Honesdale closed out its regular season slate with two big wins
Local high school wrestling fans were treated to a pair of dominating performances this week, courtesy of Honesdale.
On Tuesday, the Hornets traveled to Wallenpaupack Area for their annual battle with the Buckhorns and took no prisoners. When the final buzzer sounded, the Red & Black had rolled to a 57-11 victory.
“This has been a great local rivalry for a lot of years,” Head Coach Ryan Chulada said.
“Usually when Honesdale and Paupack square off it’s a backyard brawl. This time around, though, we really came ready to wrestle and just took it to them. It was a very good win.”
Less than 24 hours later, the Hornets were back in the mat hosting East Stroudsburg North in a non-league encounter.
And, they kept that momentum going with an even more electrifying effort. This one ended with a 66-9 win, their 21st of the 2017-18 season.
“On paper, this is a match we knew we should win,” Coach Chulada said.
“I’m certainly not taking anything for granted, but we have bigger fish to fry. We need to be focused and ready for districts because there’s some unfinished business there.”
Honesdale lost out on a Class AA title last year by a measly half-point, trailing only Hanover Area in the final standings.
The Red & Black will begin this year’s gold medal quest Friday, Feb. 23 at the Kingston Armory.
Paupack got off to a fast start at home against the Hornets Tuesday night.
However, Honesdale came roaring back to post a dominating win over its longtime mat rival.
Brandon Lawson was off to a scintillating start in the first bout of the evening.
The 152-pounder rocketed out to a 10-2 lead over Anthony Krug. However, Lawson suffered a broken nose midway through the second period and was forced to default.
Gerald Pepper also turned in a solid effort, but came out on the short end of a 5-2 decision at the hands of Dylan Hartman at 160.
From that point on, though, the Red & Black simply dominated the match
Tristan Bodie powered his way to an 8-2 win at 106 while Ethan Chokshi (126) and Ken Huber (285) also claimed decisions.
Winning by fall for the Hornets were: Peter West (113), Jordan Young (120), Matt Davis (132), Joey Rutledge (138), Hunter Parenti (145), Michael O'Day (170), Jake Kabonick (182) and Mike Ehrlich (195).
A big, raucous crowd packed the high school gym Tuesday to witness a Senior Night celebration capped by a 66-9 rout of ESN.
“We're really going to miss these kids,” Coach Chulada said of his eight soon-to-be graduates.
“They've worked so hard and been a huge part of this program for a long time. They've really bought into what we've been preaching the last four years. And, they've been outstanding leaders on and off the mat.”
Senior wrestlers honored at an emotional pre-match ceremony were...
•Matt Davis: A four-year member of the team, Matt is a multi-sport standout who also played on the varsity football squad. Matt served as a team captain for the 2017-18 season.
He is the son of Steven Davis and plans to attend Bloomsburg University and study criminal justice.
•Ken Huber: A two-year member of the varsity team, Ken also starred on the track and football squads.
He is the son of Ron Huber and Tiffany Lee. Ken plans to enlist in the United States Navy after graduation to become a machinist's mate.
•John Kuhns-Miller: A five-year member of the program, John also played on the football team.
He is the sone of Jennifer Kuhns-Miller and Robert Dexheimer. John's future plans include attending Lackawanna College to study criminal justice.
•Michael O'Day: A six-year member of the wrestling program, Michael also ran cross country for four years. He was named a team captain this winter.
Michael is the son of Michael & Jenny O'Day. After graduation, he plans to enlist in the US Army.
•Gerald Pepper: A three-year member of the varsity, Gerald also ran on the cross country team. He served as a captain for this season's wrestling team.
Gerald is the son of Mark & Jennifer Pepper. His future plans include attending college and majoring in education.
•Joseph Rutledge: A three-year member of the varsity squad, Joey was voted a team captain for the 2017-18 season.
He is the son of Ryan & Bonnie Rutledge. His future plans are to study history at a four-year university.
•Corinne Wohlmaker: A two-year member of the team, Corinne also played varsity field hockey and ran track. She is the daughter of Jodi Donlin and will be attending Shippensburg in the fall to pursue a degree in psychology.
•Maurice Young: A three-year member of the varsity team, Maurice is the son of Rick & Irene Young.
His future plans include attending Keystone College to major in criminal justice.
Senior Night got going with ESN forfeiting two of the first three bouts, thereby digging a hole that the T-Wolves would not escape.
Jordan Young posted the Hornets' first on-mat win, cruising to a 12-5 decision at 120 pounds.
After yet another forfeit at 128, Matt Davis brought a roar from the crowd with a second period pin. His clamp of Jeremy Sanchez (3:28) extended Honesdale's lead to 27-0.
To their credit, the T-Wolves notched back-to-back wins at 138 and 145, . However, these would be their final points of the evening as the home team reeled off seven straight wins to close out the match.
Lawson got things rolling with a fall at 152. Despite wearing a padded mask to protect his broken nose, Brandon needed just :32 to put away Moshe Mitchell.
Pepper powered his way to a 7-0 decision at 160, after which O'Day and Kabonick each won by forfeit.
Ehrlich earned his second pin in as many nights, putting the clamps on ESN's Nick Paredes at 195.
Kuhns-Miller and Huber followed with falls of their own at 220 and 285, respectively.
Bodie brought down the curtain on a successful Senior Night by accepting a forfeit at 106.