Coaching Changes:         

East Stroudsburg NorthChris SchneiderBen Brenneman
PhillipsburgRick ThompsonJason Magditch
Pius XDeno PalmisanoDan Boyer
Pocono Mountain WestAndy SnyderGreg Theony
William AllenKirk StehmanJuan Garcia

Nazareth returned two-time state champ Tim Darling along with five more state place winners as the Blue Eagles were an overwhelming favorite to win the LVC title.  Easton and Northampton were again expected to give chase to the Blue Eagles.  Easton returned state champ Jordan Oliver and numerous wrestlers who saw substantial time in the varsity line-up.  They also got a strong transfer in Desmond Moore from Dieruff.  Northampton graduated five starters and was looking to a number of wrestlers to grow during the ’06-’07 season.  Bethlehem Catholic, Dieruff, Freedom, Liberty and Parkland all returned quite a few starters from teams with winning records in the prior season.

Northern Lehigh had won the last two Colonial League titles, but it was Northwestern who was the pre-season favorite in the coaches’ poll.  Fans did not have to wait too long into the new season to see the two teams face off as their annual dual was scheduled for December 15th.  The Tigers returned state champion, Scott Clymer and eight other starters.  Northern Lehigh returned three state place winners, three more district placers and several JV District champs.  Saucon Valley, Wilson and Pen Argyl were all rated as contenders with the potential to break through against the favorites.  Saucon Valley had a young team with lots of potential while Wilson had a number of strong returnees but not a lot of depth.  Pen Argyl had a big turn out and a number of seasoned wrestlers.  It promised to be an interesting season in the Colonial League.

Pleasant Valley was again looking to repeat in the Mountain Valley Conference and would also have a former Blue Eagle in Mark Getz as their new coach.  Both East Stroudsburg North and Pocono Mountain West had new head coaches.


The Nazareth Invitational kicked off the season along with several other tournaments on December 2nd.  At Nazareth, the Blue Eagles’ Mike Greck defeated defending state champ, Scott Clymer, from Northwestern 7-3 at 135 to win the OW award.  Nazareth won the team title by just over 100 points as Greck, Andrew Richie (140), Adam Counterman (145), Tim Darling (152), Thad Frick (160), David Crowell (189), Jim Mutch (215) and Mike Mutch (285) all won their weight classes.  Northwestern, although short-handed with several wrestlers taking the SAT’s was 2nd as they edged Colonial Forge VA and Dallastown.  Evan Yenolevich (112) won his 2nd title.  Northern Lehigh was 2nd in the Brandywine Bullet Invitational as Andrew Arnold (125), Zach Marlatt (145), Adam Fenstermaker (152) claimed titles.  Hamburg’s Brad Kummerer was named OW at he defeated the Bulldogs’ Adam Hluschak 5-0 at 130: Sourthern Lehigh’s Braden Turner was the 160-pound champion. Dieruff was 5-0 to win the Falcon Dual Invitational while host Salisbury was 3rd.  Liberty was 3-2 in the Boyertown Duals.  Northampton opened their season by downing Emmaus 54-18.

Braden Turner Won at the Bullet Invitational While Salisbury Took 3rd in its Dual Tourney (Photos Courtesy of Southern Lehigh and Salisbury Yearbooks)

On December 6th, Parkland had 9 falls or tech falls in routing Dieruff 52-19.  Bethlehem Catholic clipped Whitehall 46-24.  Northern Lehigh reeled off eleven straight victories as they defeated Pen Argyl 67-11 to serve notice to the Colonial League that they were still the team to beat.  Northwestern was also impressive with a 65-10 victory over Palmerton.

In the Cement Town Duals at Northampton, Nazareth defeated both Cumberland Valley (43-14) and Council Rock South (42-11).  David Crowell downed the Golden Hawks’ defending state champ, Austin Carter, 12-7 at 189 in a feature match up.  Host Northampton had six sophomores and one freshman in the starting lineup and split its matches. The Kids downed Council Rock South 41-18 but lost to Cumberland Valley 39-21.  The Kids’ Justin Wieller also defeated Carter 3-2.   Easton traveled to Brandon, Florida to participate in the Sunshine Invitational.  The Rovers finished 2nd to the host Brandon Eagles 425-385.  Desmond Moore (103), Jordan Oliver (119), JuJu Drummond (130) and Colin Dailey (152) all won titles and three more Rovers finished 2nd

Easton Returned a Talented Group of Seniors (Photo Courtesy of Easton HS Yearbook)

In other action the same day, Tamaqua clipped Catasauqua 44-29 to win the Catasauqua Wrestling Duals.  Catty defeated North Schuylkill 41-38 in a tight match.  Saucon Valley was 5-0 in the Midd West Duals.  Bethlehem Catholic was 5-0 as they defeated Donegal 43-26 in the championship match to win the Jim Thorpe Duals. 

In the LVC, Parkland visited Becahi on December 13th.  The Trojans led 17-9 when the Hawks strung together four straight wins by Ryan Cressman, Kevin Keim, Kyle John and Anthony Laverghetta from 140-160 to take a 24-17 lead.  Parkland won 3 of the final 4 bouts to tie the team score at 30-30, but the Hawks won on criteria.  Whitehall rode bonus-point wins to edge Emmaus 34-33.  Meanwhile, Easton, Liberty, Nazareth and Northampton all romped to wins. 

Whitehall Nipped Emmaus (Photo Courtesy of Whitehall HS Yearbook)

Notre Dame was 3rd in the Meade Invitational in Maryland as Matt Rodriguez (112), Matt Arcury (135) and Seth Kranich (171) finished 1st.  The Times-New Leader Invitational was renamed the Keystone Invitational and moved to State College.  WB-Coughlin’s Justin Accordino won his 4th straight title by pinning Becahi’s Kyle John in the finals at 145.   Kingsway won the team title over Abington Heights.  Bethlehem Catholic was the top District 11 team at 9th.  In the MVC, Stroudsburg defeated Pocono Mountain West 40-36. In the Colonial League, Northern Lehigh beat Bangor 38-24, and Northwestern routed Pen Argyl 69-5.

Two nights later, Northwestern and Northern Lehigh faced off in a Colonial League battle with the bout starting at 189.  The Tigers jumped out to a fast start by winning 6 of the first 7 bouts including three falls to lead 25-3.  At 125, Andrew Arnold decisioned Victor Konno 7-4, and Adam Hluschak had a fall to narrow the score to 25-12.  Northwestern won all but one of the remaining bouts to upend the Bulldogs for the first time in quite a few years 41-18. 

On dual action, Liberty defeated Emmaus 49-20, and Saucon Valley downed Freedom 39-19.

In the 14th annual Beast of the East, Nazareth earned seven medals on their way to a 2nd place finish, their best ever in the East.  Mike Mutch placed 2nd but unfortunately had to default in the final at 285 with a torn ACL that would end his promising senior season. At 160, Thad Frick lost 10-5 to Quentin Wright in the semi-finals and finished 3rd.  Parkland was 12th in the King of the Mountain Tournament as Mike Ritchie was 1st at 135 and Matt Bogusz finished 2nd at 125 after dropping an 8-4 decision to Dylan Alton of Central Mountain.  Pocono Mountain West was 2nd in the Dallastown Invitational; Brendan Kennelly was 1st at 103.

Coach Dave Crowell Watches his son, David, compete in The Beast of the East (Photo Courtesy of Jackie Crowell)

Five days before Christmas, Northampton had a big 50-6 win over Liberty in the LVC as the Kids won all but two bouts.  Parkland had falls from Matt Bogusz, Ben Renfro, Mike Ritchie and Chris Moyer to top Freedom 32-30.  In the MVC, Stroudsburg edged Lehighton 36-30.

Mike Ritchie, Shown Here Pinning an Emmaus Opponent, Had a Key Fall to Help the Trojans Edge Freedom (Photo Courtesy of Parkland HS Yearbook)

Easton returned to the top spot in the Reno Tournament of Champions while Upper Perkiomen was 2nd and Northwestern was 5th.  Zach Kemmerer took the 140-pound title for Upper Perk while Easton’s Kegan Handlovic (112) and Jordan Oliver (119, who lost to Nikko Triggas 7-4) all finished as runner-ups.  Easton had four other placers.  Northwestern had 4 place winners and Scott Clymer was the top finisher at 3rd.  Pleasant Valley had two medalists.   

In a Sign of More to Come, Kegan Handlovic Took 2nd in RTOC to Help the Rovers Win the Team Title (Photo Courtesy of Easton HS Yearbook)

On December 22nd, Parkland continued their winning ways by topping Wilson 47-27 and East Stroudsburg South 54-15.  In a late month dual, Nazareth topped Pleasant Valley 51-12 as Bobby Ward won his 100th career bout.

Holiday Tournaments

Blair Academy was again on top in winning its 9th Bethlehem Holiday Classic team title while Nazareth and Northampton again finished 2nd and 3rd while Northwester was 5th.  In an absolutely loaded 189 pound weight class, Justin Wieller again topped Austin Carter 3-2 in the quarterfinals.  In the semi-finals, Hazleton’s Nate Eaches clipped Nazareth’s David Crowell 11-8, and Freedom’s Zach Rabenold topped Wieller 5-5 in OT.  In the finals, Eaches edged Rabenold 10-8; Carter came back to take 3rd; and Wieller nipped Crowell 1-0 for 5th!

Nazareth Wrestlers Await the Call for “Wrestlers to Clear the Mats” at the Bethlehem Holiday Classic (Photo Courtesy of Jackie Crowell)

Blair dominated the middle and upper weights with six champions.  Nazareth crowned two champs in Bobby Ward (130 – who defeated Adam Hluschak 5-0 in the semi’s and Seth Csazar  7-0) and Thad Frick (160 – who nipped Scott Sechler 9-7 in the semi’s and Warwick’s Antonio Giorgio 8-6 in the finals).  The Blue Eagles’ Mike Greck again defeated Scott Clymer 3-2 in the semi’s before falling in OT in the finals at 135.  Parkland’s Matt Bogusz (125) was the other local winner. 

With three champs, Bethlehem Catholic was back on top in their Christmas City tourney for the first time since 1982!  LaSalle College was 2nd, and Pocono Mountain West was 3rd.  Ryan Cressman (140), Kyle John (145) and Ziad Haddad (215).   Pocono Mt crowned Brendan Kennelly (103) and Chris Hernandez (130).  Other local champs included repeat winners – Notre Dame’s Matt Rodriguez (112) & East Stroudsburg North’s Ray Rodriguez (125) –j Notre Dame’s Scott Arcury (135) and Catty’s Jared Holenda (160).

With no fewer than 6 teams battling for the team title, Easton pulled it out again topping Bald Eagle Area by 5 points.  Jordan Oliver and Central Mt. frosh Dylan Alton shared OW honors.  Desmond Moore (103) and Kegan Handlovic (112) joined Oliver as champions, and the Rovers also had two runner-ups.  With 5 finalists, the host Jim Thorpe Olympians won their first team title since 1990.  Tamaqua was 2nd followed closely by Lehighton and Stroudsburg.


The first big dual of 2007 came very quickly on January 3rd as Easton visited Northampton.  The dual started at 171, and Northampton took an early 9-0 lead as Marcus Wilson downed Joe Piro 7-2 and Justin Wieller received a forfeit in the first of a number of strategic “bump ups” in weight by Easton Coach Steve Powell.  Cory Rutt responded with a five-point flying cement job to top Aaron “Moose” Chamberlain 12-5.  Chris Wilson followed with a close 6-4 decision at 285, and Desmond Moore clipped Jordan Glykas 9-5 at 103 to tie the score at 9-9.  Easton received a forfeit at 112 and bumped up the next four wrestlers which paid dividends as Kegan Handlovic and Jordan Oliver both scored falls and JuJu Drummond scored a decision.  The Rovers led 30-12 with only four bouts to go.  The teams split the final four weights to make the final score 36-19.

Easton Started the Year With a Big Win Over Northampton (Photo Courtesy of Easton HS Yearbook)

There were a number of other very competitive LVC matches.  Nazareth won the battle of the middleweights as Bobby Ward, Mike Greck, Andrew Ritchie and Adam Counterman all won bouts over strong Parkland wrestlers while Tim Darling and Thad Frick scored falls.  The Blue Eagles triumphed 37-23.  Liberty had four six-point wins and won enough close matches along the way to top Bethlehem Catholic 37-30. 

In the Colonial League, Wilson downed Palmerton 46-22, and Catasauqua defeated Notre Dame 31-31 on criteria.  In non-league action, with five falls Dieruff defeated Stroudsburg 37-32.

In the Easton Invitational, the host Rovers whipped crosstown rival, Wilson, 58-13 and then gained redemption against Caesar Rodney of Delaware by avenging last year’s loss in a battle of nationally ranked teams.  The match started at 119 and Easton Trailed 15-10 after 145.  Colin Dailey trailed early but scored a major decision over a Delaware state runner-up.  Jules Knight followed with a fall at 171; Cory Rutt had a major at 189; and Chris Wilson scored a fall at 215 to help lead Easton to a 37-25 win.

In other Easton Invitational matches, Wilson beat Pleasant Valley 34-34 on criteria; Liberty defeated Warren Hills 42-27; and Easton downed Pleasant Valley 58-11.

In the Zephyr Duals, Northwestern scored 22 falls in four matches to win the team title.  In the finals, the Tigers again defeated rival Northern Lehigh 38-23 as Ben Marich had a fall at 145 and Brandon Williams beat Brandon Sechler 5-1 at 160 in key bouts.  Bangor finished 4th, and Whitehall was 6th.

In the Cedar Cliff Duals, Northampton was 4-0 and defeated Cedar Cliff 50-18 to win the title.  The Kids had a competitive match with Boyertown in the semi’s 39-24.  In the Colonial League, Saucon Valley routed Catasauqua 57-18, and Wilson whipped Pen Argyl 61-15.

Northampton Dominated the Cedar Cliff Duals (Photo Courtesy of Northampton HS Yearbook)

In the Escape the Rock tournament at Council Rock South, the hosts won the first year with an individual tournament format by outlasting Paulsboro NJ and 22 other teams.  Bethlehem Catholic & Parkland finished best of the local participants with 1 champ each (Ziad Haddad and Matt Bogusz,) to finish 7th & 8th, respectively. 

Saucon Valley was unbeaten as they traveled to Slatington for a big match with Northern Lehigh.  The Panthers had a fall and tech fall but Chris Christ scored an upset at 112 and the score was 11-3.  Andrew Arnold and Adam Hluschak both scored falls, and then Kris Krawchuk decisioned Reuben Herrera 3-1 at 140 to give the Bulldogs an 18-14 lead.  Robbie Kern pinned Zach Marlett to give the Panthers the lead again, but Adam Fenstermacher and Scott Sechler both had falls to lead 30-20.  Casey Hedash later bumped up to 215 and scored a 10-4 win over Eric Gimbar as Northern Lehigh went on to win 33-29.

Northern Lehigh Edged Saucon Valley 33-29 (Photo from Northern Lehigh HS Yearbook)

In the LVC, Nazareth defeated Liberty 56-15, and East Stroudsburg South upended Pocono Mountain West 35-24 in the MVC.

Parkland hammered Emmaus 67-4 in the annual battle of Cedar Crest Blvd.

Parkland Celebrates with Trophy Post Win; Winners of individual awards. (Photos Courtesy of Parkland and Emmaus HS Yearbooks)

Nazareth and Liberty were again participating in the National Bracket of the Virginia Duals.  Liberty lost to Great Bridge who was then upended by Christiansburg 31-29 in the semi’s.  Meanwhile, the Blue Eagles defeated Camden Catholic 38-24 in the semi’s and then Christiansburg in the finals 31-29 on the strength of their strong middle and upper weights.

Parkland was 4-1 in their own duals, losing only to Downingtown West 41-24.  Bethlehem Catholic and Northampton were unbeaten in the NHSCA High School Sports Festival at Pleasant Valley.  The best matches included Becahi nipping Bangor 35-34, and Northampton topping Pleasant Valley 40-21.

Easton hosted Upper Perkiomen, a team that had beaten the Rovers twice in the prior year, at the 25th Street Gym.  An anticipated bout between Jordan Oliver and Chris Sheetz did not materialize as Sheetz bumped up and pinned Mark Hartenstine at 125.  Shane Smith and Ryan Kemmerer followed with close decisions over JuJu Drummond and Tevin Gibson.  Eric Burgey broke through at 140, but Zack Kemmerer bumped up to defeat Colin Dailey 7-3 and Anthony Uhrik won at 152 as the Indians built a 19-3 lead.  Jules Knighton, Joe Piro (by fall) and Cory Rutt (by fall) began the Rovers comeback and narrowed the score to 19-18.  Upper Perk won the next two bouts to extend the lead to 10, but Easton had Desmond Moore, Kegan Handlovic and Jordan Oliver waiting in the wings. They all delivered wins as Easton won 32-28 in a thrilling dual!

In the Colonial League, Northern Lehigh defeated Wilson 41-21, but Wilson rebounded to surprise Saucon Valley 42-19.  Northwestern then downed Wilson 54-15 to stay atop the league standings.

On January 17th, Matt Bogusz decisioned Gary Atiyeh 3-1 in a big match at 125 as Parkland rolled over Whitehall 55-8.  The same night, Easton routed Liberty 64-3; Northampton defeated Bethlehem Catholic 41-23; and Nazareth was too much for Freedom 51-12.  In the MVC, Pleasant Valley stayed unbeaten in the league as they defeated Pocono Mt. West 51-15.

On January 20th, Easton and Nazareth were competing in the NHSCA Final Four.  The Rovers defeated Hermiston 42-25 and Bishop Lynch 53-24 while the Blue Eagles defeated Hermiston 38-21.  Both teams lost to #1-ranked Blair Academy.  Blair beat Nazareth 45-19; Mike Greck was able to gain his 100th win by defeating Max Shanahan 3-2.  Easton lost by a similar 49-16 score to the Bucs. 

Nazareth Huddles Up at the Final Four (Photo Courtesy of Jackie Crowell)

In the Lehighton Duals, the host Indians were 5-0.  Pleasant Valley defeated East Stroudsburg South 54-15 in the MVC and in the LVC, Bethlehem Catholic beat Freedom 38-18 while Liberty upended Whitehall 38-25.  Northern Lehigh was 3-2 in the Brookville Ultimate Duals.

On January 22nd, Northwestern had nine bonus point wins in defeating Saucon Valley 48-19 to all but clinch the Colonial League title.

On January 24th, Easton traveled to Nazareth to wrestle before a standing-room only crowd.  The Rovers came out of the gate by winning the first five bouts to lead 19-0.  Other than the result at 130 were JuJu Drummond nipped Bobby Ward 1-0, Nazareth Coach Dave Crowell was happy as the Blue Eagles only gave up four bonus points.  Mike Greck and Andrew Ritchie won the next two bouts to narrow the gap to 19-7, but Colin Dailey’s falls extended the Easton lead to 25-7.  The Blue Eagles strung together wins in the next four bouts as Tim Darling and Thad Frick both bumped up in weight.  Nazareth had their first lead of the night at 27-25 after David Crowell’s pin over Joe Piro at 189.  Easton regained the lead after Cory Rutt topped Tim Murphy 7-1 at 215, but Jim Mutch defeated Chris Wilson 4-1 in the final bout to give the Blue Eagles a hard fought 30-28 victory.

The Scoreboard Tells the Tale of Another Classic Match (Photo Courtesy of Jackie Crowell)

The same night, Northampton routed Parkland 48-9.  Stroudsburg was too much for East Stroudsburg North 44-21, and Pleasant Valley defeated Lehighton 54-18 as they headed towards an MVC showdown.  In the competitive Colonial League, Notre Dame nipped Wilson 34-32.

On January 27th, Easton and Phillipsburg met on the wrestling mats for the 60th time.  First year Coach Jason Magditch tried to grab the momentum for the Stateliners in the first bout by bumping up Luke Grassi to face JuJu Drummond at 130, but Drummond responded with a 9-3 victory.  The Liners held their own and only trailed 26-16 with four bouts remaining; however, the Rovers had Desmond Moore, Kegan Handlovic, Mark Hartenstine and Jordan Oliver to still wrestle.  All four won to ice the match 44-16 at a match wrestled at The Pit.

The same day, Northampton hosted the Konkrete Duals and defeated McDonogh MD 47-21, but lost to Caesar Rodney 35-23.   The Kids led early and only trailed 24-20 with four bouts to go, but were only to win one more.  Pleasant Valley was 2-0 on the day.  In an LVC match, Parkland defeated Liberty 40-24.

Nazareth’s Jim Mutch led off with a 2-1 triple OT win over Alex Collis at 285 to start off its match against Northampton.  The teams split the next four contested bouts, but the Blue Eagles also picked up a forfeit win at 112 to lead 15-6.  Nazareth then strung together five straight wins including three won by two points or less from 135 to 145 – Mike Greck 5-3 over Jake Short, Andrew Ritchie over Jimmy Sheptock 1-0 and Adam Counterman 3-1 over Phil Marano.  Northampton won the final three bouts including two falls and Justin Wieller’s 3-1 win over David Crowell at 189, but Nazareth won the LVC title with a 33-21 victory.

Liberty won all but four bouts as they defeated crosstown rival Freedom 38-20.  Dieruff more than doubled up Allen 51-25.  Easton won all but two bouts to defeat Parkland 56-6.  Josh Oliver bumped up to 125 and topped Matt Bogusz 9-5.  Bethlehem Catholic beat Saucon Valley 44-24 in a non-league match.


On February 7th In a match which would decide the Mountain Valley Conference title, Pleasant Valley defeated Stroudsburg 48-18.  The Bears won all but three bouts to win their 5th straight MVC league title.

Freedom defeated Pen Argyl 45-27, and Northern Lehigh downed Lehighton 48-19 in two final week non-league matches.

District Duals

Nazareth was again the top seed in AAA, but Northwestern and Bethlehem Catholic surpassed Northern Lehigh to claim the top two spots in AA in the District Duals.   

In AAA, the top three seeds easily won their matches:  #1 Nazareth shut out Dieruff 73-0; #2 Easton beat Blue Mountain 61-10; and #3 Northampton clipped Pleasant Valley 46-13.  In another great #4-#5 quarterfinal, #5 Liberty raced to a 24-6 lead over #5 Parkland after six bouts.  The Trojans came back to close to 27-25 with one bout remaining.  Zac Kisslinger’s win at 160 punched the Hurricanes’ ticket to the semi-finals 33-31. 

In AA, #1 Northwestern was too much for Tamaqua 64-3, and #2 Becahi defeated Pine Grove 44-23.  Three-time defending champ and #3 seed, Northern Lehigh moved past Lehighton 48-22 while #5 Saucon Valley defeated Wilson 38-25. 

In the AAA semi-finals, it was punch-counterpunch in the first eight bouts as Easton and Northampton faced off in the semi-finals.  Along the way, Mike Wechsler (152) and Marcus Wilson (171) had falls for the Kids while Nick Williams won a thrilling 16-13 bout over Aaron Chamberlain at 215 and Justin Wieller beat Cory Rutt 7-2 at 189.  The Kids led 18-12, but Easton would then reel off five straight wins including one pointers by Mark Hartenstine (119) and Tevin Gibson (135) on their way to a 34-21 victory.  Nazareth was dominant in the other semi and won 12 of 14 bouts as they defeated Liberty 62-6. 

Aaron Chamberlain Was Involved in a Wild Bout at 215 (Photo Courtesy of Northampton HS Yearbook)

In the finals, Easton was looking to gain revenge on a Nazareth squad which beat them 10 days earlier.  With the match starting at 152, Nazareth jumped out to a 19-0 lead on the strength of a forfeit win by Thad Frick, tech fall by Adam Counterman and major decisions by Tim Darling and David Crowell.  After Cory Rutt’s decision at 215, Chris Wilson reversed his loss to Jim Mutch with a 2-1 win.  Easton then strung together 5 straight victories to take a 20-19 lead.  JuJu Drummond that edged Bobby Ward 3-2 at 130 to make the score 23-19.  Nazareth retook the lead 26-23 after Mike Greck’s major decision and Andrew Ritchie’s decision. won 3 of the first 4 bouts to lead 9-4.  In the final bout at 145, Colin Dailey scored a fall over Kent Beers, and the Rovers had a 29-26 victory.

Easton – District 11 Team Dual Champs (Photo Courtesy of Easton HS Yearbook)

In the AA semi-finals, Northwestern trailed only after the opening bout at 140 and had falls from Brandon Williams, Ben Clymer, Tony Culp and Evan Yenolevich to cruise by Saucon Valley 42-15.  Bethlehem Catholic jumped out to a 10-0 lead on Ryan Cressman’s major decision and Kyle John’s fall.  Northern Lehigh won the next four bouts including falls from Adam Fenstermaker and Scott Sechler to lead 19-10.  Becahi counted with three wins in a row including falls by Ziad Haddad (215) and Bryan Smith (103) to reclaim the lead 25-19.  After Chris Christ’s close win for Bulldogs at 112, Evan Kolb scored a fall to extend the lead to 31-22.  Northern Lehigh tied the score at 31-31 after Andrew Arnold’s major decision and Adam Hluschak’s tech fall, but  Aaron Ross defeated Kris Krawchuk 8-2 to give the Golden Hawks a 34-31 win.

In the finals, Becahi again took the early lead 6-0 after winning the first two bouts.  Northwestern strung together three straight bonus-point wins from 160-189 to lead 14-6.  Ziad Haddad’s fall cut the lead to 14-12, but Tony Culp won a 3-2 S.V. decision over Dave Deming at 285 to lead 17-12.  The teams traded falls at the next two weights – Bryan Smith for the Hawks at 103 and Evan Yenolevich at 112 – before Evan Kolb’s major decision narrowed the score to 23-22.  The Tigers’ got another key 3-2 decision victory by Victor Konnno at 125 followed by Adam Bandel’s major and Scott Clymer’s fall as Northwestern went on to win their first District Duals AA title 36-26!

PIAA Team Dual Championships

In the opening round of the AAA state duals, Nazareth opened up a 34-0 lead against District 1’s Pennsbury on their way to a 55-10 victory over the Falcons.  The Blue Eagles continued their strong performances by downing Dubois 52-14 and then beating Lower Dauphin 41-13 to advance to the semi-finals.  Easton also won their quarterfinal as they rallied from an early deficit to pull away from Cumberland Valley 37-21.

In the semi-finals, Easton and Upper Perkiomen faced off in a rematch.  Joe Piro got the Rovers off to a quick start with a fall.  Cory Rutt followed with a win, but the Indians won the next two bouts to cut the lead to 10-9.  The Rovers won the next three bouts including a 3-2 ride out win by Jordan Oliver over Chris Sheetz.  Upper Perk answered back with two victories, but Easton led 22-16.  Colin Dailey’s fall at 152 punched Easton’s ticket to the finals 35-24.  In the 2nd semi-final, Nazareth battled Hempfield as they tried to assure the first final of two schools from the same district.  Thad Frick, Eric Sergent and David Crowell all won their bouts to lead 9-0.  Hempfield won the next five straight bouts to lead 16-9.  Bobby Ward, Mike Greck and Andrew Ritchie all won their bouts before a Jake Kemerer fall at 145 allowed Hempfield to hold a 22-19 lead.  After a forfeit win by Tim Darling, Adam Counterman’s major decision at 160 gave the Blue Eagles a 29-22 victory.

In the final, it was Nazareth vs. Easton Round 3 with each team having won one of the previous matches.  Tim Murphy scored a fall at 215 and then Jim Mutch won the rubber-match against Chris Wilson 4-3 in OT at 285 to give Nazareth a 9-0 lead.  Easton roared back by stringing together four straight wins to take a 15-9 lead.  Bobby Ward reversed two previous losses to JuJu Drummond by winning 4-1, and Mike Greck followed with a 6-4 win over Tevin Gibson to tie the score at 15-15.  The teams traded falls in the next two bouts, and the score was again tied at 21-21.  Adam Counterman, Tim Darling, Thad Frick and David Crowell put the match away with four straight wins as the Blue Eagles won their first PIAA AAA Team Duals title 40-21.  For Easton, it was the 7th year in a row that they had wrestled in the Duals’ final; they won the first four but had dropped the last three matches.  Coach Dave Crowell said “This team has gone through some ups and downs.  I’m still trying to come to grips with Mike Mutch’s injury.  To have them come together for this week, it was definitely special.”    

In the AA first round, Bethlehem Catholic held a 28-20 lead with only three bouts remaining against Line Mountain, but they dropped the final three bouts and lost a team point to lose 33-27.  Northwestern won four straight bouts from 171-285 and three more from 112-125 to top Ridgway 33-24.  They then scored seven falls to beat Boiling Springs 53-15.

In the semi-finals Northwestern got back-to-back falls from Adam Bandel (130) and Scott Clymer (135) as they moved past Greenville 34-22 in the semi-finals.  Waiting for the Tigers in the finals was Reynolds who had denied Northern Lehigh the title in 2006.  The Tigers were able to open up a 12-4 lead, but Reynolds rallied to win 7 of the next 8 bouts to lead 33-17.  Northwestern won the final three bouts to cut the final score to 33-26.  It was Northwestern’s first loss of the year, but Coach Mike Williams was incredibly proud and said, “we’ve performed unbelievably.  This group is so tight.”  Assistant Coach Bryan Klass added “These kids have earned it.  They worked hard.  Everything they’ve gotten this year, they deserve.”

Other February Duals

On February 8th, Pleasant Valley defeated Stroudsburg to win their 4th straight MVC title.  East Stroudsburg South downed East Stroudsburg North 54-16 to clinch 2nd place.  Liberty beat Bethlehem Catholic 44-17 in a non-league match between LVC teams.  In the Colonial League, Saucon Valley clipped Catasauqua 44-27.

A few days later in non-league action, Notre Dame edged Dieruff 40-33, and Freedom defeated Pen Argyl 49-25.  In the MVC tournament, Pleasant Valley outdistanced East Stroudsburg South 234-210.  The Bears had x champs – Kyle Cramer (112), Kevin Olswfsi (130), Shane Everett (135), Derek Hinger (140), Chris Servian (152), 

On February 15th, Liberty nipped Pleasant Valley 25-22 while Bethlehem Catholic defeated Lake Lehman 44-21. 

Final league standings were as follows:

Northern Lehigh210-1
Saucon Valley3T8-3
Notre Dame6T6-5
Pen Argyl93-8
Southern Lehigh111-10
Lehigh Valley Conference
Bethlehem Catholic3T5-2
Allentown Central Catholic111-6
William Allen120-7
Mountain Valley
Pleasant Valley16-0
East Stroudsburg South3T3-3
Pocono Mountain West3T3-3
East Stroudsburg North61-5
Pocono Mountain East70-6

League champions overall records were:  Northwestern (23-1), Nazareth (22-2) and Pleasant Valley (12-6).  Other teams with very good records were Easton (18-3), Bethlehem Catholic (16-4), Saucon Valley (22-5), Northern Lehigh (18-5), Northampton (17-5), Parkland (12-6), Bangor (12-7), Liberty (15-8), Notre Dame (15-9) and Dieruff (15-10).

District Tournaments

In AAA, Easton and Nazareth wrestlers earned 11 of the 14 top seeds for the District tourney.  On Friday night, Nazareth was able to advance 12 of its wrestlers, including #13 seed Greg Flamisch at 103, to the semi-finals to take the early lead.    Easton had 8 semi-finalists while Northampton moved seven forward, including Marcus Wilson who got his 100th win. 

In the semi-finals, Nazareth continued their strong performance by moving eight wrestlers into the finals while Easton and Northampton each had five.  The Blue Eagles advanced all 14 wrestlers to the regionals and again easily won the team title with 268 points.  Coach Dave Crowell was named Coach of the Year; Thad Frick was the Pinner Award; and Nazareth crowned no less than ½ of the District champs!  Easton was 2nd with 231.5 and advanced 13 wrestlers to regionals while Northampton was 3rd with 206 points and moving 12 wrestlers to the regionals.  It was an incredibly dominant performance by the “Big Three” which advanced 39 of their 42 wrestlers. 

Easton had finalists in each of the first three weights and went 3-for-3.  Desmond Moore pinned Pocono Mt. West’s Brendan Kelly and 103, and Kegan Handlovic decisioned Pleasant Valley’s Kyle Cramer 9-3 at 112.  Jordan Oliver won his 3rd District title with a 4-2 win over Blue Mt. freshman Josh Kindig 4-2 at 119.  Parkland’s Matt Bogusz majored Northampton’s Shane Fenningham 9-1 at 125.  Nazareth’s Bobby Ward won his 2nd title and started a run where the Blue Eagles had finalists in six weights in a row and won five of the bouts.  Ward evened his record at 2-2 for the year against Easton’s JuJu Drummond with a 2-1 win.  Mike Greck and Andrew Ritchie followed by beating K-Kid opponents, Jacob Stout and Jimmy Sheptock, at 135 and 140.  Freedom’s Zach Sigley won a tough 145-pound weight class by clipping Adam Counterman 5-3.  Tim Darling and Thad Frick both scored falls to win their 3rd and 2nd titles, respectively, at 152 and 160.

Shane Fenningham, Jake Stout, Jimmy Sheptock & Justin Wieller all Made the Finals While Marcus Wilson claimed a Title for the K-Kids.

At 171, Northampton got their only champ of the night as Marcus Wilson defeated Easton’s Joe Piro 9-2.   and 160, respectively.  At 189, David Crowell again defeated a Freedom wrestler in the finals as he downed Zach Rabenold 5-3.  Justin Gonzalez won the first ever District title and OW award for Pocono Mountain West win an 8-3 win over the Kids’ Justin Wieller at 215.  At 285, Jim Mutch won Nazareth’s final title with a 9-9-6 win over the Trojans’ Nick Irwin.   

In AA, Northwestern had five #1 seeds while Bethlehem Catholic and Northern Lehigh each had three.  As they had all year long, the three ‘big teams’ again dominated the action as Northwestern moved 10 wrestlers into the semi’s to take the lead. They were followed by Northern Lehigh and Becahi who each advanced seven wrestlers.  Wilson had several upsets including #12 seeded Alex Depew knocking off both the 4th and 5th seeds to advance to the semi’s at 140.  Ten wrestlers failed to make weight.

Northwestern advanced 8 wrestlers to the finals and crowned three champions to win the team title.  The Tigers sent 10 wrestlers to regionals; Coach Mike Williams was named Coach of the Year and Steve Klass was named Assistant Coach of the year.  Northern Lehigh and Becahi matched the Tigers with three champs each to finish 2nd and 3rd

District 11 AA Coach of the Year, Mike Williams of Northwestern (Photo Courtesy of Northwestern HS Yearbook)

Saucon Valley’s Adam Phillippi decisoned Becahi’s Brayn Smith 8-6 at 103.  Northwestern’s Evan Yenolevich pinned Notre Dame’s Matt Rodriguez in the first period at 112 to win his 2nd title.  At 119 Pius X’s Tony Communale won his 2nd title as he majored Wilson’s Weston Loxley 9-1.  Northern Lehigh’s Andrew Arnold and Adam Hluschak (who won his 2nd OW Award) both repeated at 125 and 130 with a wins over Northwestern wrestlers.  Scott Clymer of Northwestern won his 3rd title with a 4-0 win over Saucon Valley’s Bobby Bison at 135. 

Adam Hluschak Won His 2nd OW Award (Photo from

Bethlehem Catholic’s Ryan Cressman defeated Northern Lehigh’s Shawn Brogan 7-3 at 140.  Teammate Kyle John won his 2nd title win a 3-1 win over the Tigers’ Ben Marich at 145.  Adam Fenstermacher won the Bulldogs’ 3rd title win a 3-1 OT win over Pine Grove’s Chas Aungst.  Wilson’s Steve Depew topped Brandon Williams of Northwestern 5-2 at 160.  Ben Clymer won Northwestern’s final title with a fall at 171.  North Schuylkill’s Kevin Bolinsky (189) won his 2nd title by nipping Northwestern’s Garrett Sukanick 2-1.  Becahi’s Ziad Haddad won the 215-pound title.  Finally, Pen Argyl’s Richie Smith (285) won the battle of unbeatens by again defeating Lehighton’s Levi Stern in the finals 6-2. 

Regional Tournaments

Nazareth led the local contingent on the first night in the AAA Northeast Regional Tournament by advancing 10 wrestlers into the semi-finals while Easton and Northampton each had six advance.  Nazareth, Easton and Northampton were again in the lead in the team race.  The semi-finals saw Nazareth have six winners while Easton and Northampton each had four.

For the 2nd week in a row, Easton crowned champs in the first three weights.   Desmond Moore nipped Pocono Mountain West’s Brendan Kennelly 2-1 after pinning him the week before.  At 112, Kegan Handlovic edged Emmaus’ Taylor Brown 3-2.  Jordan Oliver pinned Whitehall’s Gary Atiyeh in the 2nd period; Atiyeh had defeated Blue Mountain’s Josh Kindig 8-4 in the semi’s. 

Taylor Brown, Shown Here Going for a Fall, Battled Kegan Handlovic in the Post Season (Photo Courtesy of Emmaus HS Yearbook)

At 125 in the fourth straight all-District 11 final, Matt Bogusz from Parkland topped Northampton’s Shane Fenningham 5-2.  Nazareth would go 3-for-3 in the next three weight classes.  Bobby Ward majored Easton’s JuJu Drummond 9-0 at 130; Mike Greck decisioned Crestwood’s Josh Roosa 4-3 at 135; and Andrew Ritchie decisioned Northampton’s Jim Sheptock 5-1 at 140.  Northampton finally got a champ at 215 as Justin Wieller won 13-2 over Scranton’s Jason Dominick.

Matt Bogusz Got His 100th Win Earlier in the Season & a Regional Title (Photo Courtesy of Parkland HS Yearbook)

District 2 broke through with champions at 145, 171 and 285.  Wilkes-Barre Coughlin’s Justin Accordino defeated Freedom’s Zach Sigley 3-1 at 145 while Crestwood’s Mike Reilly and Wyoming Valley West’s Tyler Cowman were crowned champs at the second two weights.

Nazareth wrestlers won the other three titles to complete a perfect final round where they crowned six champions.  At 152, Tim Darling won his 4th regional title with a tech fall over Northampton’s Mike Wechsler.  At 160, Thad Frick majored Hazleton’s Ben Eaches 17-7 while David Crowell edged Nate Eaches 8-6 at 189.  In the team standings, Nazareth, Easton and Northampton finished in the top three spots while Crestwood was 4th and Pleasant Valley was 5th.

Northeast Regional AAA Champs (Photo Courtesy of Tom Elling)

In AA, Northwestern, Brandwine Heights, Northern Lehigh and Boiling Springs were engaged in a tight battle in the team race as they each advanced either four or five wrestlers to the semi-finals.  Northern Lehigh advanced the most wrestlers to the finals with five.   Northwestern had four winners in the semi’s and with a slight edge in the consolations and more bonus points wins held the lead heading into the finals, but the Bulldogs still had a chance to close the gap.

In the finals, Bradywine’s Zane Yocco won the 103-pound title.  Northwestern’s Evan Yenolevich was looking for his 2nd regional title but dropped an 8-7 on a late reversal by Pottstown’s Seth Ecker at 112.  Pius X’s Tony Communale recovered from a slam and win by DQ in the semi’s to top Brandywine’s Nick Yocco 11-7 at 119.  Harriton’s Marty Borowky and Hamburg’s Brad Kummerer each defeated Northern Lehigh wrestlers as they downed Andrew Arnold (by fall) and Adam Hluschak (by 3-1 decision reversing the prior year regional final’s result) at 125 and 130.   

District 11 wrestlers would win all but one of the remaining titles.  For Northwestern, Scott Clymer (135) and Ben Clymer (171) each won decisions to claim their titles.  At 140, Nick Sanko won Hamburg’s second title as he defeated Saucon Valley’s Reuben Herrera 7-1.  Becahi’s Kyle John repeated his regional championship by decisioning Pine Grove’s Ryan Reichert 6-3.  Northern Lehigh won the next two weights – Adam Fenstermaker by fall and Scott Sechler by 15-9 decision.   North Schuylkill’s Kevin Bolinsky decisioned Brandon Palik of Saucon Valley 4-1 at 189, and Ziad Haddad captured Becahi’s second title with an 11-5 win over Palmerton’s Justin Peterson.  Pen Argyl’s Richie Smith repeated at 285 with a 5-2 decision over Boiling Springs Gabe Murtoff.

Northwestern outdistanced Northern Lehigh by 9 points to win the team title as they each advanced five wrestlers to States. 

Southeast AA Regional Champs (Photo Courtesy of Tom Elling)

PIAA State Championships

In AAA, fifteen District 11 wrestlers advanced to the quarterfinals.  Nazareth was a perfect six-for-six while Easton advanced four and Northampton advanced three wrestlers.  After the quarterfinals, Central Dauphin edged ahead of Nazareth by 2.5 points.  The Blue Eagles won four of six bouts with two tough losses as Bobby Ward dropped a 3OT bout and Thad Frick lost to Susquehanna’s Ed Ruth 9-6.   Easton’s Desmond Moore, Kegan Handlovic and Jordan Oliver all won their bouts to advance to the semi’s while Northampton had two winners and Emmaus had one. 

In the semi-finals, the Rovers’ Desmond Moore lost to Council Rock’s Mark Rappo but both Kegan Handlovic and Jordan Oliver won their bouts to make the finals.  Oliver defeated Upper Perk’s Chris Sheetz 5-3.  Handlovic would face a familiar opponent at 112 – Emmaus’ Taylor Brown who won 2-1 in triple overtime.  For the second straight year, Nazareth was able to go 3-for-4 in the semi’s.  Mike Greck won a close 3-2 decision over Cedar Cliff’s Bryan Ortenzio, but Andrew Ritchie lost 7-5 in OT to Central Dauphin’s Tony Dallago.  Tim Darling won handily while David Crowell downed Council Rock South’s Austin Carter 7-4.  Northampton’s Justin Wieller also won a solid decision to advance at 215. 

In the finals, Handlovic was able to top Brown 7-4 after only edging him by one point in the regional finals.  Jordan Oliver won his 2nd state title with a 4-1 win over Indian Valley’s Nic Bedelyon.  Central Dauphin led in the team race and had finalists from 130-140.  Marshall Peppelman was pinned by Middletown’s Tyler Nauman at 130.  Brother Walter Peppelman defeated Mike Greck 7-2 at 135, and Tony Dallago dropped a decision to Upper Perk’s Zach Kemmerer at 140.  Central Dauphin had opened up a 9.5-point lead over Nazareth.  Tim Darling wrestled defending state champ, Ryan Goodman of Greater Latrobe, 2-1.  Darling rode out Goodman and received a penalty point to win his 3rd state title 2-1.  At 189, David Crowell faced a familiar foe in Hazleton’s Nate Eachus who used a five-point move on his way to a 9-7 victory.  Crowell, who claimed silver for the 2nd straight year, nearly tied the bout on a reversal at the end of the match.  The final District 11 was Northampton’s Justin Wieller who hit an early flying cement job which held up for a 6-4 victory at 215. 

Jordan Oliver Repeated as State Champ (Photo Courtesy of Easton HS Yearbook)
Three-Time State Champ Tim Darling at Parents’ Night (Photo Courtesy of Jackie Crowell)
Justin Wieller Tangles Earlier in the Year with Nick Irwin. Wieller Claimed a State Title for the Kids at 215 (Photo Courtesy of Northampton HS Yearbook)
2007 AAA State Champs (Photo Courtesy of Tom Elling)

Central Dauphin won the team title while Nazareth and Easton were able to claim the 2nd and 3rd spots. In addition to their three finalists, the Blue Eagles had two more placers in Andrew Ritchie (140 -4th) and Thad Frick (160 – 7th).  Other District 11 placewinners included Easton’s Desmond Moore (103 –3rd), Whitehall’s Gary Atiyeh (119 -5th), Northampton’s Jim Sheptock (140 – 7th), Easton’s Colin Dailey (145 – 8th), Northampton’s Mike Wechsler (152 – 5th) and Northampton’s Marcus Wilson (171 – 6th).

In AA, Northern Lehigh had a very good first round as the Bulldogs had four winners (Andrew Arnold, Adam Hluschak, Adam Fenstermaker and Scott Sechler).  Bethlehem Catholic and Northwestern each had two winners and six additional District 11 wrestlers won their first round bouts.  Eight District 11 wrestlers advanced through the quarterfinal round on Friday morning as Northern Lehigh, Nothwestern each advanced two wrestlers while Becahi, North Schuylkill, Pen Argyl and Pius X each advanced one wrestler.  In the semi-finals, Northwestern’s Evan Yenolevich converted late takedowns in both regulation and OT to win 8-6 in OT.  Pius X’s Anthony Comunale dropped a 2-0 decision to Southern Hunterdon’s Cody Myers.  Northern Lehigh’s Andrew Arnold (125) scored falls in both the quarters and semi’s to advance to the finals.  Scott Clymer’s hopes of repeating were ended when he was reversed with four seconds to go and lost 5-3.  Northern Lehigh’s Adam Fenstermaker (152) and North Schuylkill’s Kevin Bolinsky dropped their semi bouts. Becahi’s Ziad Haddad won 9-7 while Pen Argyl’s Richie Smith (285) won 2-1 over unbeaten Eli Morres from 285.

Pen Argyl’s Richie Smith Won Several Close Bouts to Claim the 285 AA title (Photo from Easton Express via Lehigh Valley Live)

In the finals, two of the four local wrestlers were able to triumph and earn state titles.  Andrew Arnold defeated Warrior Run’s Tyler Hain 5-4 at 125.  Richie Smith, who had missed the early part of the season due to a broken leg from football, decisioned senior Myles Caragein of Keystone Oaks 3-1.  Evan Yenolevich lost 9-7 in OT to Shady Side’s Dane Johnson while Ziad Haddad was pinned by two-time state champ and OW Kellen Harris of Sharon.  Northwestern coaches, Mike Williams and Bryan Klass, were named coach and assistant coach of the year.

Andrew Arnold Triumphed at 125 for the Bulldogs (Photo Courtesy of Northern Lehigh HS Yearbook)
Evan Yenolevich Fell Just Short in the State Final (Photo from The Morning Call via
2007 AA Team Champs (Photo Courtesy of Tom Elling)

In the team race, Reynolds outdistanced Line Mountain and Shady Side Academy by three points.  Northern Lehigh was 4th, and Northwestern finished tied for 5th.  Local place winners included Pius X’s Tony Communale (119 – 4th), Northwestern’s Victor Konno (125 – 8th), Northern Lehigh’s Adam Hluchak (130 – 5th), Northwestern’s Scott Clymer (135 – 3rd), Becahi’s Kyle John (145 – 6th), Northern Lehigh’s Adam Fenstermaker (152 – 6th) and Scott Sechler (160 – 7th), North Schuylkill’s Kevin Bolinsky (189 – 4th), Northwestern’s Garrett Sukanick (189 – 6th), Saucon Valley’s Brandon Palik (189 – 7th) and Palmerton’s Justin Petersen (215 – 7th).  Hluschak and Clymer ended their high school careers with school records for wins at 154 and 151, respectively.

Phillipsburg Post-Season

Phillipsburg defeated Edison 54-10 and Bridgewater Raritan 34-25 to win their 16th straight New Jersey 2 Group 4 sectional title.   For the 2nd straight year, the Stateliners in the semi’s to Southern Regional 40-15 in the Group 4 State Duals.

Hackettstown again outdistanced Phillipsburg to win the NJ District 1 team title.  Winning District Championships for the Stateliners included Charlie McGuiness (112), John Horak (119) and Luke Grassi (125).  For Grassi, it was his 3rd district title. 

In the Region 1 Championships, Grassi and Nick Pare (140) placed 3rd.  The Liners were unable to place any wrestlers in the state championships.

The 27th annual Easton Lions Classic was held at Easton High.  The Pennsylvania and New Jersey Teams ended in a 21-21 tie but PA won the tiebreaker by winning six of the eleven bouts.   State champs, Richie Smith (by fall at 285) and Justin Wieller (by decision at 215) were both winners for the PA team.  Nazareth’s Adam Counterman also won a key decision in overtime at 152.  In the evening’s most exciting bout, Northern Lehigh state champ, Andrew Arnold, led Hunterdon Central’s state runner-up, Pat Strizki, 13-3.  Strizki used a 3rd period pancake to pine Arnold and win the OW award. 

In the Dapper Dan Classic, the PA Team battled valiantly but dropped a 22-21 match to the USA All-Stars. Upper Perk’s Chris Scheetz and Zach Kemmerer both won decisions. Nazareth’s Tim Darling and David Crowell both dropped decisions to multiple time state champs.  Pen Argyl’s Richie Smith lost by default at 285.