Parkland Press

Saturday, May 30, 2020
PRESS PHOTO BY MIKE FEIFELLucas Kern placed fifth in last weekend’s PIAA Northeast Regional Tournament. PRESS PHOTO BY MIKE FEIFELLucas Kern placed fifth in last weekend’s PIAA Northeast Regional Tournament.

Kern earns fifth place at NE Regional

Thursday, March 5, 2020 by TODD KRESS in Sports

Lucas Kern is a four-year letter-winner for the Trojan wrestling team. But it wasn’t until this season that he was able to place at the competitive District 11 Class 3A tournament. He took fifth place at 145 pounds after earning a 4-3 decision over Blue Mountain’s Daniel Farrell two weeks ago.

A week later, Kern added another chapter to his wrestling resume. The Trojan senior went 4-2 at the Class 3A Northeast Regional Tournament, once again capturing fifth place in the loaded 145-pound bracket.

“Heading into the season, I wanted to have fun because it’s my senior year,” Kern said. “I wanted to work hard while having fun. It would have been nice to qualify for states, but my main goal was to get a district medal this year, and moving on to regionals made it even better.”

Kern picked up a convincing 5-0 decision over Wilkes-Barre’s Jamie Pahler to cement his fifth-place finish. And despite missing out on a trip to Hershey to compete in states after losing the prior match, a pin to Liberty’s Jason Rezac in the consolation semifinals, Kern certainly capped his season on a successful note.

“I feel that I wrestled really well in the season,” said Kern, who went 25-9 in his final year of high school wrestling. “There were a few rough matches, but other than that I think I did well.”

That continued into the postseason where Kern kept doing what made him successful throughout the season.

“I stuck with my game plan, slowing my opponent down and wrestling my style,” he said. “I did not look forward to upcoming matches; I took it one match at a time.”

Kern defeated Pahler for the first time to open the regional tournament. His 4-2 decision advanced him to the quarterfinal round against eventual third-place finisher Jake Dressler from Nazareth. And despite the 6-0 defeat that sent him into the consolation round, his momentum continued.

Kern disposed of Archbishop Ryan’s Jonathan Swift in the consolation bracket via a 20-5 technical fall. He then outlasted Pittston’s James Spindler, 6-2, to advance to the consolation finals.

It was there, however, that his state aspirations came to a halt against Rezac.

Despite his only two losses coming against District 11 competition, wrestling in one of the most toughest districts in the nation contributed to what Kern accomplished in the 2019-20 season.

“District 11 is really tough,” Kern said. “Every team has great coaches, and they all want to see their wrestlers succeed, so coaches push everyone really hard. I like being in District 11 because there are so many good wrestlers, and you get to wrestle against the best. It’s cool to see how you wrestle against them, and when you win it feels great.”

Editor’s Note

A headline in last week’s Parkland Press stated that two Trojansadvanced from districts into the reginoal tournament. That was incorrect. Kern was the only Parkland wrestler to advance to regionals.