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Wrestling: Quakertown claims SOL championship


After suffering a heart-breaking 32-27 loss to Neshaminy in the PIAA District One Class 3A duals, Quakertown needed a quick remedy for its misfortune.

Two days later, it found one.

The Panthers crowned four champions and had six semifinalists over 10 brackets as they dominated the Suburban One League Continental Conference championships at Central Bucks High School South Jan. 26.

Quakertown finished with 194 total points and impressively distanced itself from second-place North Penn, which finished with a total of 158.

Central Bucks East was fourth with 110, followed by Central Bucks West (fifth, 85), Pennridge (sixth, 73) and Central Bucks South (seventh, 53).

With the conference crown, the Panthers virtually secured the league title.

It proved to be a solid day of redemption.

“It was a really good day for us, especially after our loss in the district duals,” said Quakertown head coach Kurt Handel. “We challenged the guys to be more aggressive. We weren’t that aggressive in the duals.

“Last year, we had six champions and we didn’t win it. We have more balance this year.”

Senior Corey Cope continued his stellar season as he captured the 120-pound bracket with a 19-4 technical fall over North Penn’s Eddie Galang. Cope, who improved to a team-high 21 wins (21-7 overall) on the season, looked to register points instead of falls.

“Everyone on the team wrestled well and it basically gave us the league title,” Cope said. “I wanted to get a lot of work on my feet and on top. I also wanted to score as many points as I could because I think it will really help me for the postseason.”

The Panthers also recorded individual titles from juniors Kyle Miller (113, 17-2 tech fall) and Zack Lewis (126, pin, 3:08) along with sophomore Dominic DeFalco (132, 1-0).

Semifinalists were senior Trent Nielsen (145), junior Kyle Goodwin (160), junior Dusten Pompei (170), senior Max Russell (195), junior Ralph Martin (220) and sophomore Hans Muse (285).

The overall performance accented the Panthers’ current state of the program. However, Handel is hoping to get some more work after his team couldn’t participate in the recent Escape the Rock Tournament at Council Rock South.

“It was good to see guys like Nielsen, Pompei and Muse in the finals,” added Handel. “Everyone is where they are supposed to be right now.

“We’re getting through our dual meets and we’d like to add some before we begin districts.”

It also was a good day for Central Bucks East, which crowned a champion and placed eight other wrestlers among the top four places. Freshman Ethan Bean took top honors for the Patriots with a 10-8 decision over Central Bucks West’s Teague McCormick at 106 pounds.

After dropping eight consecutive matches before the tournament, the Patriots had a rewarding afternoon with their blue-collar approach. They earlier finished fourth at the Ralph Wetzel Classic this season.

“We don’t have the super stud, but our kids grind it out,” said CB East head coach Dave Scarpill. “Ethan Bean winning it in his weight was a nice surprise. We have 10 freshmen out of 30 wrestlers, and they are really coming into their own.”

Scarpill also cited freshman Mason Stein, who collected a third-place finish at 132. He sees his club continuing to reach their bar.

“He (Stein) did a great job,” said Scarpill. “There are a lot of tough kids at his weight.

These kids met the expectations. They are doing what they are expected to do.

“Still, they are working and can get better.”

In addition, Pennridge’s Evan Widing (152) and Logan Green (195) won titles in their respective weight classes. Central Bucks West’s Ryan Hieber also took top honors at 220.