11th Annual Golf Scramble Set for August 13th
It's time to start working on the biggest fundraiser our club hosts. The 11th Annual Golf Scramble will be held at Arrowhead Golf Course on Saturday, August 13th starting at 1PM with the registartion from 11:30-12:45. Not only is this our main fundraiser, but it's a lot of fun to be a part of. Limited to the first 128 golfers, get your money in quick! Below you will find a link to the hole sponsors found on our EMC page. This will be updated as the sponsorships come in. As a club, parents, wrestlers, and coaches it is our job to donate as much time and energy into this tournament as possible. Through this tournament alone, we are able to pay for spirit wear, hotels, and food for the wrestlers, coaches, and parents. Each family should try to get as many hole sponsors as possible as well as golfers, and door prize donations. And when you can, please patronize ALL of our sponsors and let them know you are a part of Exeter Wrestling when you do. This helps build and maintain the relationships within the community to keep our fundraising efforts strong for years to come.
• Click Here to see all of our Hole Sponsors
• Click Here for the GOLF FLYER
• Click Here for the SPONSORS LETTER
Kulp, Harkness, Schaeffer, Bagoly, and Karas earn PWCA All-Academic Honors
The PWCA (Pennsylvania Wrestling Coaches Association) awards All-Academic Honors to wrestlers at the end of each season based on their Cumulative GPA on a 4 point scale and their season and career accomplishments. To qualify, a wrestler must have a season winning percentage of .600 or better and be a sophomore, junior, or senior. James Harkness earned 1st team honors with a 3.96 GPA. Brett Kulp (3.80 GPA), Scott Schaeffer (3.80 GPA), and Tyler Bagoly (3.70 GPA) earned 2nd team honors, and Dennis Karas. earned 3rd team honors with a 3.60 GPA. Congratulations to all 5 wrestlers for setting a great example of what it means to be a student-athlete. You can click on the link below for the full 2016 PWCA All-Academic Team.
• Click Here for the PWCA All-Academic Team
Now that the season is over, it's time to start training for next season. Below you will find a link to the off-season training handout that was available at the banquet. It is important for all wrestlers to lift, train, and compete in the off-season to stay sharp and build their technique and conditioning. JH and Varsity wrestlers have lots of opportunities within an hour of Exeter to continue their workouts. It is suggested that they join a Freestyle Club. Links to all the local clubs are on our LINKS page Also, attend the boyertown practices at the New Hanover YMCA on Wednesdays from 7-8:30pm. On Tuesday's and Thursdays, the High School wrestling room will be open with Coach Busch and Coach Hody from 6-7:30pm.
On Sunday nights, the varsity coaches and wrestlers will be hosting off-season practices for our elementary wrestlers from 5:45-7:00pm in the HS wrestling room. Coach Rugg will open the room for live wrestling on Sundays for 1 hour before the elementary practice from 4:45-5:45. In addition to those practices and freestyle competitions, we will be competing in the Northern Lebanon Duals and Boyertown Duals. Flyers are below, and interested 7-12 grade wrestlers should contact Coach Rugg. Both tournaments cost $20/wrestler. Also, linked below is the flyer for the lifting opportunity at the Spine and Wellness Center. All information is on the form.
• Click Here for the Off-Season Handout
• Click Here for the Boyertown Duals Flyer
• Click Here for the Spine & Wellness Center Lifting
8 Honored at Annual BCIAA All-Star Banquet
READING, PA - With the end of the season upon us, it gives us an opportunity to recognize and honor the young men who fought hard all season and in most cases were able to accomplish their goals. The BCIAA All-Star Banquet is just the place to for these wrestlers to recieve awards for their achievements and accomplishments. The 49th Annual Banquet took place on Sunday at 5:00pm at the Riveredge Restaurant. 8 Exeter Eagles were honored at the banquet.
The 8 wrestlers with their awards at the all-star banquet.
Austin Desanto, Brett Kulp, Tyler Bagoly, Dennis Karas, and Oscar Daniels received All-County honors. Ryan Watts, James Harkness, and Jon Greenleaf received All-Division honors. All 8 wrestlers received a placque in recognition of their achievements. In addition, Austin Desanto received the AAA Bud Lindholm Award, which goes to the AAA wrestler who places highest in the PIAA AAA Inidivual Tournament.
Exeter Wrestlers Return Home With 2 Medals
HERSHEY, PA - The end of the road was inevitable. The final tournament of the season was held this past weekend in Hershey's Giant Center. Up for grabs was the Holy Grail of high school wrestling, a PIAA AAA State Championship. Returning to the State mats for the Eagles were 2x PIAA Medalist Brett Kulp (132, SR) and returning medalist Austin Desanto (120, JR). Making their first appearance at Hershey were Denny Karas (195, SO) and Oscar Daniels (285, JR).
Desanto on the PIAA AAA Podium
Desanto entered the tournament as one of only a handful of undefeated wrestlers in the state. Dominating his way through opponents throughout the season, he brought a 47-0 record to the show. Desanto continued to be untested through the first three rounds, pushing his record to 50-0 by way of two technical falls and a major decision on his way to becoming Exeter Wrestling's first ever PIAA AAA State Finalist. Desanto, in the final, was faced with a task only he would look forward to - a meeting with 2x PIAA Champion and Junior World Champion Spencer Lee of Franklin Regional. Lee, undefeated throughout his high school career, came into the tournament as a heavy favorite, and not even Desanto's continuous all-out attack-style offense could slow him down. Desanto dropped a 15-0 technical fall to Lee, but gained a lot of respect from his opponents, and fans alike.
Kulp on the PIAA AAA Podium
Kulp entered the tournament with a handful of losses - all to state-ranked competitors. With everyone expecting Kulp to come away from the tournament as the most decorated PIAA State Medalist in Exeter Wrestling's history - with a total of 3 state medals - no one really expected his path to be the one he took. Kulp opened up slowly, shocking the arena by dropping into the consolation bracket in the first round. Returning to the tournament with a 5th (2014) and 4th (2015) place finish, Kulp was hoping to improve upon his past finishes with a top 3. Despite dropping the first match, Kulp battled back to find himself in position to finish 3rd, in the consolation finals. Again, Kulp struggled to score and dropped a 2-0 decision to Hempfield's Luke Kemmerer.
Oscar Daniels and Denny Karas got their feet wet at the tournament. Each won a match, and came up just one win short of a State Medal. Daniels was eliminated with an OT loss, and Karas saw his season come to an end by surrendering the lead with 30 seconds remaining. With the season over, looking back the Eagles posted the most successful season in team history. Three seniors will be lost to graduation - Kulp, Trey Harkness (126) and Scott Schaeffer (170/182). Those three account for nearly 400 career wins and will be sorely missed; however, the outlook is bright with a solid class of juniors ready to step into leadership roles. #workday
Exeter Leads Berks Charge, Advances 4 To PIAA State Tournament
Exeter's 4 State Qualifiers
HERSHEY, PA - The Eagles continued their post-season run with relative success. Hoping to build on last year's four PIAA qualifiers, the Exeter wrestlers came up short of their expectations, but managed to equal the success from last season. Led by returning state medalists Brett Kulp (132, SR) and Austin Desanto (120, JR), the Eagles placed third overall in the District III individual tournament. Joining Desanto and Kulp on the podium, advancing to their first state tournament, were Denny Karas (195, SO) and Oscar Daniels (285, JR).
Desanto claimed his second District III title with a dominating 13-6 performance in the finals over previously unbeaten Zurich Storm of New Oxford. Storm, ranked 4th in the state, was unable to answer Desanto's relentless pressure. Caught for a 5-point move midway through the first, it proved to be an insurmountable lead as Desanto remained unbeaten on the season.
Kulp advanced to his 3rd consecutive District III final, and claimed his second title. Kulp opened with a fall in the first round, but was slowed moving forward, posting consecutive 1-0 shutouts to advance to the final. In the finale, Kulp squared off with Central Dauphin's Andrew Wert. Late in the third period, Kulp found himself on the short end of a 1-0 margin; however, with about 12 seconds remaining Kulp scrambled for a reversal and posted another 1-point victory as the score read 2-1 with final seconds ticking off.
Karas was dominant on his way to the semifinals where he met up with favorite Bryce Shields of Dallastown. Karas struck first with a takedown, but sloppy wrestling led him into a cradle, and a 5-point move for Shields. Karas continued to trudge forward, ultimately turning Shields for 4-points of his own. Karas advanced to the final with an 8-7 victory, and a matchup with undefeated Jesse Kann of Penn Manor. Karas seemed to have things under control, but once again allowed points to slip away. Ultimately, Karas saw his run to a championship cut short by a 7-5 margin.
Daniels, like Karas, came in as the # 3 seed in his bracket. Daniels marched his way to the finals to meat up with Northeastern's Blaine Yinger. Scoring the first takedown, Daniels took a 2-1 lead into the second period. After trading some points, the match was tied at the end of regulation. Daniels continued to attack, but it was Yinger that claimed the sudden victory takedown to claim the District III title. Senior Trey Harkness came up short of a return trip to the state tournament. Wrestling tough while battling through injuries, Harkness came up a win or two short of advancing to the big show.
Kulp, Harkness, Schaeffer with Scholarships
In addition to sending 4 wrestlers to the PIAA AAA Tournament, seniors Brett Kulp, James Harkness, and Scott Schaeffer were awarded a "Scholarship for Books" from the District III Coaches Association based on their academic performance. The awards are given to seniors who qualify for the District III Tournament with the highest GPA. This is the first year in school history that three wrestlers have been awarded this scholarship and is a great showing of the types of young men they are.
Exeter's wrestlers were joined by 7 others from Berks County qualifying for the State Tournament. Wrestling will begin with the first round Thursday, March 10 at the Giant Center in Hershey. #workday
• Click Here for the PIAA AAA Tournament Schedule
• Click Here for the AAA Brackets
• Click Here for Live Updates
Eagles Dominate Section IV Tournament, Advance 10
SHILLINGTON, PA - While it seems that the post-season has been going on for an eternity for the Exeter Eagles, the individual post-season has just begun. After a very successful run through the team tournament that saw the Eagles win their first ever state dual meet, it was back to square one on Saturday at Governor Mifflin Intermediate School for the District III Section IV tournament. The Eagles were ready.
The team after their first Sectional Championship in 10 years.
At this point of the season, it's a "win or go home" mentality. Wrestling is described - accurately - as a grind. Day in and day out, athletes head to the mats to sharpen their skills, build strength, and improve conditioning and endurance. While many of the kids have bumps and bruises, the simple fact of this sport is that no one is 100% at this point of the season. The grind takes its toll. However, whatever wounds the Eagles were wrestling with, they weren't enough to slow this train down. The Eagles advanced ten of fourteen wrestlers to the tournament finals, winning a total of 6 titles. Two more wrestlers competed for their post-season future in the consolation finals going for 3rd place - with only the top 3 finishers guaranteed a spot in this coming weekends District III tournament at Hershey Park Arena.
Desanto competing in his finals match.
Winning titles for the Eagles were Ryan Watts (113, JR), Austin Desanto (120, JR), Brett Kulp (132, SR), Tyler Bagoly (152, JR), Denny Karas (195, SO), and Oscar Daniels (285, JR). Watts, a winner by a 2-1 decision in the finals advanced to the final with a win over top-seeded Mason Bennett of Twin Valley. In the final, he upended Samuel Zummo of Daniel Boone. Austin Desanto remained undefeated, and untested, posting two technical falls and a first-period pin to capture his third sectional title. Brett Kulp, feeling a bit under the weather, seemed to slow as the day went on; however, no sickness was going to prevent Kulp from becoming Exeter's first 4x Sectional Champion. Kulp powered through in workmanlike fashion using a fall and two decisions, each by a 5-2 margin. Tyler Bagoly had what some saw as the deepest weight class in the tournament. Coming in as the #2 seed, Bagoly followed his first round pin with a slick 10-5 win before running up a dominant 7-1 margin of victory over county champion Keaton Eidle from Wilson.
Watts in on a takedown during the finals.
All season, 195 has come down to two wrestlers in Berks County. Governor Mifflin's Dylan Harr and our own Denny Karas. Harr got the better of Karas in the dual meet; however, change of strategy saw Karas turn the tables on Harr in the county finals. Karas employed the same strategy from the county tournament to post a 6-1 victory for his first sectional title, and put an end to the county-wide debate as to who is number one in his weight class. Oscar Daniels looked more like a lightweight than a heavyweight in the finals, putting on a takedown clinic en route to a 7-3 championship victory. Coming up just short in the finals were defending champions Trey Harkness (126, SR) and Scott Schaeffer (170, SR), along with Nolan Buck (182, JR) and Jon Greenleaf (220, JR). All ten will advance to next week's District III Championships where a Top 5 finish advances them to the premiere state wrestling tournament in the country.
Coming up just short for the Eagles were Tyler Harkness (145, JR) and John Harrell (160, SO). Each battled for every point, and will now serve as tournament alternates - should one of the three place winners not be able to compete. Wrestling at the District III Tournament will begin on Friday at 3:15pm. #WORKDAY
• Click Here for the District III/SC Regional Schedule
• Click Here for the AAA Bracket
Dual Season Hits End Of The Road, On To Individuals
HERSHEY, PA - The record-setting run of the 2016 Exeter Eagles wrestling team came to an uneventful end in Hershey at the PIAA AAA Team State Tournament. The Eagles, advancing to Hershey for the first time, received an unfriendly draw in the preliminary round. The Eagles were matched up with second ranked Belle Vernon Area (ranked # 10 nationally).
The match started out business as usual with Austin Desanto (120, JR) winning by technical fall in the first period. However, from that point forward, highlights were hard to find. Belle Vernon ran off four straight wins before Ty Bagoly (152, JR) claimed his 100th career victory with a fall over 8th ranked Jared Verkleeren. Bagoly found himself in a 5-0 hole at the start of the second period, after being caught in a bottom leg cradle early in the first period. Bagoly worked for an escape and Verkleeren was back in on a leg. This time, Bagoly came over the top, locking up a spladle and decking Verkleeren to hit the century mark at 3:29. Belle Vernon would go on another three match run before Denny Karas (195, SO) won by fall at 3:46. Exeter, a little banged up from the grind of the season, elected to hold out starters Trey Harkness (126, SR), Scott Schaeffer (170, SR) and Nolan Buck (182, JR). Winning only 3 of 14 bouts, the Eagles were bounced to the consolation bracket by a score of 57-17.
Schaeffer working for the pin against Erie.
The following day, the Eagles squared off against Erie Cathedral Prep. A different opponent provided a similar outcome. The Eagles took 4 of 14 bouts from Prep en route to a 44-24 loss. Winning for the Eagles by fall were Brett Kulp (132, SR), Ty Bagoly (152, JR) and Scott Schaeffer (170, SR). In the final bout of the contest, Austin Desanto (120, JR) received a forfeit to remain undefeated on the season. All in all it was a fun ride for the team, reaching heights never seen before by an Exeter wrestling team. Qualifying for the state tournament 3 consecutive years establishes a new level of expectations for the years to come. The Eagles will now focus on individual success as they head into the post-season gauntlet of tournaments. The first stop will be the District III Section IV tournament held Saturday, February 20 at Governor Mifflin Intermediate School. The top three finishers in each weight class will advance to the following week's District III tournament at Hershey Park Arena.
Eagles Soar Over Downingtown East, Advance In State Playoffs
REIFFTON, PA - The Exeter Eagles were back at it again Monday night. For the third year in a row, the Eagles were in a PIAA state pigtail match. Win, and they advance to Hershey to compete against some of the best teams in the country. Lose, it's back to the practice room to gear up for sectionals. After seeing their seasons end at this point each of the past two years, the Eagles were anxious to move past this stumbling block and compete as a team in Hershey's Giant Center - no matter how much they may need the time off. Downingtown East came to Exeter as the # 3 from District I. Additionally, the Cougars were ranked one spot ahead of the Eagles in the most recent state rankings at # 12. The Eagles needed little motivation to focus on the task at hand.
Schaeffer in on a single in his first match back from injury.
The draw of the starting weight came in at 126 pounds. Trey Harkness (126/SR), sitting on 100 wins for his career, got right to work. After an early takedown, Harkness used a series of tilts to rack up a quick lead en route to a technical fall and a 5-0 Exeter lead. Next up was a showdown of two PIAA AAA 4th place finishers from a year ago. Wade Cummings of Downingtown East, holding the #2 ranking in the state, squared off against the Eagle's # 3 Brett Kulp in a rematch of the King of the Mountain semifinals that saw Kulp drop an overtime decision on a questionable call. Kulp fought off Cummings' leg attacks through the first period, heading to the second in a scoreless bout. Kulp managed to ride Cummings for the entire second period, but also found himself picking up his second stall call giving his opponent a 1-0 lead headed to the third. In the third, Kulp quickly escaped to tie the bout. After several back and forth attempts, with about :30 seconds left, Kulp was called for another stall, putting him behind 2-1. At that point, his strategy changed, and Kulp walked into a shot from Cummings. With Cummings in deep on his leg, Kulp hit a "funk" roll putting him in position to score - which he did with about 7 seconds remaining. Kulp walked off the mat victorious with a big win over an opponent he'll likely see again come March.
Nolan Watts (138/FR) filled in for the Eagles next, in order for them to move their lineup for more favorable matchups. Watts was pinned by another Downingtown standout, Nik Zimmerman, giving the Cougars their first points on the board at 9-6. Kulp didn't have the only exciting bout, not by a long shot. Justin Landis (138/JR) bumped up to take on Downingtown East's Ryan Newbaum. The match saw a few flurries in the first two periods; however, the third period brought the crowd to their feet. Landis in deep on the legs found himself in a cradle, and suddenly on his back. He fought to get out of the cradle, and was turned once again. Finally, Landis found his opportunity and hit Newbaum with a "cement job" landing him flat on his back and picking up the fall with less than :20 remaining in the match.
Tyler Harkness (145/JR) continued the bump in weights moving up to 152. Harkness scored on his feet a couple of times before he locked up a cradle and stuck Jack Clay mid-way through the second period. At 160, Tyler Bagoly (152/JR) has been on a hot streak. Bagoly continuously tried to open up his opponent, with sporadic success. He dominated the action and scoring from start to finish, racking up a 9-0 major decision and a 24-6 Eagles advantage. The crowd erupted during introductions for Exeter's 170-pounder. Fan favorite, Scott Schaeffer (170/JR), had been sidelined since early January with a broken bone in his hand was cleared just hours earlier. Down from his usual weight class of 182, Schaeffer was on the offensive from the onset. Not as well conditioned as he normally is, Schaeffer managed the match well, handing Downingtown East yet another loss, defeating Alec Horne 3-2. Horne came into the match with a 32-6 record.
Greenleaf working for the pin in overtime.
Nolan Buck (182/JR) once again gutted out a tough win over a quality opponent. Buck posted a dominating 4-0 workmanlike win, pushing the Eagles advantage to 30-6. Sophomore sensation Denny Karas (195/SO) took to the mat next. Karas wasted little time getting to work. Once on top, he buried an arm bar and turned his opponent getting the fall at 1:50 of the first period. 220-pound Junior Jon Greenleaf found himself in a rematch from King of the Mountain with East's Carter Regitz. Greenleaf won the first meeting 8-0; however, this one would involve a lot more work, and a lot less scoring. Greenleaf seemed in control of the bout throughout, with Regitz never really mounting a scoring opportunity. Seemingly on his way to victory with a 2-1 lead, Greenleaf was nailed for a penalty point as time was expiring in the third period, forcing overtime. In the sudden victory period, Greenleaf was able to catch his opponent in double underhooks, and drove him to his back - picking up the overtime pin.
Oscar "Big O" Daniels took the stage at 285. Daniels scored early and seemed to coast through most of the match. After some encouragement from the sidelines, Daniels picked up his motion on offense, and became a scoring machine on his way to a 16-4 major decision. Dowingtown East picked up their final two wins at 106 and 113, winning by fall and a 7-2 decision over Brandon Borton (106/FR) and Ryan Watts (113/JR), respectively. In the finale, Exeter's undefeated Austin Desanto took his whirlwind offense to Downingtown East's Brett Horne with a 23-8 technical fall in just 1:40. Exeter advances for the first time to the Giant Center in the PIAA AAA Team Tournament. Their workload for Thursday will be taking on #2 Belle Vernon at 8:00 PM. Follow the Eagles state run on Twitter (@XTRWrestling) or Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/ExeterWrestling/).
• Click Here for the PIAA Team Tournament Schedule
• Click Here for the PIAA Team Tournament Bracket
Eagles Down Cedar Cliff, Finish 3rd In District III, Harkness wins 100th
HERSHEY, PA - The Exeter Eagles traveled to the Milton Hershey School for the third consecutive year to compete in the District III Consolation Finals. Victorious last year over rival Governor Mifflin, the Eagles faced a tough Cedar Cliff team with 3rd place in the district on the line - as well as a home pigtail match for the PIAA AAA Team State Tournament.
The team after taking 3rd place in the District.
The bout started at 220-pounds where Jon Greenleaf (220, JR) was relentless with pressure on the Cedar Cliff opponent. With no scoring through the first two minutes - each were warned for a stall. The pair traded escapes in the second and third periods to finish tied at 1-1 and forcing overtime. Overtime went much like regulation, trading a pair of escapes in the second overtime period, before getting to the "Ultimate Tie Breaker" - a 30-second ride-out period. Escape you win, get ridden for :30 you lose. Since Greenleaf scored the first points of the match, he had choice of position. Taking bottom, Greenleaf quickly got to his feet. The Cedar Cliff wrestler picked up Greenleaf's leg, but did nothing from there. Failing to make an attempt to return him to the mat, a stall was called, awarding Greenleaf the point and the Eagles first win of the dual.
Oscar Daniels (285, JR) was much less dramatic in his bout, immediately taking down the Cedar Cliff grappler to his back and winning by fall in :40 seconds, and pushing the Eagles lead to 9-0. Exeter's Brandon Borton (106, FR) was pinned in the next bout, and Eagle Junior Ryan Watts (113) dropped a hard fought 8-2 decision to one of the top lightweights in the district. With the score knotted at 9-9, Exeter's strength came up - Desanto (120, JR), Trey Harkness (126, SR) and Kulp (132, SR). The three have combined for a 103-10 record this season alone. Desanto got the Eagles back on track with a fall in 1:01. Harkness used the full six minutes to register a 4-3 decision. Harkness' decision was the 100th victory of his high school career - a career that he'd like to finish off with a state medal later in the season.
James Harkness after his 100th win Saturday.
Kulp made quick work of his opponent with a fall in 1:32, as the Eagles saw their lead grow to 24-9 heading into the 138-pound bout. At 138, Junior Justin Landis battled to the final seconds against one of Cedar Cliff's top wrestlers, Gabriel Ikeda. Ikeda got the better end of things, and walked off with an 8-6 decision. Nolan Watts (138/145, SO) stepped in at 145 to set the Eagles gameplan in motion. Against a very physical opponent, Watts battled but was simply out-gunned, losing by fall. Exeter held on to a 6-point lead heading into 152/160 bouts which were clearly the turning point of the meet.
With each team weighing in two wrestlers at 152, the matchups here would be critical to the outcome of the meet. Exeter, having won the pre-match coin flip, had the advantage here, as Cedar Cliff had to present their wrestler first. Cedar Cliff sent Collin Toggas to the table at 152-pounds, expecting Exeter to try and avoid the senior standout. However, Exeter's plan was to go toe to toe with their strength and responded with Ty Bagoly (152, JR). Bagoly has been on a hot streak recently with 2 victories over wrestlers ranked in the top 10 in the state in the past two weeks. Bagoly continued his roll, scoring an early takedown in the first period. Bagoly built a 4-2 lead by the end of the third, only surrendering an escape and one penalty point, before Toggas reached back in the final seconds and caught "Bags" in a headlock for a two-point reversal as time expired. Now, tied at 4-4, they went to sudden victory overtime. Bagoly wasted all of 15 seconds in securing a takedown and the win pushing Exeter to a 27-18 advantage.
Next up was the second half of the plan. Tyler Harkness (145, JR) weighed in at 152 to be eligible for this weight class. He got the matchup the Eagles had hoped for against Clayton Gause. Gause came out and scored a quick first period takedown. Harkness got to his feet where Guase lifted him in the air and viciously returned him to the mat. Wrestling was stopped, and Harkness was awarded a point for an illegal slam. After using about :45 seconds of recovery time, Harkness told his coaches and the trainer he was ready to continue. Harkness entered the second period down 2-1. Guase chose bottom, and he chose wrong. Harkness immediately locked up a cradle, putting Gause on his back where he would end the match with a fall at 3:56. The Eagles now held a 33-18 advantage with 3 bouts remaining.
At 170 pounds, John Harrell (160, SO) could not beat the hands of his opponent on his feet, and was unable to score as he planned. Harrell dropped a 10-4 decision. The score now 33-21, Cedar Cliff would need two falls to tie with two bouts remaining. 182-pounder Nolan Buck, gutted out the match against a tough Emerson Wentz of Cedar Cliff. Buck was in position to steal the win throughout; however, he just couldn't get over the hump, dropping a 3-2 decision - and locking up the bout for the Eagles by putting things out of reach. Denny Karas (195, SO) took on Cedar Cliff's UNC-bound Josh Collello, ranked #3 in the state at 182 pounds. Karas made Collello work hard throughout the match, often slowing his scoring opportunities, and keeping the match within reach; however, Collello proved to be a little too much for Karas, and took the bout 6-2. The final 33-27.
Exeter's win marks the second time in as many years they've finished third in District III (both times behind perennial powers Central Dauphin and Cumberland Valley). The win gives Exeter a home pigtail bout in the State Tournament on Monday, February 8 at 7:00 PM. The Eagles will host Downingtown East - the third place finisher from District I. The Eagles have seen their season end at this point the past two years, but have expectations to see the mat in Hershey on Thursday - so come out and support the Eagles in their last home action of the season.
Eagles Advance To District III Semis
REIFFTON, PA - The Exeter wrestling team hosted the District III Preliminary and Quarterfinal Rounds for the first time in school history. As the # 4 seed, Exeter was matched up against Manheim Central in an elimination match - win or go home.
The Eagles delivered in front of their home crowd, hammering Manheim Central 54-18. While the win wasn't a surprise, once again the team stepped up and surprised the coaching staff with the margin of victory. The meet was highlighted by an opening bout win for Dom Caccesse (170, SR). Stepping into the varsity lineup, Caccesse went to the "Ultimate Tie Breaker" - a :30 second ride-out. Caccesse quickly escaped to get the Eagles on the board, and they didn't look back. Others posting wins against Manheim Central for the Eagles were Ryan Watts (Fall 3:46), Austin Desanto (Forfeit), Trey Harkness (10-2 major decision), Brett Kulp (Fall 3:07), Justin Landis (Fall 4:33), Tyler Bagoly (6-1 decision), John Harrell (Fall 3:42), Denny Karas (Fall 2:45), Jon Greenleaf (Fall 3:48) and Oscar Daniels (13-5 major decision).
John Harrell with a headlock.
With the win, the Eagles advanced to the quarterfinal matchup against # 5 Spring Grove. On paper, this match looked to be very tight, and bonus points seemed to figure into the equation - getting them, and not giving them. Once again, the boys delivered, BIG TIME, posting a 47-18 shellacking. The match started off in Exeter's favor as Nolan Buck came from behind with seconds left to post a two-point takedown and two-point near fall. Buck's late match heroics earned him a 4-3 decision in what figured to be a key bout. Karas, Greenleaf and Daniels followed up Buck's win with a pin and two decisions, respectively. Brandon Borton and Ryan Watts dropped matches to give Spring Grove their first points, and two of their four wins in the dual.
James Harkness works a bar.
Austin Desanto entertained the crowd with a technical fall and was followed by a pair of dominating pins by Trey Harkness and Brett Kulp. Spring Grove's bump away from Kulp backfired when Anthony Hinson found himself staring at the lights to finish the third period as Justin Landis stole a 10-7 decision. Tyler Harkness almost stole another win for the good guys, but ran out of time in a 3-1 loss at 145 pounds. Tyler Bagoly and John Harrell followed with a pair of pins, while Dom Caccesse dropped the final bout of the evening. Exeter advances to the District III Semifinals where they'll face familiar foe, and perennial power, Central Dauphin. The matches are held at Spring Grove, and wrestling will begin Thursday at 5:30 PM.