Trojans roll over Red Rovers
It was a new year and a new outcome for the Parkland wrestling team against Easton.
The Trojans were beaten three times by the Red Rovers last year by a combined 10 points.
In last Wednesday's early-season showdown, Parkland won 10 bouts, and nine consecutive, on its way to a 42-17 opening night Lehigh Valley Conference victory. It was also the first win over Easton in four years.
"It's a good win to finally beat them," said senior Ethan Lizak. "We've never beaten them when I've been on the team, so it's a big accomplishment for the seniors."
What helped the Trojans was the fact that they are returning five state qualifiers.
One of them, Lizak, the defending state champion at 113 pounds, opened the match with a pin over Alex Montes at 120 pounds.
"I knew I'd have to come out right away and get the team going," Lizak said. "After 145 we started getting things going."
The Red Rovers took the next four bouts (126, 132, 138, and 145), but the Trojans began to swing momentum back in their favor with another senior, Josh Ortman.
Ortman worked a late takedown in the second period, opened the third with another, and held on for a slim 6-4 victory in the night's most exciting bout over Elijah Brown at 152 pounds.
Billy Hoh, Frank Guida, Marques Sturdivant and Rahmeir Thompson kept Parkland rolling with decisions that turned around a 17-6 deficit. The match was clinched when Naze (220) and Omar (285) Haddad worked for pins.
"We knew Easton was going to give us a tough battle, they always do," Naze Haddad said. "They have a solid lineup and guys that wrestle really hard. A lot of our returning guys came out and showed the underclassmen how it needs to be done."
Seniors Naze Haddad, Ortman, Sturdivant and Thompson, and juniors Billy Hoh and Omar Haddad turned the match around for the Trojans.
Freshman Nick Bauer (106) and sophomore Jacob Lizak (113) capped the night with a decision and fall, respectively.
It was a win that was a long time coming, having lost so many close matches to Easton in the previous four seasons, but one that the Trojans can't bask in for too long as they were scheduled to face LVC powerhouse Nazareth on Wednesday evening, after Press deadline.