KINGSTON — Since Wyoming Seminary started its current run of success in 2007, many have wondered how that would translate in the PIAA.
The question was answered in a way on Saturday as the Blue Knights hosted their Friends of Sem Wrestling Duals.
The response by Seminary about the challenge of the PIAA — there wouldn’t be one.
Seminary smacked the top-ranked team Class 3A in the state in the tournament’s finals, winning 60-13 over Franklin Regional, which finished third in the PIAA Duals Championships last season and was third as a team in the PIAA Championships.
“We wanted to send a message today of how big the gap was between us and public school teams in Pennsylvania,” Sem coach Scott Green said. “We have respect for them and obviously there’s a tremendous amount of talent in this state. But a lot of times the prep schools kinda fly under the radar, and we just wanted to show bringing them in here and competing as hard as we could, that there’s a big gap.”
The Blue Knights didn’t have any problems throughout the tournament, outscoring their opponents by a cumulative score of 256-40. They defeated St. Benedict’s 68-9, The Hill School, 74-6 and Malvern Prep 54-12.
Against the Panthers, who are currently ranked No. 10 in the nation to Sem’s No. 2 ranking, the Blue Knights picked up eight falls, including six straight to end the dual, which was streamed live on flowrestling.org. The last five pins all came in the first period and four of them were all on the same throw that Green teaches his bigger wrestlers because of their larger upper bodies.
“Our guys do a nice job of protecting their upper body and hit some tosses. And once you make a throw like that, guys aren’t getting off their back,” Green said.
One of the biggest wins for the Blue Knights in the final came from 152-pounder Nick Reenan, as he defeated Josh Shields, who was third in the state last season. Reenan won 11-7, putting the match away with a late takedown. Reenan was in control of the match, holding a four-point lead with about 20 seconds left. Instead of just playing stay away from his opponent, he got more points. Shields got the last points of the bout on a reversal as the clock wound down.
“The best part about Nick Reenan is he’s upset he got reversed at the end,” Green said. “He’s not focused right now on the five or six takedowns that he scored. He’s mad that he didn’t get bonus points for the team and he’s mad that he got reversed at the end.
“To wrestle another kid ranked that highly in the country and compete as hard as he did, he should be one of the happiest kids in the world. But right now he’s regretting that reversal and that’s why he’s in the position he’s in.”
Also in the tournament and finishing third was Wyoming Valley West. The Spartans’ only loss in the event came to Regional, 41-18. They defeated St. Benedict’s 52-22 in the third-place match and knocked off St. Anthony’s (40-27) and Johnson City (47-25) in pool play.
More importantly for the Spartans, who opened their 2013-14 season, returning state qualifier Travis Roper went 4-0 on the day, including a 14-1 win over two-time Prep National All-American Jawan Jones from St. Benedict’s.
His WVW teammate Cody Cordes, who was in a brutal weight class last season and missed out on states, went 3-1, only losing a triple-overtime decision to Shields. Nathan Cheek also had a big day for the Spartans picking up three wins with his only loss coming to Franklin Regional’s Michael Kemerrer, state runner-up from last season.
“Those two (Roper and Cordes) they’re going to be tough,” WVW coach Drew Feldman said. “They both have goals of getting medals on the state medal stand. But it’s about consistency. They can’t come out and wrestle those awesome guys then not wrestle on that same level next time out. If they’re both consistent, they’re both going to make a deep run.
The Spartans open their WVC schedule on Wednesday at Pittston Area before facing another Division I foe, Coughlin next week. Feldman said Saturday’s action against tough wrestlers will only help heading into those two divisional showdowns.
“It’s a good confidence-booster for the kids,” the coach said. “They have a lot of confidence right now and we need it. We have a tough part of our schedule coming up.”
Meyers, Hanover Area and GAR competed in the tournament at Bloomsburg High School over the weekend, and Meyers was the highest of the three in the team standings, finishing eighth. The Hawkeyes and Grenadiers were 13 and 15, respectively.
GAR was the only one of the three to crown a champion as Zac Faust won the 220-pound weight class, going 3-0 in the event, including a pair of first-period falls. In the finals, he defeated Ryan Martin of Pine Grove 7-4. Meyers’ T.J. Cistrunk (170) was the only other finalist from the WVC teams. He took second, finishing with two wins in the tourney.
Dallas finishes eighth
At the Brian Bealer Memorial Boyertown Bear Duals, Dallas went 1-4, finishing eighth with a win over Interboro and close losses to Harry S. Truman and Council Rock North.
The Mountaineers were led by four wins apiece from Nick Luzetski (152), Logan Brace (160) and Ryan Monk (285). Dominic Oliveri picked up three wins for Dallas at 195.