Eagle matmen knock off Garden Spot, 45-24

By on December 23, 2014
Cocalico’s Abdul Saad (right) puts the clamps on Garden Spot’s Devon Lewis during the Eagles’ big victory over the Spartans last Thursday.

Cocalico’s Abdul Saad (right) puts the clamps on Garden Spot’s Devon Lewis during the Eagles’ big victory
over the Spartans last Thursday.

Garden Spot has put together one of the better wrestling programs in Section Two over the last decade.

So, needles to say, some eyes were opened last Thursday when upstart Cocalico pulled off a convincing 45-24 victory over the Spartans in New Holland.

Leading 27-24 with three bouts to go, the Eagles went 3-0 the rest of the way to earn their biggest dual meet victory of the season.

“It was an awesome feeling to beat Garden Spot,” Cocalico Coach Matt Fittery said. “They are a very tough team, and we had to wrestle really well to beat them. I think it was the best total team effort I have seen since I have been coaching. The boys have been working very hard and have had great attitudes, so it is great to see the hard work pay off.”

Garden Spot (2-1 section, 4-3 overall) has won three of the last four titles in Section Two, including the past two years. But Cocalico was a determined group Thursday.

The Eagles (1-1 section, 1-1 overall) jumped out on top 15-0 early on as Josiah Gehr took a forfeit win at 106, before Justin Moyer pinned Dawson Sensenig in 2:47 at 113, and Nate Fritz gutted out a tough 5-3 victory over Gary Clark at 120.

The Spartans then strung together three-straight wins to cut the Eagle lead to just 15-12, but Cocalico’s Max Martin (145) and Trevor Fichtorn (152) countered with important falls to make it 27-12 Cocalico.

Garden Spot then took the next two by fall to make it a three-point match again at 27-24, but Abdul Saad (182) and Ben Fromm (220) sandwiched a pair of pins around Joe Bearinger’s forfeit win to close out the huge win for the Eagles.

“Every match is important in a dual meet like this, but there were definitely some matches that could’ve gone either way that we were able to win,” Fittery said. “Nate Fritz pulled out a win over a very tough opponent. Max Martin stepped up big and got a pin in a key match-up. In fact, I think all our other wrestlers who won got falls were huge for the team.”

The win was Cocalico’s first over the Spartans since the 2010 season, and one that could be a big stepping stone for the Eagles for the remainder of the year.

“I know it has been a while since we beat them, so that is a definitely a sign our program is headed in the right direction,” Fittery said. “We certainly had to go through some down times, but the hard work and patience is beginning to pay off. We won this match with six freshmen and no seniors in the line-up, so we should continue to get better and better.”

Cocalico will now be idle until Dec. 29 & 30 when the Eagles make their annual trek to the Damascus Tournament. They’ll also compete in the Hamburg Tourney Jan. 3.

As for Ephrata, the Mounts also were in action last Thursday at Manheim Central where they dropped a 44-16 decision to the host Barons.

Cameron Terry led the way for the Mounts, winning a 10-0 major decision win over Manheim’s Jared Groff at 113 pounds. Vince Evans (9-3 at 126) and Tyler Mentzer (4-0 at 145) both picked up key decision wins for the Mounts while Austin Jones was given a forfeit victory at 106.

The Mounts (0-3 Section Two, 1-6 overall) will now be idle until Dec. 29-30 when they compete in the Hatboro-Horsham Tournament. They return to dual meet action Jan. 8 at L-S.

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