Whitehall-Coplay Press

Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Press photo by Nancy ScholzKevin Urena had a solid showing at the Whitehall Duals. Press photo by Nancy ScholzKevin Urena had a solid showing at the Whitehall Duals.

Hurricanes take top spot at Zephyr Duals

Friday, January 12, 2018 by Steve andres Special to the Press in Sports

It was a busy Saturday morning for the Whitehall wrestling team in their role as hosts at the annual Zephyr Duals.

They wrestled back-to-back matches, the first one against Somerville (N.J.), the second against Quakertown. They lost to the Pioneers, 48-22, and then lost to the Panthers, 57-15. They rebounded later in the day with wins against Dieruff and Catasauqua.

The Zephyr Duals, now in its 20th year, brought together 16 area schools as they competed last Saturday in the dual meet format. The tournament was won by Liberty as they prevailed against High Point, N.J. The Hurricanes’ win comes on the heels of finishing first in the Bethlehem Holiday Wrestling Classic last weekend.

Head coach Tim Cunningham said that it’s important to be prepared every single match, especially when they’re facing quality opponents.

“We need to step it up both mentally and physically and just go out and wrestle to the best of our ability,” said Cunningham. “We need to make sure the guys do not go out and wrestle being afraid to lose and just go out and try and score points.”

In order to achieve that, they’ll need to stay focused and concentrate on all aspects of competing when stepping onto the mat. That came into play as they won their next two matches, defeating the Huskies and Rough Riders.

“We will work on building up both mental and physical toughness the next phase of the season, as well as making little corrections individually with each wrestlers through sharing these corrections through video and demonstration on the mat,” said Cunningham. “We won our last two matches in the tournament with a more aggressive relentless attacking style looking to score points at all times and in all positions.

“Once we start believing in our ability against the toughest competition we will start making improvements out on the mat when it counts.”

The Zephs had a number of wrestlers who were successful at the Duals, including Kevin Urena who won both morning matches, defeating Somerville’s Matthew Patella, 5-1, and pinning Quakertown’s Kevin DeSpirito in 4:48.

At 170, Mike Ajami also posted two wins against the Pioneers and Panthers. He earned a 15-2 major decision over Somerville’s Gerard Zukowitz, and then won by decision against Quakertown’s Micah Kunkle, 7-0.

Julio Diaz was also impressive in his bout against Quakertown’s Nikolas Long, pinning him in 0:58. He began with a shot at a single leg and worked that for the takedown. Diaz stayed aggressive. working an arm bar until he got the fall midway through the first period.

Cunningham said that they’re going to get right back in their wrestling room and make the necessary improvements through the studying of video, and then make the corrections with the wrestlers at practice.

“We preach to the guys to get better everyday and work on scoring points in all positions,” said Cunningham.