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Pennridge Rams gear up for Escape the Rock tournament


At the start of the season, Pennridge senior Cole Coffin began his final campaign with four losses in his first five bouts, facing some challenging opponents and dealing with some nagging injuries.

Coffin endured eight overall losses last season, and has 29 in his career.

However, the two-time state qualifier has turned his season around. Since then, Coffin has had only one loss – 2-0 to Easton’s Christopher Kelly – and has helped his team regain their status as well.

He and his teammates will be focused on making an impact at the prestigious and nationally recognized Escape the Rock tournament at Council Rock South this weekend. Coffin, who will wrestle at 121 from his previous 127 and 133 weights, will enter the tournament with 98 career wins.

“My season started off pretty rough,” said Coffin. “But I definitely picked myself up. I feel like I am wrestling pretty well at this point. My goals going ahead are to place at Escape the Rock, win regionals, and place at the top three at states.“I’ll be getting my 100th win, so I plan to enjoy that. I just have to focus on winning one match at a time. I know I am capable of winning the tournament. Escape the Rock should be fun.”

Teammate junior Talan Hogan has appreciated the team’s difficult schedule. Pennridge started with a fifth-place finish at the Cumberland Valley Kickoff Classic and then suffered a 41-30 loss to Council Rock South.

At the Brian Bealer Memorial Bear Duals at Boyertown, the Rams suffered defeats to Wilson West Lawn and Easton after registering victories over Radnor, Owen J. Roberts and Pennsbury.

From there, Pennridge took first place at the Kiski Area Cavalier Duals, winning all five dual matches. The Rams also downed Quakertown (43-24) and Souderton (53-10).

“I feel that our coaches started us off with a hard schedule, which is a good thing for the team especially in tight matches,” said Hogan, who was a sixth-place finisher at states last season and has a record of 13-4 at 172 pounds this year. “I feel it really brings a group of guys together watching each other succeed.

“But for Escape the Rock, we all have to be on our game.”

Both Coffin and Hogan believe their team can reach another level and maintain its tight bond.

“The chemistry of our team is like a brotherhood,” said Coffin. “We are more than just teammates, and I know everyone on our team has my back. The potential of our team is very special, as I think we can definitely win a team title.”

“We have an opportunity to get everyone to states,” added Hogan. “We need to start to become not just a dual team but also a tournament team.”

Head coach Brian Kuhns also sees his team coming together at the right time, and is confident about their chances at the Escape the Rock tournament. Kuhns also likes the look of his overall lineup that is falling into place.

Junior 114-pounder Colby Martinelli, who finished third at states last season, is back from injuries, and freshman Kevin McFadden (114-121) has been impressive in the early going.

Senior Sam Kuhns, the coach’s son, recently picked up his 100th career win, and is off to a 17-2 start. Fellow senior 215-pounder Riley Cullen had a 13-5 slate, and sophomore 189-pounder Ryan Rowe is working himself back into the lineup from a broken foot suffered in the football season.

“Colby was banged up before the season, and he is just getting back,” said Brian Kuhns. “Kevin McFadden has been a really scrappy freshman and is wrestling well. Sam and Riley Cullen have been looking good, and Ryan Rowe will be coming back.

“We look like we’re at full strength, and we like our chances going into Escape the Rock this weekend.”

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