Elementary Sign-ups October 7th-8th
Exeter Elementary Wrestling Sign-ups are scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday, October 7th-8th outside the High School Wrestling Room from 6-7:30pm. Below you will find the registration form. If you want to sign-up, but cannot make either of those days, please contact our Mat Club President, Mike Hodowanec at 484-769-6269.
• Click here for our Elementary Registration Form
10th Annual Golf Scramble Very Successful
The main fundraiser for the Exeter Wrestling K-12 program was another success. It was a beautiful day and everyone had a great time golfing, while supporting our entire program. We want to again thank all of our golfers, hole sponsors, volunteers, and donations for all of their help and support. We ask that you click on the link below and help support our sponsors. If you go to one of the business sponsors, let them know that their support of Exeter Wrestling is why you are doing business with them, and that will just help us retain all of our hole sponsors and support from year to year. Thanks again to everyone involved.
• Click here to view our Sponsors
Harkness, Kulp, Schaeffer, and Bagoly earn PWCA All-Academic Honors
At the end of the season each year, coaches nominate qualifying sophomores, juniors, and seniors for the Pennsylvania Wrestling Coaches Association All-Academic Team. To qualify, wrestlers must have a season winning percentage higher than .600 and a cumulative non-weighted GPA of 3.00 or higher. James Harkness and Brett Kulp are members of the 1st team for the Juniors with GPA's of 3.91 and 3.90 respectively. Scott Schaeffer was selected to the 2nd team as a Junior with a GPA of 3.83. Tyler Bagoly earned 3rd team honors as a sophomore with a GPA of 3.73. Congratulations to all 4 individuals on their academic and athletic success.
• Click here to see the PWCA All-Academic Team
7 Exeter Wrestlers honored at annual BCIAA banquet
Exeter's 4 All-County and 3 All-Division wrestlers
pose for a picture at the banquet
READING, PA - The Berks County Wrestling Coaches Association along with the Berks Chaper of Officials host an annual All-Star Banquet to celebrate the success of all the young men who wrestle in our county. This season saw a lot of success for the Exeter Eagles with 7 wrestlers being honored at the banquet. Austin DeSanto, Brett Kulp, James Harkness, and Ethan Stever were voted All-County. Tyler Bagoly, Jon Greenleaf, and Oscar Daniels were voted All-Division. On a night where former Conrad Weiser Head Coach Joe Heilman and current Brandywine Head Coach Sam Lovello were inducted into the Berks Wrestling Hall of Fame, it was wonderful to be able to have our kids share that moment with them and be honored as well.
Exeter Wrestling Brings Home 2 PIAA State Medals
HERSHEY, PA - Four Exeter wrestlers set out in an early March blizzard, en route to Hershey, PA... "the sweetest place on Earth." However, in the wrestling world, Hershey seems to be more often bittersweet than not. Annually, Hershey plays host to the PIAA State Wrestling Championships for three days. This is the time where the best in the state compete for one of the most coveted high school titles in the entire country - the title of Pennsylvania State Champion. For most high school wrestlers, preparing for this moment begins late November; however, for most in attendance, the preparation started years ago... and continues. Exeter qualified 4 for the State Tournament, Austin Desanto (113), Brett Kulp (120), James "Trey" Harkness (126), and Ethan Stever (152), each placing in the top four in the District III Tournament.
DeSanto on the podium after his 5th place finish
Austin Desanto (So, 113) came into the tournament with an axe to grind. The state alternate a year earlier, Desanto's focus was one thing - Gold. He opened the tournament with a big decision over Bethlehem Catholic's Luke Carty to set up one of the most anticipated matches of the quarterfinals - if not the tournament - with 2x defending champion Devin Brown of Franklin Regional. The match lived up to its billing. After a scoreless first period, Desanto worked for an escape to take a one point lead into the third period. With Brown choosing bottom, Desanto immediately let him up to work on his feet. Early in the third, Desanto scored a takedown on a slick slide-by for a 2-point lead, and immediately cut Brown. Brown and Desanto hand-fought for much of the remainder of the match, until the official inserted himself in the match calling Desanto for his second suspect stall call - awarding Brown a point and sending the match to OT. Desanto seemed to have scored the takedown in the OT period, however, a scramble ensued and Brown was awarded a "neutral fall" about 45-seconds through the period. The crowd's boos echoed through the Giant Center. Desanto moved on quickly into the consolation bracket where he scored a major decision and a technical fall over his next two opponents. He was then caught again in a "neutral-fall" in the consolation semis, dropping him to the 5th place bout and a rematch of the District III finals two weeks earlier. Desanto hung on for a 1-point victory and a 5th place finish in the state.
Kulp on the podium after his 4th place finish
Brett Kulp (Jr, 120) was returning to Hershey, looking to improve on his 5th place finish a year earlier at 106 pounds. The draw wasn't ideal, as Kulp opened up with a dominating fall over Springford's Ryan Hayes - also a state medalist in 2014 - he found himself paired up with sophomore sensation Spencer Lee of Franklin Regional. Lee continued his undefeated HS career with a fall against Kulp, sending him to the consolation rounds. Kulp responded with a 7-0 victory in his first consolation bout, guaranteeing himself another medal. However, Kulp would need to avenge an earlier season 1-point loss to Beccahi's Luke Riegel in order to keep hopes alive for improving on last year's finish. Kulp came out quick with a takedown in the first period and kept his foot on the gas, shutting out Riegel 6-0. The next bout was round three with 4x PIAA medalist Derek Gulotta of OJR. Kulp got an early score before Gulotta had to default due to concerns over a probable concussion suffered in the tournament. Kulp advanced to another rematch of the District III finals against Central Dauphin's Tyshawn White. Kulp dropped the District III final in overtime, and despite fighting better on his feet, he ultimately saw the match end as the first did - in OT on the losing end. However, Kulp secured a 4th place finish in the state tournament - the highest finish ever by an Exeter Wrestler.
Trey Harkness (Jr, 126) seemed to come out of nowhere, to many; however, those familiar with the program saw the development of Trey over the past seasons - often times pushing weight while wrestling up a weight class or two. Down at 126, he won big match after big match all season and was a pillar of consistency throughout the season. In his first trip to the state tournament, Harkness once again proved he could hang with the best. Harkness found himself starting out in a pigtail bout and opened up with a 3-2 decision. His next bout seemingly started out the same way, as he took an early lead, but was caught late for near fall points, and lost to Bald Eagle Area's Seth Koleno. Keeping up with Kulp and Desanto, Harkness also had a rematch of his District III Consolation Final up next with Hempfield Area's Aiyden Miller. Miller tried his best to keep his distance, in a bout filled with blood stoppages, but Harkness kept after him winning 5-4 and standing one win from a state medal. Harkness would see his season come to an end at the hands of James Hoffman from Hazleton, by a 6-1 decision. Harkness will be counted on as a leader on a team that returns all but one next season.
Ethan Stever (Sr, 152) is the lone wrestler that the Eagles won't have back. Stever made his second trip to the state tournament for Exeter, and this year was looking for some hardware to bring home. Stever opened with James Meyer in the preliminary round. Slowed by a mid-bout asthma attack, Stever couldn't seem to get his offense rolling, continuously gasping for air at each stoppage. Nonetheless, he was able to force overtime in the match, and ultimately dropped the decision in overtime. The draw appeared to be unfriendly, as Stever found himself matched up against Nino Bonaccorsi of Bethel Park in the consolations. Stever dropped an 11-4 decision to the eventual 6th place medalist. However, without state hardware, Stever leaves the Eagles as the programs career wins leader, and a 2x state qualifier. Respectable résumé that he should definitely be proud of! Stever plans to continue competing in college.
Ethan Stever will take the mat one more time on Tuesday, March 10th at Ephrata HS, 7 PM in the L-L vs. Berks All-Star meet. Come out and send him off in style. Overall, 4 qualifiers and 2 medals was a good showing. The team has high expectations and looks to improve on individual and team accolades next season.... which starts right now. Today is a work day!
• Click Here for the final AAA Brackets
Exeter Finishes 3rd at Districts behind DeSanto's Championship and 4 State Qualifiers
DeSanto with the 14 AAA District Champions.
HERSHEY, PA - After a tough weekend of wrestling in the District III/SC Regional Tournament, 4 out of 10 wrestlers qualified for the PIAA AAA Tournament March 5-7 at Hershey. Austin DeSanto (113) went 4-0, capturing his 1st District Title with two technical falls, a major decision, and a 6-3 decision in the final over Devin Schnupp of Warwick who is ranked 3rd in the state. Brett Kulp (120) and Ethan Stever (152) both dropped close decisions in their finals bouts, finishing in 2nd place. James Harkness (126) had a great tournament, finishing 4-1 and taking 3rd place. His only loss came in the semi-finals to Chandler Olsen of Shippensburg who is ranked 7th in the state. All 4 of these indidviduals now set their sights on bringing home some state medals.
Kulp, Stever, Harkness, DeSanto with their medals.
6 other Exeter wrestlers saw their season come to an end. Ryan Watts (106), Tyler Bagoly (132), Scott Schaeffer (182), and Nolan Buck (195) all went 1-2 in the tournament, and in most cases lost some tough matches, bouncing them from medals contention. Tyler Borton (138) and Jon Greenleaf (220) both went 0-2 and represented Exeter with pride. The results for the tournament can be found below. All 10 individuals helped Exeter to a 3rd place finish, which is the highest finish in school history at the District III tournament. Qualifying 4 wrestlers for the State tournament is also a school first. Congratulations to all the wrestlers on a good weekend of wrestling.
• Click Here for the District III/SC Regional Brackets
• Click Here for the District III/SC Regional Team Scores
Stever awarded "Scholarship for Books"
Stever with his
HERSHEY, PA - The District III Coaches Association awards a number of Scholarships to District Wrestlers. To be awarded the scholarship, wrestlers must qualify for the District III tournament, be a senior attending an institiution of higher education, and have one of the highest unweighted GPA's in the District. Ethan met all 3 requirements and was appropriately awarded one. Congratulations Ethan on all of your hard work academically and athletically.
• Click Here for the Scholarship for Books Winners
Exeter finishes 2nd at Sectionals with 5 champions and 10 moving on to Districts
SHILLINGTON, PA - Exeter came up just 3.5 points shy of winning a Sectional Title, but were able to crown 5 champions: Austin DeSanto (113), Brett Kulp (120), James Harkness (126), Ethan Stever (152), and Scott Schaeffer (182). Finishing second for the Eagles were Ryan Watts (106), Tyler Bagoly (132), Tyler Borton (138), and Jon Greenleaf (220). After losing his first round match, Nolan Buck (195) was able to battle all the way back and finish 3rd, avenging his earlier loss in the third place bout. Oscar Daniels (285) finished 4th and will be the first alternate in his weight class. Dennis Karas (170) finished 6th place, and Tyler Harkness (145) and John Harrell (160) both ended their seasons with first round losses. Qualifying 10 wrestlers for the District Tournament is the most in school history, and those individuals now turn the page and set their sights on this weekends District III/South Central Regional Tournament held Friday and Saturday at the Old Hershey Arena. There are links below for both the schedule and the first round matchups.
• Click Here for the District III/SC Regional Pairings
• Click Here for the Tournament Schedule
Exeter Handles Manheim Township 54-20 in a non-league dual
LANCASTER, PA - Exeter was able to finish their dual meet season with a win last night over the Blue Streaks from Manheim Township ending their dual meet season with a 20-6 record. Township's team is a little depleted this year, but the Eagles were able to get wins from Ryan Watts, Brett Kulp, Tyler Borton, and Jon Greenleaf in the wrestled matches. Some of the wrestlers will be competing in annual Red Lion JV tournament this Saturday, but the varsity wrestlers now set their sights to Sectionals and the individual post-season.
Former Coaches come out to support the 1st Home State Dual in School History
Former and Current Exeter Coaches get together for a picture after
the first home State Dual Meet in school history.
REIFFTON, PA - The Exeter Wrestling Program began in 1967 under the direction of head coach, Don Evans. Over the years, there have been many coaches who have helped get the program to where it is today, with back-to-back state qualifying teams. It was wonderful that so many of them were able to come back and show their support for the team as they continue to create "firsts" for this improving program. The history and success of this program can be traced back to these individuals and it is the current coaches job to continue this improvement as we move forward as one. Although this year's team post-season run has ended with a 36-24 defeat to Spring-Ford, the team now refocuses, and sets their sights on the individual post-season, with the Sectional Tournament next Saturday, February 14th @ Governor Mifflin Intermediate School.
EXETER TAKES DISTRICT 3RD/BRAGGING RIGHTS WITH WIN OVER MIFFLIN
HERSHEY, PA - Exeter's grapplers took to the mat at the Milton Hershey School on Saturday to face Berks opponent Governor Mifflin. On the line was 3rd place in District III, along with some local bragging rights, as the schools had split a pair of meetings earlier in the season. Most recently, Governor Mifflin upended the Eagles for the county championship at the BCIAA Duals. Earlier, the Eagles won the regular season dual on Governor Mifflin's home mat. Both meetings came down to a couple of swing matches. Most notably, 170-pound matchup feature Freshman Denny Karas from Exeter battling head-to-head with Governor Mifflin's Dylan Harr. Karas took the initial meeting, but later dropped a pair of matches to Harr - one in the BCIAA Individual and the other in the BCIAA Dual. With the match starting at 160-lbs, Mifflin jumped out to a quick 6-point lead with a fall over John Harrell. Next on stage would be the highly anticipated rematch at 170-lbs. Karas surrendered a takedown; however, Harr took a chance at throwing Karas and was quickly planted on his back. Karas capitalized on the opportunity and secured the fall to tie the match at 6-6.
Junior Scott Schaeffer got right to work and planted Carlos Conde for a fall, and the Eagles lead. Next was another BCIAA Dual rematch featuring Sophomore Nolan Buck and Mifflin's Wilson Fontanez. A close match throughout the first four minutes, Fontanez, like Harr, was caught on his back late, attempting a throw. Fontanez rolled through to put Buck in criteria; however, Buck continued to fight, rolling Fontanez to his back, landing the pin at 5:57 in one of the afternoons more entertaining bouts. The late fall secured valuable bonus points for the Eagles, now up by a score of 18-6. Sophomore Jon Greenleaf gave what he had against defending State Champion Jan Johnson, ultimately surrendering a technical fall in the third period - but saving his team another valuable bonus point. Oscar Daniels continued to narrow the gap with BCIAA County Champion Keith Miller at heavyweight, surrendering an 11-4 decision.
At the turn, Ryan Watts was caught on his back by Mifflin's Alex Centeno for a Mifflin win - putting the Mustangs up 20-18. However, this would be the last lead the Mustangs would see. In an effort to catch Trey Harkness "cold," the Mustangs forfeited back-to-back matches to Austin Desanto and Brett Kulp at 113 and 120, respectively. Harkness met Zach Sheetz for the fourth time this season. With a 3-0 record against Sheetz, Harkness continued to separate himself every opportunity. This time would be no different as Harkness won by major decision 10-0 over Sheetz increasing the Exeter lead to 34-20. Mifflin closed the gap with a fall over Freshman Matt Ward at 132, and Tyler Bagoly bumped to 138 to all but secure the match with a major decision at 138, and an Eagles 38-26 lead. Tyler Harkness lost by fall at 145 to Mifflin's Allen Arentz before Senior Ethan Stever put the final stamp on the dual cruising to a 9-0 major decision over Dylan James and a 42-32 Eagles victory. Exeter will now host a PIAA State Dual at home on Monday (weather permitting) or Tuesday versus common local foe Spring Ford.
• Click Here for the Final District III Brackets
• Click Here for the PIAA AAA Team Tournament Brackets
EXETER HEADED BACK TO STATE TOURNAMENT!
SPRING GROVE, PA - The Eagles had been here before, and they used the familiarity of the venue to mount an all-out attack to challenge top-seeded Cumberland Valley in the District III Semifinals. The meet started at 160 pounds, and with Exeter losing the draw, some flexibility in their lineup was lost. First on for the Eagles was Sophmore John Harrell. Harrell gave a solid effort before losing by fall. Next up, Freshman Denny Karas took the mat at 170 pounds where he dominated his opponent for an early second-period fall. Scott Schaeffer came on the mat, looking to avenge an earlier season loss to his Cumberland Valley counterpart. Schaeffer pushed the action early, wearing down his opponent before securing another Exeter pin, and an early 12-6 lead. Nolan Buck and Jon Greenleaf dropped their matches by fall and decision, respectively. Buck challenged the Escape The Rock champion, but proved to be outgunned. Greenleaf fell behind early, dropping a major decision 10-2. "The Big O", Oscar Daniels, stepped onto the mat at 285 and needed two overtime periods to secure a 3-2 victory, and bring Exeter to within 1 point, at 16-15.
Harkness after his win over Long of CV
Sophmore Ryan Watts came out fighting against CV's highly-touted William Kaldes. After trailing 2-1 in the first period, Watts hit a pretty duck under, closing in on a takedown - and the lead - when Kaldes countered with a chin-whip, throwing Watts to his back, and ultimately getting the fall, boosting CV's lead to 22-15. The 1-2 punch of Desanto and Kulp took to the mat in the next bouts. Desanto, questionable throughout the day while battling the flu, made quick work of his opponent getting a fall in 0:25. Kulp followed with a lopsided 6-0 victory that had him working tirelessly to get points, while his opponent fought to simply limit Kulp's scoring opportunities. The two wins put Exeter back in the lead at 24-22. Trey Harkness has been on fire lately. Coming off a dramatic match-clinching victory over South Western, matched up against Wyatt Long - ranked # 17 in the state at 120 pounds. After a scoreless first period, Harkness continued his hot streak with a 2-point near fall in the second, before surrendering an escape. He took a 2-1 lead into the third period where he quickly earned his own 1-point escape. Long worked for a takedown to tie the match, but Harkness quickly escaped, and with that took home what some would consider an upset victory, putting Exeter on top 27-22. However, that would be the end of the line for Exeter, as CV followed with wins over Tyler Bagoly, Tyler Borton, Tyler Harkness, and Ethan Stever - by decision, fall, tech-fall, and major decision respectively.
After losing by 15 to CV earlier in the season, Exeter closed the gap slightly dropping a 40-27 loss and seeing their dual season hinge on the upcoming consolation semifinal match against Cedar Cliff. Cedar Cliff, coming off a big win over Penn Manor, didn't match up well on paper, with the strengths of the Eagles lineup, and that proved to be the case on the mat as well. Coming out to start the match off was Karas at 170. Karas had split with his opponent in off-season matchups. After a close first period, Karas was able to lock up a cradle in transition early in the second and stuck Cedar Cliff's Emorson Wentz at 2:22. Junior Scott Schaeffer found himself locked into a matchup against 2x State Qualifier - and currently ranked # 6 in the State - Josh Colello. Colello came out attacking. Schaeffer stayed defensive early on, but began to open up as his conditioning proved to be better than Colello's. Schaeffer continued to launch scoring attacks throughout the third, ultimately dropping an 11-9 decision. Nolan Buck, one of about 5 wrestlers battling flu and cold issues, came out on the short end of a 5-2 decision at 195. Greenleaf used a quick low-single at the start of his first overtime period to secure a takedown and 4-2 SV win. Greenleaf's momentum carried into Oscar Daniels heavyweight matchup where Daniels worked non-stop for a 6-1 victory, putting the Eagles in the lead 12-6 at the turn.
Exeter blew up the lower part of the Cedar Cliff lineup as they went tech-fall, fall, fall, decision and fall through Watts, Desanto, Kulp, Harkness and Bagoly's matches. The three falls by Desanto, Kulp and Bagoly took a collective 2:45, as Exeter locked up the win with an insurmountable 38-6 lead. Stever would be the only other win down the stretch, bouncing back for an 18-2 technical fall, anchoring Exeter's 43-24 win that sends them to their second consecutive - and second ever - Team State Tournament. Exeter will battle familiar foe Governor Mifflin at 1 PM at the Milton Hershey Spartan Center on Saturday. Winner takes home 3rd place in the District - as well as some bragging rights, as the teams have split wins in their two previous meetings. Following Saturday's District finale, Exeter will take the mat in the State Tournament on Monday - location and opponent to be determined.
Eagles Take Thriller Over South Western in District Team Duals
HANOVER, PA - For the Exeter Eagles, it was business as usual - or what has become so, of late. Making their second consecutive appearance in the District III Team Duals Tournament, the #5 seed Eagles faced the #12 seed Eastern Lebanon County (ELCO) in Tuesday's preliminary round of the tournament. With several wrestlers "under the weather" and the team unable to practice for the better part of the previous week due to weather and competitions, the ELCO matchup was just what the doctor ordered. Starting off at 126, the Eagles came out firing with a technical fall from Trey Harkness, followed by a decision from Tyler Bagoly at 132 and a second-period fall from Sophomore Tyler Borton at 138. ELCO stopped the bleeding, briefly, at 145, where two big moves cost Tyler Harkness an 11-8 decision. Ethan Stever got those points back, and then some, with a first period fall at 152. John Harrell got into an upper-body brawl, but came out on the losing end at 160. Freshman Denny Karas teamed up with Junior Scott Schaeffer for back-to-back falls at 170 and 182, respectively. Nolan Buck, was less than 100% in his bout, dropping a 4-1 decision. Jon Greenleaf and Oscar Daniels took victories by decision and fall, respectively, before ELCO surrendered 3 consecutive forfeits for a 59-12 Eagles win.
Then, things got interesting. South Western came out firing in the District III quarterfinal, with a quick fall over Exeter Freshman Matt Ward. Tyler Bagoly posted a solid 11-4 decision, 1-point shy of a major to bring the Eagles back within 3 points. Borton surrendered a major decision at 145, and Tyler Harkness was out-gunned versus a state-ranked opponent at 152, putting the Eagles behind by a score of 16-3. Stever chased his opponent for 6-minutes, racking up points, but ultimately not being able to secure much needed additional bonus points at 160, with a lopsided 18-6 major decision, leaving the eagles down 16-7. Karas and Schaeffer brought the Eagles back to even, as Karas held on for a 3-1 decision, and Schaeffer made quick work of his opponent with a 52-second fall. Buck, again came up short, as his opponent avenged an earlier season loss by fall with a last-second controversial reversal call for 2-points and a 5-4 decision. Jon Greenleaf ran into familiar foe, Seth Janney, ranked #3 in the state. Greenleaf fought tough early, but eventually succumbed, by fall. The Eagles now found themselves in a 9-point hole, trailing 25-16. Oscar Daniels came through with a tough decision, which was quickly offset by a South Western decision over Ryan Watts at 106. Watts closed the gap in this rematch, showing steady improvement.
Austin Desanto stepped on the mat battling a serious cold. His high-octane offense still could not be stopped as he repeated his earlier meeting with South Western posting a 19-4 technical fall in the second period. Fireworks were brewing for a rematch of a 3-2 decision that favored Exeter's Brett Kulp, a 5th place PIAA medalist in 2014. With 6-minutes not enough time to decide this one... nor 7-minutes... nope, not even 8, Kulp came out victorious in the Ultimate Tie-Breaker with a 2-1 decision in overtime to set the stage for Trey Harkness' winner-take-all finale at 126. Harkness came out firing, scoring a quick takedown, but was unable to secure what appeared to be near fall points. First period went to Harkness with a narrow 2-1 edge, after surrendering a late-period escape. The second period got scary, when Harkness was tilted for 2 near fall points early on. Knotted at 3-3, Harkness worked to his feet, scored an escape, and a takedown to head into the third period up 5-3. Riding tough in the third, Harkness was unable to secure any insurance points, and mid-way through was hit with a "Peterson-roll" for a 2-point reversal. He quickly regained focus, and worked immediately for an escape. The final minute saw Harkness hand fighting the opponent and holding off any scoring threat, posting a 6-5 victory, and a 30-28 Eagles win. The Eagles are back in action, with another rematch, in the semifinals versus Cumberland Valley on Thursday at 5:30 PM. The match will be held at Spring Grove Area High School. The Eagles are one win away from their second trip to the state tournament in as many years.
Exeter comes up short in County Championship
WYOMISSING, PA - The varsity wrestling team defeated Wilson in the semi-finals of the county tournament by a score of 61-7, a better score than the day before. Everyone in Berks County was aware that this season was a two horse race, between Exeter and Governor Mifflin. Although Exeter won the regular season dual just a few weeks earlier, Mifflin was able to win a few key matches and defeat the Eagles in the county final 35-25, preventing Exeter from winning it's first ever county championship. Both teams will be competing in the District III team tournament that start Tuesday, January 27th. Sites and times are TBD.
• Click Here for the Reading Eagle Article
Exeter beats Wilson to win Berks I Wrestling Title
WEST LAWN, PA - The varsity wrestling team defeated Wilson last night by a score of 58-13. Exeter won 7 of the 10 contested bouts en route to their first Division I title since 2006. Next up for the Eagles is the BCIAA Team Tournament at Wyomissing this Friday. Exeter has a bye in the first round, wrestling in the semi-finals slated to start at 5:45 followed by the finals at 8:00pm.
• Click Here for the Reading Eagle Article
Exeter Finishes 8th at Escape the Rock: DeSanto brings home his first belt
HOLLAND, PA - The high school wrestling program has come a long way in recent years, and the schedule reflects that. This year marked Exeter's first visit to Council Rock South High School and the highly acclaimed Flo National Event, "Escape The Rock" - a tournament loaded with nationally ranked wrestlers and state medalists from across the country.
The two day event started "business as usual" for the Eagles, who entered 12 wrestlers in the tournament. 8 of 12 wrestlers advanced to the second round in the winners bracket. However, the next round saw many unfavorable matchups, as Exeter went head-to-head with many of the # 1 and # 2 seeds in the tournament. Only four wrestlers advanced to the quarterfinals - Austin Desanto (113), Brett Kulp (120), Ethan Stever (152) and Scott Schaeffer (182) - while "Trey" Harkness (126), Ty Bagoly (132) and Denny Karas (170) fell to either the one or two-seed in their bracket. Oscar Daniels dropped a close 1-0 decision to Cumberland Valley's Stanford in his preliminary round bout.
In the consolations, the tournament proved its depth of talent as Bagoly and Harkness dropped a pair of 2-point decisions to be eliminated, while Nolan Buck (195) picked up a fall in the first round of the consolations, but was eliminated by decision in the second round. Overall, 7 wrestlers survived day one at Escape the rock with only Kulp and Desanto still in the hunt for a title. Kulp, the #2 seed, advanced to the semifinals with a first round bye, a 10-0 major decision, and a 3-2 last second win in the quarterfinals. Desanto, the #5 seed, scored a first-period technical fall, followed by a 5-3 win over a state ranked opponent, and a come from behind 19-8 major decision of the # 3 ranked wrestler in the state (at 120 lbs.). Both Desanto and Kulp faced familiar opponents in the semifinals against Moran (2014 State Runner-up) and Gulotta (2014 4th in State), respectively, on Sunday morning.
Day 2 got underway with two rounds of consolations. Ethan Stever (152) found himself in the consis after a surrendering a late-match takedown in the quarterfinals to lose 3-2. He once again found it tough to finish, dropping a 6-5 decision to Northampton's Moisey, being eliminated from the tournament. Denny Karas used a 1-0 decision and a win by fall to advance through the consolations, before dropping a decision, one win short of placing in the top 8. Heavyweight Oscar Daniels advanced in similar fashion, picking up a fall and a 3-2 decision before also falling in the "round of 12", one win short of placing in the top 8. Jon Greenleaf (220) received a bye before picking up a fall, and ultimately being eliminated by decision.
Scott Schaeffer advanced to the placing round with a 16-4 major decision, where he was then bounced to the 7th place bout by the same fate. In the 7th place bout, Schaeffer showed more intensity than his opponent, falling behind early, by hitting a dump early in the second period, and finishing his opponent off with a pin at 1:49 taking 7th place overall.
Austin DeSanto with his championship belt.
Kulp went toe-to-toe with Derek Gulotta of OJR, an opponent he defeated in OT at the Conestoga Valley Christmas Tournament a few weeks earlier. Kulp remained undefeated on the season with another OT win over Gulotta winning 2-1 in the second overtime. Kulp advanced to the finals against 2014 AA State Champion Reigel from Bethlehem Catholic. Kulp and Reigel kept the crowd on their feet as the match came down to the last second, where Kulp came up just short on a takedown attempt, dropping his first match of the season by a score of 2-1.
Desanto headed into the semis with two victories over state-ranked opponents in 3 tournament matches. He continued his streak by defeating Northampton's Danny Moran in the ultimate rideout for a 5-4 decision, securing his spot in the finals. His opponent would be 2014 National Prep Champion Joey Prata from St. Christopher's (VA). Desanto wouldn't be stopped, working intensely on his feet for takedowns, and eventually securing 3 near fall points en route to a decisive 8-3 championship decision in one of the tournaments deepest brackets.
As a team, Exeter placed 8th out of 42. While the team accolades were nice, the goal of the tournament was achieved in getting the team ready for post-season competition. The wrestlers all came out of the tournament - win or lose - with objectives to focus on in the coming weeks to make a post-season run to Hershey.
• Click Here for the Results
Exeter Finishes Second at BCIAA Individual Tournament: Kulp wins 100th
READING, PA - The Exeter Varsity wrestling team has set some lofty goals this season. Finishing second at the county tournament wasn't one of them. To say that their performance was a disappointment would be misleading. While the team was content with their overall performance that resulted in a runner-up finish to county foe Governor Mifflin, the realization of some missed opportunity lurked in the shadows. Exeter placed 12 of 14 wrestlers in the top six in the county, led by first place finishes from Ethan Stever (3-0 @152), Brett Kulp (3-0 @120), Austin Desanto (3-0 @113), and Scott Schaffer (3-0 @182). Runner-up performances were delivered by Ty Bagoly (2-1 @132), Jon Greenleaf (3-1 @220), and James "Trey" Harkness (2-1 @126).
Scott Schaeffer atop the 182lb. podium.
Kulp on the podium
after his 100th win.
Starting out at 106, Sophomore Ryan Watts made the semifinals before dropping a decision. He battled back with a consi-semi win, and a decisive consolation final decision to finish a solid third in the county. At 113 pounds, it was business as usual for Sophomore Austin DeSanto who continued his domination in Berks County with two technical falls and a pin to win his first county title. Junior Brett Kulp used a quick five points in the finals, after two earlier falls, to win his second county title and 100th career victory with a dominating performance over state-ranked Sean Stanish of Hamburg in the finals. Trey Harkness dropped a close decision, 1-0, in the final to the 2014 sectional champion Aaron Wildonger (Twin Valley) in the finals. Harkness will look to avenge that loss this Wednesday when the Eagles take on Twin Valley on the road. Ty Bagoly lived up to his second seed and was convincing on his run to the finals, where he dropped a 6-0 decision to State Runner-up Josh Giorgio for 2nd place.
Tyler Borton came into the tournament with 4 wins, and found his groove, nearly doubling his season win total with 3 county tournament wins on his way to a 4th place finish. Ethan Stever struggled offensively in the tournament, but overcame a severe cut above his right eye - which required 5 stitches after the semis, battling to a 1-0 victory over Wilson's Tommy O'brien in the final for his 2nd county championship. At 170 pounds, Freshman Denny Karas continued his workman-like run with a run to the semifinals which ended with a 4-3 loss to eventual runner-up Shawn Kilhefner of Wyomissing. Karas suffered a setback in the consi-semis to Dylan Harr of Governor Mifflin - who he defeated 3 days earlier in the dual meet - and ended the tournament on a high note with a second period pin in the 5th place bout. Junior Scott Schaeffer used a takedown as time expired in the semifinal to advance to the county final rematch against Boone's Brendan Valverde, who Schaeffer dropped a decision to in the dual meet in December. Schaeffer used solid counter offense on his feet to score takedown after takedown to avenge the loss and bring home his first county gold.
Nolan Buck continued to show intensity on the mat after dropping into the consolation bracket after day one of the tournament. Buck battled back to take 5th place in a dominating performance over second-seed Joabby McMinn of Muhlenberg. Jon Greenleaf made his presence known immediately. After an opening round win, Greenleaf knocked off the second-seed in the quarterfinals to set up a matchup with the third seed from Conrad Weiser. Greenleaf used late match heroics to advance to the final where he saw his road to gold end short against Reading's Matt Rheinart. At heavyweight, Oscar Daniels came up with a 6th place finish. Daniels dropped his semi matchup to eventual two-time champion Keith Miller of Governor Mifflin. Daniels found himself in a matchup against 2014 runner-up Rob Dunbar of Wyomissing, and dropped an overtime decision. Daniels continued extra work in the fifth place bout, coming up short in overtime once again for a sixth place finish. The team outlook hasn't changed, with their focus on the post-season still dialed in. The team visits Twin Valley on Wednesday @ 6:30 before heading to the prestigious Escape The Rock tournament on January 17th and 18th.
• Click Here for the Final Team Scores
• Click Here for the Final Brackets