PHS wrestlers compete in Powerade Tourney
December turned out to be an exciting month for the Parkland wrestling team.
After their season-opening win over Easton, the team finished fifth in the King of the Mountain meet in Lock Haven and topped that with a third place finish in the Powerade Tournament at Cannon McMillan High School in Canonsburg. In between was their only loss of the season, a 42-21 loss to Nazareth.
The loss to Nazareth was disappointing, especially after their opening 42-17 dismantling of the powerful Red Rovers.
The Blue Eagles, which are 2-0 on the season, won 10 of the 14 bouts in the match. The team's performance in the two tournaments was more impressive, however, and the return to bouts with Lehigh Valley Conference opponents is going to be an interesting one.
At the Powerade Tournament, Parkland's performer was junior Omar Haddad, who came in seeded second in the 220-pound weight class and beat Hempfield's Fred Mantsch in the finals to take the championship in his weight class. Haddad is undefeated, with individual championships in both tournaments that the Trojans have participated in this season.
A couple of Parkland seniors Ethan Lizak (120) and Nezar Haddad (195) placed second in the Powerade Tournament. Lizak came up just short of a title when he dropped a 3-2 decision to Luke Pletcher of Latrobe, while the elder Haddad fell to Chip Ness of Buford, Georgia, in an 8-3 decision. Lizak is also the older sibling among brothers on the Trojans' team. Sophomore Jacob Lizak took a third-place finish in the Powerade Tournament in the 106-pound weight class when he lost a 1-0 bout to John Pipa of Bishop McDevitt.
The only downside of the team's performance in the Powerade Tournament was Josh Ortman not finishing in the top eight finishers. Last season, Ortman finished eighth in the tournament, but was eliminated this year when he lost to Mifflinburg's Cole Walter, who would place second in the 152-pound weight class.
Ironically, it was the two brother combinations that picked up the Trojans' only wins in the loss to Nazareth. Both Haddad brothers won by pins in the upper weight classes, while Ethan Lizak won by a fall and Jacob Lizak picked up a 7-4 decision in the lower weight classes for Parkland.
A key part of the season begins tonight for Parkland as they travel to Phillipsburg for a meet with the Stateliners, before an LVC meet at Allen (0-2) next Wednesday night. There is a little more than three weeks left in the regular season before heading into postseason bouts.