Parkland Press

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PRESS PHOTO BY DON HERBParkland’s Frank Guida reached the finals of last weekend’s District 11 Class 3A wrestling tournament. Copyright - DonHerb                                               PRESS PHOTO BY DON HERBParkland’s Frank Guida reached the finals of last weekend’s District 11 Class 3A wrestling tournament. Copyright - DonHerb

Six wrestlers head to regionals

Thursday, March 3, 2016 by TODD KRESS in Sports

Parkland’s Andrew Mastrangelo nearly tasted it a year ago. But it was a matter of seconds that kept him from advancing to the regional wrestling tournament as a junior.

In his final season on the mat, Mastrangelo looked to put that setback behind him for good. Not only did he make that come true, but he also put together one of Parkland’s best runs in this year’s District 11 Class 3A individual tournament at Liberty High School.

Mastrangelo won his first three matches to advance to the final round at 126 pounds where he met Bethlehem Catholic’s Luke Karam. And while Karam ended Mastrangelo’s run with a 9-0 major decision, the Trojan will be competing on the regional stage for the first time in his career this weekend.

“That’s been a chip on my shoulder for the longest time,” Mastrangelo said. “It’s been haunting me for a little bit, to not get out to regionals even though I had 30 wins [last year].”

Karam earned a quick takedown to take a 2-0 lead in the first period. That lead grew to 7-0 in favor of the Golden Hawk by the end of the second period. Karam, the No. 1 seed who entered the tournament at 26-3, coasted through the winner’s bracket with two pins and two major decisions.

“He’s a two-time state champ,” Mastrangelo said. “I just tried to keep it as close as I could. He was really tough on top. I still think I’m raw; I still think I have some more potential to reach.”

Mastrangelo had an impressive run at districts. He pinned Liberty’s Dominic Rosario in just 15 seconds in his opening-round match, and then earned a hard-fought 4-2 decision over Easton’s Ryan Dilts in the quarterfinals.

In the semifinals, Mastrangelo dominated Bangor’s Robert Shoemaker to win 8-4 and advance to the finals.

“I was hitting all of the right keys,” Mastrangelo said of his semifinals win. “I opened up with a takedown and a nice lead, and I just cruised to the end to take the win.

“I feel like I’m peeking at the right time. I got a nice draw in the bracket. I just had to utilize my draw. I had the opportunity and took it to the finals.”

Mastrangelo accomplished what he set out to do on the district stage. With the Northeast Class 3A Regional Tournament set to begin Friday back at Liberty, he has one goal in mind—advance to states.

“I think it was a good tournament and it’s only up from here,” he said. “That was probably my biggest accomplishment in wrestling in my life.”

Frank Guida, the No. 3 seed at 170 pounds, was the other Trojan grappler to advance to the finals.

Guida opened the tournament with a 21-4 technical fall over Stroudsburg’s Hunter Holmes, followed by a 7-1 decision over Southern Lehigh’s Wyatt Noone, and then a 7-6 decision over second-seeded Cade Wilson of Nazareth in the semifinals.

Guida’s run also came to an end against a Bethlehem Catholic foe by way of a 15-7 major decision loss to Michael Labriola.

Nick Dolak (113), Jacob Lizak (132) and Nathan Feyrer (220) all took third place in their respective weight classes with wins on Saturday afternoon. Bryson Haas won his fifth-place match at 145 pounds to qualify for regionals as well.