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Wrestling: Athletes show determination on mat


Pennridge’s Evan Widing saw his seeding in the Bethlehem Liberty Holiday Classic wrestling tournament and wasn’t happy.

“I saw that I was seeded fourth and I knew I had something to prove,” said Widing. “I wanted to go out and wrestle offensively and go at the other wrestler right off the whistle. I knew I had to make some adjustments after my last tournament.”

Widing proved his point. He was among several local individuals and teams that did well in the Liberty and Ralph Wetzel Classic tournaments.

The senior recorded three falls and a decision in the final to capture the 152-pound title. Teammate junior 195-pounder Logan Green finished third, and the team finished 23rd overall in the 30-team tournament.

“Evan Widing looked great winning the tournament and Logan Green fought back to get third after losing to the eventual champ in the quarters,” said Pennridge head coach J.T. Lewis. “We’re a very young team that is banged up from injuries so our lineup is suffering a bit.”

Also in Bethlehem, Council Rock South placed fifth overall as a team, and the Golden Hawks had five wrestlers place among the top five in their respective brackets. Junior Kyle Waterman had the best finish, gaining a third-place medal in the 113-pound bracket.

However, CR South head coach Brad Silimperi believed his club underachieved.

“We have very high goals for our performance and we fell short of that,” said Silimperi. “We took fifth in a very competitive field, but we need to break through against the very best teams. We lost some matches that we should have won, and therefore left points off the team score leaderboard.”

Quakertown senior Corey Cope (120) and sophomore Domenic DeFalco (138) both recorded sixth-place finishes for the Panthers, who were 18th overall in Bethlehem.

Cope saw his performance as a possible springboard for the remainder of the season.

“I thought it was a big step forward for me,” said Cope. “After my first loss, I wasn’t as hesitant on my feet. There is always great competition here and it will prepare me and the team for the competition at the end of the year.”

Quakertown head coach Kurt Handel believes the tournament can be beneficial to his team.

“Having eight of 12 (wrestlers) in the second round of consolations had us feeling good, but only getting two to the podium wasn’t what we were expecting,” said Handel. “Placing at Liberty is not easy.

“We have a lot of material to grow from and get better.”

At the Wetzel tournament, Central Bucks East finished fourth overall in a 30-team field, and the Patriots placed five wrestlers among the top five places in their brackets.

Freshman Mason Stein (132) and junior Connor Loveless (145) both registered fourth-place finishes.

CB East head coach Dave Scarpill has been impressed with his team’s work ethic.

“Last year, we finished 14th, so this is a big improvement,” said Scarpill. “We don’t have any superstars. We have a bunch of grinders who are confident.

“Mason Stein is someone not to be messed with in the future. He has all the tools as a freshman.”

Central Bucks West placed eighth overall and senior Ryan Hieber (285), sophomore Chris Cleland (113) and freshman Carl Digiorgio (195) each finished third in their weight classes.

“It was a very tough tournament and I had one slip up that resulted in a loss,” said Cleland. “I felt that I bounced back well, and I am looking forward to the rest of the season.”

Junior Dominic Stoughton (138) of Central Bucks South was third and teammate sophomore Corey Showaker was fourth at 160.