Western Wayne's wrestling team turns in another stellar performance
It's been another banner season for Western Wayne's varsity wrestling team.
The Wildcats de-throned Honesdale, reclaiming their spot atop Division II of the Lackawanna League with a perfect 7-0 record.
Coach Dante Terenzio's lads followed that up with a stellar performance at the 2017-18 District Duals, winding up just one win short of a trip to states.
Western Wayne's latest accomplishment came this past weekend with a solid effort at the District Two individual meet. The 'Cats battled their way to a third place finish in Class AA, trailing only Honesdale and Lake Lehman in the final team standings.
Three wrestlers earned gold medals at this year's event, which was held at the Kingston Armory.
Cole Fuller extended his unbeaten streak, notching three pins en route to first place at 220 pounds. He was joined on the dais by Braden McIntosh and Matt Leslie, who triumphed at 152 and 138, respectively.
Kasen Taylor powered his way to a bronze medal at 160 pounds.
All four will represent Western Wayne at this year's Northeast Regional Tournament, which is tentatively scheduled for March 2-3 at Williamsport High School.
“I'm very pleased with how we did overall,” said Coach Terenzio. “Anytime you can crown multiple district champions and advance four kids to regionals, you're doing all right.”
On the Dais
Cole Fuller has been a man on a mission this year.
The senior has re-written Western Wayne's record books, piling up win after win and pin after pin.
Fuller finished up the regular season undefeated at 27-0. He added three more wins to his resume this past weekend, running his streak to 30 straight.
Cole is the school's all-time winningest wrestler with 135. Even more impressively, he's also notched an eye-popping 107 falls in his varsity career.
The battle-tested senior wasted not time in roaring to another title at districts.
Fuller pinned Luke Dougherty of Prep (3:04), Shane Repasky of Greater Nanticoke Area (1:43) and Valley View's Connor Judge (3:10) on his way to the 220-pound crown.
Cole will be making his fourth consecutive trip to regionals.
“He's peaking at the right time,” Coach Terenzio said.
“Cole dominated his bracket at districts and he's seeded second overall in the region. I fully expect Cole to advance to the state tournament. He's at the top of his game right now.”
McIntosh is also a four-time regional qualifier after going unbeaten in the 152-pound bracket.
Braden earned the 100th win of his varsity career on Saturday, a 2-0 overtime thriller against Lake Lehman's Nick Zaboski.
He followed that up with win number 101, a grueling 2-1 decision over Honesdale's Brandon Lawson in the finals.
“Braden avenged a couple of tough losses from earlier in the season,” said Coach Terenzio. “He's improved tremendously since the start of the year. I'm very proud of Braden and all he's accomplished.”
Still just a freshman, Leslie is already carving out a place for himself among the Lackawanna League's elite grapplers.
Matt opened up his gold medal quest on Friday with a hard-fought 3-1 decision over Montrose's Makeela Fabrizio. He then stunned the crowd with a first period pin of Wyoming Area's top-seeded Robin Wrobleski.
This catapulted Leslie into the finals where he posted a 7-5 decision over second-seeded Hunter Burke of Lake Lehman.
“Matt is the first freshman district champion in school history,” Coach Terenzio announced. “He really stepped up this past weekend and wrestled like a seasoned veteran.”
Taylor rounds out this year's contingent of Western Wayne qualifiers.
Kasen began his road to the medals stand with an opening round clamp of WB Meyers' Greg Amberes (4:24). He followed that up with a lightning-quick pin of Elk Lake's Kellen Wescott (:21).
Taylor dropped into the consolation bracket after losing 19-7 to Alec Buttner of Scranton Prep. However, he bounced right back with two wins to claim third place overall.
“Kasen is a brawler on the mat,” Coach Terenzio said with a smile. “He's a great kid, but he's mean and nasty on the mat. Kasen is very coachable. He's worked incredibly hard this year to get where he is.”
A total of 10 Wildcats walked out of the Kingston Armory Saturday night with medals in tow.
In addition to the four regional qualifiers, six other 'Cats ascended the podium.
Leading the way were fourth place finishers Mitchell Herzog (132) and Alex Hollister (195).
Dimitri Reggie battled his way to a fifth place showing at 106, while Nathan Koch (113), Dillon Dante (120) and Jack McAllister (285) wound up sixth.
“I'm proud of all our kids,” Coach Terenzio said. “I wish we could have punched one or two more through to regionals, but we have nothing to hang our heads about.
“I'm pretty optimistic about our chances at the regional tournament. I think we have a real shot to do some damage there.”