L-L Tourney on tap this weekend

By on January 21, 2015
Ephrata’s Vince Evans (back) puts the squeeze on his Red Lion opponent during the Denver Duals this past Saturday. (Photo by Stan Hall)

Ephrata’s Vince Evans (back) puts the squeeze on his Red Lion opponent
during the Denver Duals this past Saturday. (Photo by Stan Hall)

All of the areas finest wrestlers will convene on Garden Spot High School this weekend for the annual Lancaster-Lebanon League Meet.

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.

Cocalico enters this weekend on a high note, after improving its dual meet section record to 5-1 this past week and posting a winning 3-2 mark at the Denver Duals this past Saturday.

Eagle Coach Matt Fittery said he likes the way his squad has competed in the past week, leading into the L-Ls.

“My expectations for this tournament are the same as they always are,” he said Tuesday. “I expect the boys to go out there and wrestle hard and wrestle smart every single match. I thought they wrestled great on Saturday at our Denver Duals eventhough we ended up 3-2 on the day. The matches we lost were against tough teams and we battled them well, so if we keep wrestling that way we should have a bunch of guys place this weekend.”

Cocalico’s lone medal winner from a year ago, Hilton Martin (fifth place at 152), graduated. But the Eagles do feature a lineup that includes several wrestlers who could reach the podium this weekend.

A total of 10 kids of the 12 who will wrestle for the Eagles this weekend sport winning records on the season. The include: Josiah Gehr (14-12 at 106); Justin Moyer (14-12 at 113); Nate Fritz (15-10 at 120); Adam Miller (17-9 at 126); Max Martin (17-10 at 145); Trevor Fichtorn (16-6 at 152); Darin Youndt (11-10 at 160); Nate Quinn (10-8 at 170); Abdul Saad (19-3 at 182) and Ben Fromm (16-4 at 195).

“I don’t think we will have any individuals that will be favored to make the finals, but I have learned to never underestimated this group of kids,” Fittery said. “They have been constantly improving, and I really believe we could have seven or eight guys medal this weekend.”

While Ephrata has gone through a difficult dual meet season, which is highly due to too many forfeits, the Mounts do have some talent they hope to showcase this weekend.

The Mounts, who graduated their two medalists from a year ago, Cam Eisenhauer (third placed at 195) and Mike Pacheco (seventh at 145), will enter 10 wrestlers this weekend.

While any number of them have the potential to medal, Austin Jones (20-4 at 106), Cameron Terry (15-12 at 113), Tyler Mentzer (13-11 at 138) and Dakota Rohrbaugh (15-7 at 160) appear to be their best bets.

“(Those four) probably have the best shots as of right now,” Ephrata Coach Josh Clair said Monday. “They currently are leading the team in wins and are all wrestling well. They all need to go in with a relaxed mind-set and go out and wrestle the way they are capable and good things will happen. Not knowing the brackets yet and who will be at what weights it is hard to determine, but all in all the kids need to go out and continue to wrestle the way they have been as of late and they will be OK.”

“I expect our kids to go out and continue to compete in every match regardless of the outcome,” he continued. “Although some of our guys may not be picking up as many wins as they would like they are closing the gap. They are competing from whistle to whistle. You can’t always control if you have more talent than your opponent, but you can control your attitude and effort, quoting our middle school Coach Scott Bowman. Our records, especially our team record, are not indicative of the improvements that are being made by everyone as a whole.”

Prior to the L-L League Tourney, both Ephrata and Cocalico will close out Section Two play Wednesday night. Ephrata (0-6) will look to close the section season on a bright note when the Mounts visit fellow winless Lebanon. Cocalico, meanwhile, hosts a tough Lampeter-Strasburg squad Wednesday with title hopes still alive. The Eagles would need a victory over L-S combined with a Garden Spot win at home vs. CV. Should that occur, the Eagles, CV (6-0) and Garden Spot (5-1) all would share the Section Two title. If CV defeats Spot, the Buckskins will win the section out-right.

As mention before, both Cocalico and Ephrata competed at the Denver Duals this past Saturday. Cocalico scored victories over James Buchanan (52-28), East Pennsboro (57-24) and Wyomissing (54-18) while losing only to Hempfield (47-25) and Plymouth Whitemarsh (36-31).

Fromm led the Eagles with a perfect 5-0 afternoon. Gehr, Miller, Fichtorn, Martin and Saad all were 4-1 on the day for Cocalico.

Ephrata was 0-5 as a team on the day, suffering losses to Red Lion (65-4), James Buchanan (42-25), Hanover (44-31), Archbishop Wood (34-17) and East Pennsboro (40-36).

Individually, Jones, Rohrbaugh and Zach Lorah all posted 4-1 marks to pace the Mounts.

In Section Two dual meet action last week, Cocalico defeated E-town, 52-16, while the Mounts fell to section leader CV, 62-7.

Miller (120), Fritz (126) and Youndt (170) all pinned to pace Cocalico. Ephrata was led by Jones (106) and Rohrbaugh (160), who earned the Mounts’ lone wins on the day.

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