Wallenpaupack Area wrestling team honors grapplers at final home meet
Local mat fans filled the stands last Wednesday evening as Wallenpaupack Area hosted its 2018-19 Senior Night ceremony prior to a non-league varsity match against East Stroudsburg North.
Although just 1-5 in Lackawanna League action, the Buckhorns moved to 10-7 overall by beating the 4-19 Timberwolves 54-18.
Prior to squaring off, the two teams took paused to laud the grapplers from the Purple & White.
Tyler Neglia is a third-year captain and fourth year varsity letter winner.
Twice he has been named to the All-League and All-Region rosters. He has won two District Two Class AAA silver medals and twice has finished fourth at regional competition, qualifying him for states both times.
He was the team MVP for 2016 and 2017.
Tyler was just one of two seniors to have played varsity football for all four years. This past fall he was named as an All-League Linebacker by the Scranton Times. He is a member of the National Honor Society, Future Business Leaders of America, and a youth wrestling club volunteer.
Tyler plans to attend a four-year university for criminal justice and to hopefully further his football or wrestling career.
“Freshman year was a big learning curve,” Neglia said, “Sophomore year I was getting my feet wet, junior year trying to get my name out, and now I’m just trying to make senior year as unforgettable as possible.”
Devin Ortiz has won two varsity letters and is also a member of the cross-country team as well as the Upper Delaware Rugby Club. He is a National Honor Society member and participates in Skills USA.
He is also a member of the technology club. Devin plans to major in nuclear engineering at Penn State University and then join the Navy.
“I came in as a sophomore and had a lot to learn, then had to fight for my spot as a junior and this year too,” said Ortiz. “You really learn how to work for what you want.”
Ryan Hartman is a third-year captain and fourth year varsity letter winner. He was named as the team MVP in 2018. He took home a bronze medal from the PIAA District II AAA championships as a junior and qualified for the regional meet.
He is a member of the National Honor Society and has been a volunteer with the youth wrestling program for five years. Ryan plans to work full-time with the family business following graduation.
“Same with me,” said Hartman, “Freshman year was a big learning curve. I just went out there and did my best as a sophomore and then got hurt my junior season and had to work my way back. This year, I just want it let it all out.”
It was a tough night for the T-Wolves.
Beginning at 220, Neglia won the first match by a 7-3 decision. David Chapman, at 285, took his bout for Paupack by a 9-4 decision.
A forfeit at 106 meant a win for Paupack's Nicholas Warrington. The Bucks Matthew Brown won with a 1:34 pin at 113, while Carmine Jannetti won by forfeit for Paupack at 120.
Down 24-0, ESN finally made some progress in a trio of matches. Back-to-back-to-back pins at 126 by Isaiah Bridges (5:51); at 132 by Wayne McIntyre (3:03); and at 138 by Chritofer Torres (1:08) gave the Timberwolves some ground to stand on, but after that, the night was all Buckhorns.
At 145, Ryan Hartman won an easy pin in 0:57. At 152, Dylan Hartman also won by a pin in 3:45. Sam Kier, at 160, pinned as well 3:56 into his match.
Jody VanDunk won a 6-4 decision at 170. Ortiz, at 185 won by a 6-3 decision, and the Buckorns closed the night with a forfeit at 195 that gave Nicholas Parrella a win.
The District II AAA championships are slated for February 22 and 23 at Hazleton Area High School.
Overall, the seniors are feeling confident.
“Everyone has been working hard, our sophomore inexperience shows, but they have a bright future too. We all just want to finish strong at districts and hopefully have some of us make it to states.”