Fromm defends title at Penn Manor Tournament

By on December 20, 2017

Cocalico’s Ben Fromm takes down Conestoga Valley’s Leo Marente in the 220 pound match at Cocalico High School in Denver, PA on December 13, 2017.

Twenty-eight teams from around the eastern half of the state braved snowy, icy and sometimes gridlocked highways Friday afternoon on their way to the 31st annual Penn Manor Holiday Wrestling Tournament in Millersville. When the six mats were rolled up Saturday evening, state power Liberty sat on top of the leaderboard with 188 points.

Senior Ben Fromm, a State medalist from a year ago, led Cocalico (90.5) to a ninth place finish by winning the 195-pound class with a 3-2 win over Manheim Central junior Keegan McCord in the finals. The Barons (92, 8th) and Solanco (101.5, 5th) joined the Eagles as top 10 finishers from the Lancaster-Lebanon League.

The 195 final was primarily about stand-up hand fighting, with the first period ending with the score knotted at 0-0.

McCord started period two in the bottom position, escaping in the first 30 seconds for a 1-0 lead. Fromm took his first lead 40 seconds later, taking advantage of his quickness to gain control and a 2-1 lead. McCord escaped for a second time late in the period, tying the match at 2-2 going into the third.

This time it was Fromm starting on the bottom. The Eagle broke free mid-way through the third period to lock up the victory and the gold medal.

“(Fromm) was never really in danger of getting taken down,” explained Cocalico coach Matt Fittery after the tournament. “He didn’t make any mistakes in the finals. He’s still working his way into wrestling shape from football.”

“I keep saying that,” added Fromm, when asked about the difference between football shape and wrestling shape. “That 10-second sprint that you do during football doesn’t help you when you’re gassed in the third period.”

“I’m definitely a lot stronger,” he added. “I’ve matured a lot, and I know the sport a lot better after the experience at States.”

Fromm was joined on the medal stand by fellow seniors Josiah Gehr (126, 4th) and Austin Shaver (285, 6th) plus junior Ben Sola (182, 8th).

“Gehr is a little banged up (stress fracture),” described Fittery. “He wrestled the defending state champ (Downingtown West’s Doug Zapf) in the semis. Wrestled him tough. That was a great match.”

“I enjoyed that battle a lot,” added Gehr. “I just need my back to heal up. To get into the (wrestling) room again and make sure I’m getting extra practice in,” as he looked forward in the season.

The tight finish between Cocalico and Manheim Central in Millersville may help to predict the type of dual meet to expect on January 6, when the two squads meet in Denver.

“Every day is different. Every lineup can be different,” assessed Baron first year head coach Billy Chamberlain. “We battled them well today. I like where we’re at, but we just need to keep on improving.”

“All I know is I’m excited for it,” added Fittery. “It’s great for our sport to have that rivalry. With football, we have that rivalry. With wrestling, we want to continue that. It’s going to be a great match, no matter who wins. I just hope we get a lot of people out and have a fun match.”

Before the rivalry tussle in two weeks, the Eagles travel to Solanco Thursday before traveling next week (Dec 28 & 29) for a tournament at Bethlehem Liberty.

Cocalico returned to Section One dual meet action Tuesday night at home opposite Hempfield.

The Eagles trailed 23-16 midway through the match before winning the final six bouts of the night to claim a 48-23 victory over the Black Knights.

Gehr (119), Owen Zimmerman (170) and Shaver (285) led the way for Cocalico with key pins on the night. Devin Sensenig added a 15-0 technical fall over Russ Hanes at 160 for the Eagles in the win.

Last Wednesday at home, Cocalico dominated Conestoga Valley in a rematch of the Section One co-champs of a year ago.

This time, the Eagles led from start to finish.

The Eagles opened up a 13-0 lead before CV cut it to 13-12. However, Cocalico then reeled off seven straight victories to close out the big win.

Kayde Althouse (120), Sensenig (160), Ben Sola (182), Fromm (220), Joe Bearinger (285) and Nate Fritz (113) all pinned to lead the way for Cocalico.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *