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Wrestling: Palisades falls short


It was match that easily could have been a microcosm of Palisades’ season.

The Pirates’ potential to form a solid unit isn’t quite there yet.

Palisades battled through an evening of a series of forfeits and decisions on both sides, but the team fell just short on criteria in a 37-36 loss to host Catasauqua Jan. 15.

Both teams were deadlocked at 36-all after the final match, and Catasauqua was awarded the match on the criteria of having more forfeits and falls, 5-4, than Palisades.

For the Pirates, it was another example of how they are inching closer to respectability and stability after being in a precarious situation at the beginning of the season when they had 10 wrestlers in the fold.

The Pirates had beaten Schuylkill Haven, 47-24, at home three days earlier to capture their second dual win of the season (2-4). Parker Lambert (126) recorded a fall and Mason Smeland (145) had an 18-3 technical fall for the Pirates, who registered six forfeits.

“It was a tough match to lose,” said senior 182-pounder Adam Marsh, who received a forfeit to raise his overall record to 9-1 this season, of Tuesday’s tilt against Catasauqua. “We won some key matches, but it came down to forfeits.

“We had opportunities and I see us coming around as a team. I also see this as a year to plant some roots for the future. Unfortunately, this is my senior year and I won’t be around to see how this team can perform later down the road.”

Marsh, who placed fifth at districts last year at 152, likes his added weight this season.

“I beefed up for football and decided to stay there,” he said. “Last year, I felt I wasn’t strong enough. But I’m stronger and just as fast now as I was last year. I feel really comfortable at this weight.”

Along with Marsh, Palisades also received wins from Smeland (20-5 tech fall at 145) and Jacob Welsh (7-1 at 220) as well as forfeits for Daniel Kelleher (160) and Ben Haubert (152).

In spite of some initial setbacks, first-year head coach Nick LaFevre also is optimistic about the Pirates’ future. They already lost returning 145-pound state champion Nathan Haubert to an injury for the regular season and recently lost 220-pounder Gavin Kreschollek to an appendicitis.

“We have had quite a bit of adversity already,” said LaFevre. “But we’re a stronger team overall. We knew we would have some forfeits and expected a tight match with Catasauqua.

“We began with 10 kids and now we have 18. We have grown a lot, and we are pushing each other. We are confident we can win some matches in the upcoming weeks.”

LaFevre noted the impressive showing of Marsh and Ben Haubert, the latter being a budding sophomore who has the same tenacity as his older brother. Haubert leads the team with 11 wins (11-4) after the Catasauqua match.

“Adam is our leader,” said Levre. “He is a vocal leader and also a leader by example. He sets the pace for us.

“The sky is the limit for (Haubert). He has helped us win. He is a dangerous wrestler right now.”

LaFevre believes his team has experienced a proving ground as they have wrestled in the elite Top Hat tournament in Williamsport and the Powerade tournament in Canonsburg. He envisions those tests paying dividends in the near future.

“We did a nice job in two of the toughest tournaments in the country,” added Levre. “Marsh’s only loss was to the fifth-ranked kid in the country, and Haubert lost to the seventh-ranked kid (in the country) at one of the tournaments.

“We have taken some lumps and that will help us. We’re looking forward to districts and beyond for our guys to peak at the right time.”