Glenn Kaiser features the conference races in all three conferences and also lists his SOL team rankings.
SOL CONFERENCE UPDATE
Newcomer to the SOL American, Abington will look to upset the applecart this coming week. After a convincing 40-28 win over Plymouth Whitemarsh this past week, the Ghosts will turn their focus on taking down Wissahickon. Abington had an early season loss to the Trojans at the Ghost Town Duals, losing narrowly 36-31. Next Wednesday, a day before the first round of the 2019 District One Team Championships, the Ghosts will again host the Trojans for perhaps the SOL American dual title. The SOL conferences will determine all conference champions with a combination of points earned in dual wins and finish at the league individual championships.
It is the last hurdle for an 11-4 Wissahickon team that has been outstanding this season and is undefeated in league action at 5-0. Abington (9-10) has an identical 5-0 record in the conference and has won three straight matches since losing to West Chester Rustin 51-21 at the Northern Lebanon Berserker Duals. The Ghosts beat J.P. McCaskey 44-28 and Pine Grove 48-36 prior to the P-W victory. It will not be an easy task for the Abington wrestlers, as the Ghosts still have Hatboro-Horsham, who downed them 40-32 at the Ghost Town Duals, remaining on the schedule as well. Nonetheless, the Ghosts will be counting on freshmen Shane Kibler (22-7) at 132-pounds and Colin Hamsher (13-13) 106lbs, Jake Rose (21-7) 126lbs, Nicholas Castorina (17-12) 138lbs and big man Maliq Strother (21-8) 285lbs to lead the charge against the Trojans.
Quakertown once again is looking to claim a SOL team title, but this year it is in the Continental Conference. Quakertown took down North Penn, the three-time reigning champs in the conference, 43-28 this past Wednesday. The victory has put them in the driver’s seat at 2-0 in the league with the other convincing victory coming against Souderton 52-24 earlier in 2018. The Panthers are 7-5 overall, with their losses only coming against some of the state’s best teams, including Council Rock South, D12’s Father Judge and AA power Muncy.
The Panthers used bonus points in every match they won, eight in all, against North Penn. In typical fashion, under the spotlight in a packed gym on Senior Night, the Panthers recorded five pin-falls, a tech-fall and two major decisions to run away in the team score against the Knights. Corey Cope’s late fall over the Knights’ Eddie Galang was perhaps the match that decided the outcome after the 120-pound contest.
Zack Lewis (126), Dom DeFalco (138) and Jake Wheeler (152) sealed the deal with bonus point wins as North Penn grapplers William Morrow (132) and Alec Schrum (145) sandwiched their own wins in between to attempt a late comeback. Quakertown’s relentless attacks from the top position and deadly cradles were the difference throughout the dual meet. The Panthers anticipate the return of Patrick McCoy to their lineup, hopefully, a quick return in time for the D1 Duals as they look to advance to the D1 Team Championships elite eight.
First round D1 Team Championship action will take place at two sites, Hatboro-Horsham and West Chester Rustin on Thursday, Jan. 24 (5:00pm/7:00pm), and the finals will conclude on Saturday, Feb. 2 (3:00pm), at Upper Dublin. Quarterfinal competition will take place at U.D. on Friday night, Feb. 1, 6:00pm.
Although CR South is standing alone at the top in the National Conference, it is Neshaminy that has turned the most heads with their success this season. Neshaminy stands at 12-5 overall and 3-1 in the league. The ‘Skins will be entering the 2019 D1 Duals to make a statement, and contend for one of four spots in the PIAA Team Championships. Neshaminy is coming off a huge 52-20 victory in their league dual with CR North and is building momentum at the right time. Neshaminy is led by Colton Jordan (20-1 at 126-pounds) and Jackson Erb (19-3 at 152 lbs.).
CR North is heading the other way as the Indians have suffered losses in three of their last four matches against solid competition. Two of those losses came at the hands of Neshaminy. CR North will most likely not be a top eight seed at the D1 Duals, and after high early season expectations for team success, they Indians find themselves struggling with a .500 record at 7-7.
The bright side for North is that all of their team losses have been delivered by superior competition, which in turn will pay dividends in the individual postseason for Luke Lucerne (126) 16-3, Cam Robinson (145) 17-3, Sammy Hayes (152) 16-8 and Dillon Sheehy (160) 18-6.
SOL Team Rankings (1/19/19):
1-Wissahickon Overall 11-4/SOL 5-0
3-North Penn 6-7/2-1
1-CR South 6-0/3-0
T3-CR North 7-7/2-2