., 145-152.
Outlook: Lamey returns to the wrestling scene after being away from it a couple years. … “We just want to compete and give our best effort on the mat,” Falcone said. “We have one motto, and that is ‘work as hard as possible and just show up when it is time to wrestle’. This team is dedicated to becoming better as individuals, and better as a team overall. We still may have to forfeit a few weight classes, so our backs are against the wall; but I believe that the team will wrestle to the best of their ability. I am expecting to get Casey Lamey to the Regional Tournament and if he can stay healthy and keep progressing under assistant Coach Tim Harner’s guidance, then he might be able to make that trip to Hershey.”
Head coach: Steve Adam, fourth year.
Last year’s record: 5-0 Pioneer Athletic Conference (Frontier Division), 10-8 overall.
Wrestlers to watch: Tommy Fehnel, Sr., 126; Matt Milkowich, Sr., 113; Gabe Coddington, Jr., 138; Tommy Flud, Jr., 189; Shane Freeh, Jr., 126; Tyler Hoffer, Jr., 132; Roy Cobb, So., 126; Brandon Godshall, So., 113; Branden Rozanski, So., 106; Gabe Tulone, So., 106.
Outlook: Milkowich (27-11) placed fourth at the District 1-AAA Tournament, as the Indians’ highest-placing returnee last season. … UP is coming off back-to-back Frontier Division regular-season titles, both times posting 5-0 records. “Having a full line-up this season should allow Upper Perk to compete for the PAC Frontier Division title,” Adam said.
– Compiled by Jeff Stover
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