Hornet wrestlers enjoyed another solid campaign

While the varsity squad recorded a third straight 20-win season, Honesdale’s JV wrestling team recently closed out a stellar campaign of its own.

Under the watchful eye of veteran skipper Chris Carroll, the Hornets traveled all over the region competing both individually and collectively.

“I love it,” Coach Carroll said with a smile. “Years ago, the JV kids were lucky to get five or six bouts in an entire season. Now, they’re getting 20 or even 25 and that’s great news for everyone involved.”

Carroll has been around high school wrestling for two decades. He’s been a varsity head coach in his own right and heartily advocates this JV mat renaissance.

“I have to give Ryan (Chulada) a lot of the credit,” Coach Carroll said. “He was the one who really got the ball rolling. It’s so much fun to be a part of it and watching some of the other schools follow suit.”

Dominance

Honesdale hosted its annual junior varsity tournament in late January.

The event had been scheduled for earlier in the season, but had to be postponed due to inclement weather.

While several of the original schools had to withdraw because of scheduling conflicts, teams from both District Four and Eleven were only to happy to jump in.

Hence, the host Hornets went toe-to-toe with the likes of Delaware Valley, Wyoming Valley West, Pen Argyl, Wyalusing, Parkland and Stroudsburg.

“The competition was excellent,” Coach Carroll said. “It was a great experience for all of the kids on every team.”

Max Morea, Matt Zawitsky and Walker Carney led the way, each walking away with a gold medal.

Morea finished first at 120 pounds. A tough-as-nails sophomore, Max went 4-0 en route to the title.

“Max is really coming on strong,” said Coach Carroll. “He’s cracked the varsity line-up a few times this year and he has improved by leaps and bounds.”

Zawitsky also powered his way to an unbeaten record at 126 pounds. Matt also notched four wins and earned high marks from his mentor.

“Matt’s only a sophomore, but he has come a long way in a short amount of time,” Coach Carroll said. “We’re looking for bigger and better things out of Matt at the varsity level.”

Carney authored one of the tourney’s best stories.

A junior who enjoyed significant success with the varsity team this year, Walker lost a pair of bouts to the same opponent early in the year. However, he responded in the best way possible ... with an utterly dominant performance at the JV tourney.

Carney notched falls in both the semis and finals to capture gold at 285. In so doing, he avenged those early season losses.

“I’m so proud of Walker,” Coach Carroll said. “He lost to that kid from Stroudsburg twice, but then went out there and pinned him. Walker is making fantastic strides and I was so happy to see him get some redemption.”

Jon Ingenito Austyn Bivins and Luke Schwab also grabbed places on the podium.

Ingenito posted a 3-1 record in his bracket. The hard-charging sophomore finished second at 113 pounds.

“I love Jon ... he’s just a ball of fire,” Coach Carroll said. “This is his third year and he’s still learning. He’s definitely headed in a positive direction.”

Bivins is the lone senior among Honesdale’s medalists. He finished his varsity season with a 5-13 record and placed second at 138 pounds.

“Austyn contributed at the varsity level this year,” Coach Carroll said. “He was at a tough weight class, though, so it was good to see him doing well here too.”

Schwab is a junior who competes at 170 pounds, Luke is poised to make some serious noise at the next level. He finished second at the tournament.

“I’m really excited to see what Luke will do next season,” Coach Carroll said. “He’s greatly improved. Luke is very strong and he probably would’ve been a starter on most other varsity teams this year.”

Cody Gardner rounded out the Red & Black medal winners. A talented sophomore who goes head-to-head with Schwab every day in practice, Cody took third place.

“I’m very happy with how well Cody is doing,” Coach Carroll said. “He and Luke really push each other. It makes both of them better wrestlers and it makes us a better team.”

Over & Out

Honesdale officially brought down the curtain on its wrestling season with a strong showing at this year's “JV Districts.”

The event was hosted by Wilkes Barre Coughlin and saw a total of seven Hornets grab places on the dais.

Leading the way were individual champions Max Morea, Luke Schwab and Zach Beatty.

Walker Carney earned a silver medal, while Jon Ingenito won a bronze.

Ben Swartz and Jordan DeGroat rounded out the Red & Black attack with fourth place finishes.