Western Wayne's varsity wrestling squad posted a first-ever win over tourney hosts

TOWANDA — Western Wayne's varsity wrestling team turned in an historic performance this weekend.

The Wildcats traveled to Towanda to compete at the Tandy Mini Mart Duals and returned home with four wins and silver medals.

Coach Dante Terenzio's lads suffered just one loss at this year's tournament, a 45-18 decision to perennial District Four powerhouse Central Columbia.

The 'Cats responded with victories over Williamson (39-28), Catasauqua (50-25), Hanover Area (61-12) and Towanda (49-25).

This win over the host Knights was the first-ever for a Western Wayne team. The local lads finished third at Towanda last year and are off to a 5-1 start this year.

"That's just huge for our program," Coach Terenzio said of this breakthrough victory. "For us to beat a state-ranked team like Towanda on their mat is something we can really be proud of."

Next up for the 'Cats is a dual meet against Dallas.

This non-league match is slated for a 6:45 p.m start at the Western Wayne Middle School gym on Wednesday.

Big Numbers

While several Wildcats turned in impressive efforts at the Dandy Mini Mart Duals, one in particular stood out.

Virgil Burns hammered out a perfect 5-0 record to lead the way. A senior who competes at 195, Burns posted three falls and a pair of decisions in leading his team to a berth in the finals.

Burns, who went 12-4 in abbreviated varsity action a season ago, recorded falls against Catasauqua's Jared Nosal (1:10), Kaine Rimmer of Hanover (1:03) and Towanda's Dakota Manning (:48).

He added a 7-5 decision against Williamson's Mark Brennan and a 5-1 win over Matthew Hackenburg of Central Columbia.

"Virgil is doing a great job for us so far this year," said Coach Terenzio. "He's a very coachable kid who's changed his style quite a bit. Virgil used to be all about trying to overpower his opponent, but now his technique is much better."

Conner Rosensweet was nearly as impressive for the 'Cats. Another senior who piled up 36 wins a season ago, Rosensweet went 4-1 with four pins.

He dropped a tough 3-1 decision to Eric McCracken of Central Columbia at 220, but then reeled off clamps at heavyweight. Conner's victims were: Austin Moore of Williamson (1:59), Jacob Schlinkman of Catasauqua (1:53), Hanover Area's Jim Thieman (:21) and Talon Curry of Towanda (3:05).

"When Conner goes out on the mat, we're expecting him to get bonus points for the team," Coach Terenzio said. "He did everything we asked of him. Conner's only loss was to a state-ranked kid who finished second at regionals last year."

On Their Way

Manny Mirailh, Lucas Karnick, Brandon Hadden and Austin Swoyer also compiled 4-1 marks at the 11th annual tourney.

Mirailh wrestled at 160 and put on a takedown clinic in his five bouts.

Manny registered three pins and a tech fall. His lone loss of the day was a 3-2 heartbreaking decision at the hands of Towanda's Justin Hunsinger.

He posted falls at the expense of Central Columbia's Nicholas Fester (1:22), Colton Merwarth of Catasauqua (1:30) and Hanover's Tyler Bartnick (4:49). Mirailh rounded out his performance with an 18-1 tech fall over Conner Brown of Williamson.

Karnick is another senior who competes at 170.

Lucas dropped a razor-thin 6-5 loss Catasauqua's Zack Bradley, but followed that with a pair of majors and two decisions.

Hadden is yet another member of Western Wayne's talented senior class. Brandon wrestles at 182. He recorded two falls, posted one major decision and claimed a forfeit.

His lone setback was an 11-2 major at the hands of Catasauqua's Rhaine Sziy.

Swoyer is still just a junior, but showing signs of a breakout season.

At Towanda, Austin went 4-1 with three clamps at 220. He pinned Dakota Bolt of Williamson (1:34), Jerry Villalta of Catasauqua (:51) and Towanda's Terry Logan (2:19).

Another wrestler who earned high marks from his skipper was Chris Tomasetti.

A senior who just broke into the starting line-up at 145, Tomasetti posted a 3-2 record highlighted by a fall in the Towanda match.

"I'm very pleased with how Chris wrestled," said Coach Terenzio. "He put in a ton of work in the off-season and it's nice to see all that hard work finally paying off."