Wallenpaupack Area grapplers working hard on the Lackawanna League scene
Although there’s still a great deal of wrestling to be done before the local matmen head to districts, insofar as the Lackawanna League Division 1 is concerned, the season is already half over.
Both the Warriors and the Buckhorns tangled with their first divisional opponents on Dec. 19.
The next night, Delaware Valley emerged victorious over Abington Heights by a 52-12 margin while Wallenpaupack suffered a 63-18 defeat at the hands of Scranton.
On Jan. 3 DV made the voyage up Route 6 to take on Paupack but before that, both squads saw some action over the holiday break.
The two Pike County teams travelled to the Lehigh Valley on Dec. 30, to Bethlehem, specifically, but to different contests.
While Paupack made its way to the Christmas City Tournament at Bethlehem Central Catholic, Delaware Valley ventured to the Hurricane Holiday Classic at Bethlehem Liberty.
At BECA, the young Buckhorns finished 14th out of 16 schools and landed podium stands by Senior Dave DeGroat, who took 3rd at 285 and junior Tyler Neglia, who claimed 2nd at 195.
Things faired well for the Warriors. They came in 11th out of 31 teams.
Seniors John McCarthy took 2nd at 220; Andrew Kidd brought home a 3rd place finish at 182; Joe Porco landed in 4th at 106; and Mike McKinney wound up in 8th at 138.
Big Lake Battle
Paupack and DV opened up their meet with the 138-class where McKinney pinned Michael Austin for a quick Warrior victory in 28 seconds.
Ryan Hartman got the Bucks a win at 145 in a long match with Jack Dardia that ended in a 9-7 decision after a fantastic display by both wrestlers.
Paupack took the lead for a brief moment when Anthony Krug pinned Damian Lobello 3:18 into the 152 showdown.
The next five trials all went DV’s way. At 160, Shawn Davis scored a pin at 3:39 against Devin Ortiz.
Jason Henderson took down Joe Ingulli with a pin just 31 seconds into their battle at 170. Billy Doran lasted a little longer against Shane Fagan at 182 but also was pinned in 40 seconds.
The Buckhorns put up a good fight at 195. Despite his best efforts, Neglia lost by a 5-0 decision to Kidd in a match that surprised both DV Head Coach Lou DeLaura as well as Paupack Skipper Steve Krushnowski.
McCarthy pinned Nick Black at 220 in another long set that took 2:56 to complete. Wallenpaupack eventually broke the string of Delaware Valley wins when DeGroat, at 285, pinned Dave Kharatisvili 1:34 into their contest.
The remaining five bouts all went to the Warriors.
At 106, Travis Norman pinned Matt Brown after 1:23. It took only 51 seconds for Porco to pin Carmine Jenetti at 113. Preston McCabe pinned Mark Farrington a minute into the 120 match while Joe Casella won at 126 by a major decision, 10-1, over Brain Metz.
Finally, Cooper Kidd closed things out with a pin over Sam Kier to give the Warriors a 61-15 win.
Over & Out
“This is how we figured the night would go,” said Krushnowski.
“Except for Neglia’s match. DeGroat, Krug and Hartman had tough matches, wrestled hard and got us some wins but we’re still a very yound team.
“The younger guys are staring to get moves down but not yet wrestling comfortably. We know we have room for improvement, but the losses aren’t from a lack of heart but a lack of experience.”
“Tonight went the way we expected and Kidd got a nice win,” said DeLaura.
“The team is wrestling with fire. We had some good wins at the Hurricane tournament and for it being early in the year, we’re right where we need to be.”
The Buckhorns contend next with West Scranton on Jan. 10, away, and then face Berwick at home on Jan. 15 before closing their divisional contests on Jan. 17 at home.
The Warriors take on Scranton on Jan. 10 at home then host both Lake-Lehman on Ja. 18 and Pope John XXIII on Jan. 20. They visit West Scranton on Jan. 24.