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A big week for Cocalico wrestling
Despite being on the short end of an excruciating 34-33 decision against Conestoga Valley last Thursday, the Cocalico wrestling team still has its eyes on the Section One prize.
While the Eagles’ hopes of an outright title in their first year competing in Section One may have gone down the drain with the loss to CV, Cocalico can still get a piece of the pie with a win Wednesday at home in the section finale vs. Warwick (1-5).
Cocalico, CV and Penn Manor enter the final week tied at 5-1 in the section. CV hosts Hempfield (0-6) Wednesday while the Comets host McCaskey (3-3).
“It was definitely one of our team goals to win a Section One title, so it would be great to get a win over Warwick to clinch at least a share of the section title,” Cocalico coach Matt Fittery said Tuesday.
Cocalico led CV 29-21 Thursday after Devin Sensenig’s pin of Eddy Lopez at 160 pounds. But with four bouts to go, Cocalico could only muster one win in the four as Ben Fromm momentarily gave the Eagles a 33-28 advantage with an 11-1 major decision over Dan Stoltzfoos at 195.
CV went into the final bout at 220, needing a fall to steal the victory, and that’s exactly what Thomas Weidmann gave them when he pinned the Eagles’ Austin Shaver in 31 seconds to give the Buckskins the stunning one-point victory.
Brady Maxwell (285), Kayde Althouse (120) and Sensenig all earned pins to pace Cocalico.
Last Wednesday vs. McCaskey, the Eagles dominated from start to finish en route to a 63-9 victory over the Tornado.
In that one, Seth Fritz (106), Grant Swann (126) and shaver (220) picked up falls for the winners.
This past Saturday, Cocalico faced an impressive field that included the likes of Central Dauphin and Northern Lebanon, to name a few, as the eagles hosted the annual Denver Duals at the high school.
Cocalico went 4-1 on the day, capping it off with a 51-19 victory over Garden Spot in the third-place match.
The Eagles also claimed wins over East Pennsboro (72-4), Wyomissing (62-10) and Emmaus (30-25). Their lone loss of the day came in the second round of pool play as Central Dauphin scored a 49-21 victory over Cocalico.
Tuesday, Fittery said he liked what he saw from his team at the tournament.
“I thought we wrestled really well,” he said. “It was a very tough tournament and we came out of there 4-1. In our loss to Central Dauphin, I think we could have wrestled a little better. They are obviously a very tough team, but I feel we had a few losses that we could’ve won and made that a very tight match. It was great to see the team pull out a tight win against Emmaus. It came down to the last match and Austin Shaver just happened to be the last match again. This time he pinned his kid and we got the win, so it really made my day to see him get another shot at that. Overall, we did a much better job of getting bonus points as well. Some of our leaders stepped it up and wrestled really well and got after the falls.”
Central Dauphin went on to win the team title, earning a 40-21 victory over Northern Lebanon in the finals.
After Wednesday’s match with Warwick, the Eagles will turn their attention to the upcoming L-L League Meet which will take place Friday and Saturday at Garden Spot High School.
First-round action gets started Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. and will continue until approximately 10:30 p.m. Action will start up again Saturday at 11 a.m. with semifinals and consolations, while the finals are slated to begin around 4 p.m.
A year ago, Cocalico did not crown a champion but eight wrestlers earned place finishes as the Eagles finished fifth in the team standings. The returning place winners for Cocalico include: Ben Fromm, (second at 220); Josiah Gehr (third at 106); Nate Fritz (sixth at 126); Max Martin (third at 160); and Devin Sensenig (sixth at 170).
“Our goal is to win the L-L Tournament as a team,” Fittery said. “I really think we can accomplish this goal if we have each individual focused on wrestling to the best of his ability.”