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SOL Wrestling Notebook
TOUGH ESCAPING THE ROCK
ETR at Council Rock South Lives up to Expectations
by Glenn Kaiser
Quakertown’s Colin Gaj was the only SOL wrestler to Escape the Rock with a championship belt this past weekend. Gaj won the 145-pound weight-class at Council Rock South HS in a who’s-who of scholastic wrestling with a win over Christian Brothers Academy’s (NJ) Julian George by decision, 6-2. The Panthers finished just out of the top-10 in 11th place with 82-points. The Golden Hawks own Bek Sadriddinov garnered silver, finishing as the runner-up at 160-pounds, losing a tough match 5-3 to Jersey’s Jasiah Queen from St. John Vianney. Sadriddinov used a tight cradle in the second-period of his semifinal match to stun Lehigh Valley’s Dagen Condomitti from Northampton to reach finals.
Q-town’s Mason Ziegler looked destined to move into the finals at 121-pounds up against Faith Christian Academy’s Gauge Botero when he was hit with a controversial call leading to a 2-1 overtime TB2 loss. Ziegler rebounded in the consolation final, winning 3-2 over Holy Spirit’s (NJ) Max Elton 3-2. Fellow Panther Calvin Lachman continued to wrestle well up at 215-pounds, as he captured bronze with his 3-1 victory in the third-place bout, downing Christian Brothers’ Robert Canterino to add to Quakertown’s team score.
CR South’s other place-winner, Connor Lenahan managed to finish in seventh place with a 2-1 win over James W. Robinson’s Caden Smith in his final bout of this grueling two-day tournament. Every weight-class was stacked with talent, and to stand on the podium at ETR is a tremendous accomplishment, and certainly valuable experience to take into the upcoming post-season.
CR South placed 17th overall in the team scoring with 54-points. Golden Hawk Luke Reitter, a state-place winner a year ago, returned to the mats at 114-pounds and went 3-2 at ETR. His return should tighten up CR South’s lineup as they look to be the #1 seed in the upcoming District One Team Championships. Although Pennridge failed to place any wrestlers at ETR, they posted 42 points to finish in the top-25 in 21st place as they also gear up for the postseason, looking like the #2 seed in the D1 AAA bracket, which will be a 16-team competition for four spots in the state bracket. Quakertown, which should be in the mix in the team championships, looks to return Gavin Carroll to their lineup, which will make them dangerous as they hope for a top four seed in D1.
Other contenders from the SOL looking to gain a spot in the D1 Team Championships include Pennsbury (11-4) who downed CR North 39-24 Wednesday after dropping two matches to the PAC’s toughest teams Spring-Ford and Boyertown. Boyertown also owns a win over Q-town this season. Pennsbury looks like a team that could fall in the #10 or #11 seed in the bracket. Souderton has an outside chance to make the bracket, but a losing record of 7-11 will hurt their chances. Central Bucks South could make the field with their up-and-coming squad, that is sitting on a 7-4 record, but recently lost to Souderton by 1-point 30-29. Upper Dublin should slide in as they are having an impressive season with 15 wins and just one D1 loss to Quakertown. We will have to wait and see who enters, and gains a berth this weekend, as Neshaminy continues to be tough out, standing at 11-7 overall, and CB East is coming off a solid 37-28 win over Souderton this week, and they will host their own dual tourney this coming weekend. The seeding meeting takes place this coming Sunday, the 16-teams that get in will do battle next Thursday at the highest seed’s home gym. A bit of a change from the past where teams wrestled first round matches in groups at a neutral site. The D1 team finals are set to be hosted by Upper Dublin on Saturday Feb. 4, 2023.
The excitement building up to the postseason continues this weekend with a Pennsbury tri-meet with Pennridge and CB South along with the Quakertown Duals. Other dual meet events include the Spartan Clash at Springfield and the Golden Bear Duals at Upper Moreland. Souderton and Hatboro-Horsham will travel to Lehighton to test their mettle in the Cole Cracker Invitational featuring a large field that includes powerful Faith Christian Academy.
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