Any way you slice it, Wallenpaupack Area in enjoying a stellar season on the Lackawanna League track & field scene.
The girls varsity team has lived up to expectations, going 4-2 and finishing a solid second in the Division Two standings.
However, the boys are what Frank Gaudenzi calls a "pleasant surprise."
One year removed from a disastrous 0-7 campaign, the Buckhorns are thriving in their newly-realigned division. Coach Gaudenzi's lads posted a 4-1-1 mark and finished behind only undefeated North Pocono in the final tally.
"It's been an amazing turnaround for our boys team this season," he said. "We have some very good veterans, but the influx of talented younger kids from junior high really put us over the top."
As The News Eagle went to press on Thursday, Paupack was preparing for year-end districts and invitationals.
"Things have really come together for us, especially the last few weeks," Coach Gaudenzi said. "I'm excited to see what these kids can do down the stretch."
The Jordan Relays were scheduled for Thursday night, to be followed by the Lackawanna League Meet (Tuesday, May 7) and the D-2 Championships (Thursday & Friday, May 13-14).
Leading the Way
Anthony Bouselli's stellar season continued this past weekend at the prestigious Penn Relays.
Paupack's standout thrower qualified in the discus and made Division I college coaches stand up and take notice.
Bouselli has the unenviable task of leading off the entire meet, but he refused to give in to the butterflies. Anthony unleashed three throws that measured more than 150' each.
"It was literally, Star Spangled Banner, applause and then Anthony was announced," said Coach Gaudenzi with a laugh.
Page 2 of 3 - "He said he was nervous, but I couldn't tell. Anthony is such mature kid. He's so composed. He just stepped right up there and let it rip."
The Penn Relays are an invitation-only international event that attracts superstars from all over the globe.
For example, the young man and woman who won the discus uncorked throws of 225' and 178', respectively. Bouselli's personal best is 162' 10", which is outstanding for a high schooler.
"Every one of his throws would qualify him for the state meet," said Coach Gaudenzi. "Those college coaches were really buzzing about him."
Bouselli has already attracted attention from schools like Stanford and the Penn. He's every bit as good a student as he is an athlete, so the Ivy League may be calling.
"Anthony wants to study environmental science," said Coach Gaudenzi. "He's a terrific kid and I have no doubt he'll succeed at whatever he decides to do."
Up & Coming
While Bouselli leads Paupack's talented throwing contingent, several other youngsters are also turning heads.
Coach Gaudenzi points to a trio of freshmen as the next wave of Buckhorn track & field stars.
"Shawn Reid, Kyle Hartman and Brad Bieski are doing a phenomenal job for us," he said. "They all qualified for districts in the discus and that's a pretty good accomplishment for a bunch of freshmen."
Meanwhile, over on the track, three juniors are contributing key individual performances each week.
Paul Velez is quickly earning a reputation as one of the Lackawanna League's top sprinters. He competes in the 100M, 200M, 4x100 M and 4x400M relays.
"Paul is a very gifted natural athlete," Coach Gaudenzi said. "He's just so fast! But, he's not just a sprinter. Paul is pretty versatile. He could definitely do some damage in the jumps."
Page 3 of 3 - Ricky Smith is noted for his versatility as well. Another member of this talented junior class, Smith puts up solid numbers in the pole vault, 100M, 200M and 400M.
Coach Gaudenzi is also looking for Jovan Marshall to make some serious noise at districts in the jumps.
"Jovan is an explosive jumper," he said. "He's the kind of kid who could make it to states this year. If he irons out a couple of little technical things, watch out."