The future of local scholastic wrestling was on display for all to see recently at West Scranton.


The future of local scholastic wrestling was on display for all to see recently at West Scranton.


On a dark snowy night in the Electric City, Honesdale’s junior high team dominated the homestanding Invaders en route to an impressive 54-39 victory.


“I’m very proud of the boys,” Coach Darren Diehl told TWI Sports just moments after the match. “They went out there and wrestled smart. This was a good win for us. Anytime you can beat a team like West Scranton on their home mat, you have to be happy...and I’m very happy.”


The young Hornets are 9-3 thus far in the 2007-‘08 season. Next up for the Red & Black is a trip to Montrose Area for that school’s annual duals tourney.


Looking Back


Honesdale’s junior high team enjoyed an outstanding season a year ago. The young Hornets piled up 18 victories and finished behind only Wallenpaupack Area in the standings.


The Bucks won their second consecutive Lackawanna League championship, posting an eye-popping 30-1 overall record.


Among last years’ Hornet highlights were a victory over perennial powerhouse Abington Heights (58-33) and a second place finish at the Wilkes Barre Meyers Invitational.


Looking Ahead


After the Montrose tournament, Honesdale returns home for three important Lackawanna League matches.


On Tuesday, January 8th, the Hornets play host to Scranton. Two nights later, Lackawanna Trail comes calling.


Then, on Tuesday, January 15th, Abington Heights visits the Maple City. The Comets will be looking to avenge last year’s lopsided loss.


All three of these are slated for a 6:00 p.m. start.


The final four dual matches of Honesdale’s season will take place on the road. Among the highlights of that brutal stretch are battles with local rivals Pau-pack (Thursday, January 24th) and Western Wayne (Saturday, January 26th).


The 2007-‘08 Sectional tournament will be held Saturday, February 9th at Crestwood. The District Two tourney is scheduled for Saturday, February 16th at Lake Lehman.
Tri-Captains


This year’s tri-captains are veterans of the Honesdale junior high program. Carl Jurkowski, Dalton Derrick and Mike Hardler each played an important role in last year’s success.


Jurkowski is the trio’s quiet leader. Carl is a freshman who competes at 100 lbs. He’s quick, wiry and strong...a combination that gives enemy wrestlers fits on the mat.
To date, Jurkowski has lost just once. He is dominating his bouts and raising the bar for his teammates. In time, Honesdale coaches might move him down to 95 lbs...a spot at which he may be unbeatable.


“Carl isn’t the loudest kid in the world, but he leads by example,” Coach Diehl said. “Carl  is very, very smart. He always knows the match score, where he is on the mat and what he has to do. He rarely makes a mental mistake and he almost never gives up bonus points.”


Derrick is the team leader in nearly every major statistical category. Another in a talented group of freshmen, Dalton will carry an undefeated record with him to Montrose.


One of the hardest workers on the squad, Derrick has improved by leaps & bounds over the course of the past two seasons. Dalton has gotten bigger, stronger and honed his athleticism by playing football.


Derrick is also versatile. He’s the kind of kid you can plug in anywhere from 185 to 210...and still get results.


“Dalton is just a banger,” said Coach Diehl. “He’s so big and strong that he dominates a lot of the kids he faces. Dalton is always in-your-face. He’s a very vocal leader on the mat and in the practice room.”


Hardler is in his second season as a team captain. Mike battled his way into the starting line-up as an eighth grader and made a big impression on the Hornet staff.
“He showed us a lot of leadership last season,” said Coach Diehl. “Mike’s had to deal with some adversity this year, and we’ve been moving him around a little bit in the line-up. He’s a very good leader and he’ll do anything to help the team.”


Hardler competes most often at 130 pounds. Mike has been in and out of the starting line-up early this season. However, he came up with two big wins in back-to-back matches with Paupack and West Scranton.