Short-handed wrestling team falls to Easton
Last weekend’s Eastern Pennsylvania Conference Wrestling Championships were the culmination of the league’s regular season competition.
Unfortunately for Parkland, the team was dealt with a tough blow even before the start of its match against Easton for fifth place. Skin infections and injuries forced a number of the Trojans’ regulars out of the lineup on Saturday afternoon at Easton’s Shawnee Middle School, and the Red Rovers secured fifth place in the EPC with a 54-9 win over Parkland.
“We’re missing a few,” Parkland head coach Ryan Nunamaker said. “We have a few guys injured. We’ve got a few guys that are out for skin infections. And most of our team just got back from skin infections.
“That’s the first time we’ve been on the mat in a week, some guys longer. So we weren’t really expecting a whole heck of a lot. It’s unfortunate, but it’s something we’re going to have to deal with.”
As if facing Easton wasn’t enough, Nunamaker and the Trojans had to game plan with the curve ball thrown their way. Frank Guida, Joey Guida and Zach Ortman were all held out with injuries. Nathan Feyrer and Ethan Moscat were still dealing with skin issues.
“We just got five guys cleared in the last day or two for skin issues that prevented them from working out, practicing and preparing,” Nunamaker said. “It affected our whole team, but that’s the way it goes.”
Easton won the first six matches to lead 30-0, and that advantage was more than enough for the Red Rovers. After Mason Werkheiser earned a decision at 120 pounds, Jonathan Miers (126) won via forfeit, while Connor Duffy (132) and Nick Nunez both earned pins to make it a quick 24-0 lead.
The Trojans got their first win from Adam Lizak. And it came in pretty quick fashion, as he pinned Easton’s Peyton Keleher in 56 seconds.
“It was a good match for Adam,” Nunamaker said. “He got right to a leg attack, which is something we’ve been trying to do, get him to be more offensive. He did that and he was opportunistic looking for a fall. Hopefully it will carry some momentum into the postseason.”
Two forfeits in consecutive bouts, at the 182 and 195 pound weight classes, increased Easton’s lead to 42-6, but Alex Van Woert was able to stop the bleeding with the match’s most competitive bout.
Tied 1-1 early in the third period, Van Woert took down Easton’s Kendal Flores with 43 seconds left to regain the lead at 3-1. Flores earned an escape moments later, but Van Woert could not be taken down in the final seconds.
“Van Woert hung in there in a tough match,” Nunaker said. “It was a tough match that could have went either way. Fortunately for him, he was able to fight through the match and get a win.”
The Trojans will compete in District Duals on Thursday. They earned the No. 11 seed in Class 3A and will take on No. 6 Liberty at 6 p.m. at Liberty. The winner moves on to face No. 3 Northampton at 7:30 p.m. District Duals semifinals and finals will be held Saturday at Freedom High School.
Parkland also faces Pocono Mountain East on February 9. The individual District 11 Tournament is slated for Feb. 26-27.