Wrestlers 2nd at Donegal Tourney
It’s been a busy couple of weeks for the Whitehall wrestling team as they’ve spent the holiday break participating in a couple of tournaments that will get them ready for the heart of their conference schedule in the new year.
The first of those was the Donegal Invitational, a familiar venue for the maroon and gold who’ve spent the last four years trekking to Mount Joy, Pennsylvania to compete in the individual tourney.
Whitehall placed second in the tourney which featured nine teams. They earned 97 points, while host Donegal was tops with 111. The remaining teams were Camp Hill with 92, J.P. McCaskey with 91, Susquehannock with 81, Crestwood with 79, Elizabethtown with 60, Lebanon with 38, and Columbia with 28.
The Zephs crowned five champs as Wilfred Jimenez won at 108; Johnny Colon was the champ at 113; Xavier Arner was tops at 126; Josh Grol was first at 132, and Izak Bright got his hand raised in the championship bout at 220.
Additionally, Tyler Cunningham finished second at 120, while Kai Clark was third, earning a consolation win by fall over Donegal’s Garrett Blake. Sean Cunningham placed fourth at 170, and Aiden Toussaint also finished fourth wrestling at 145.
Both Colon and Bright won five matches en route to the championships, with Bright pinning each opponent to claim the title. Colon was equally as impressive, recording four pins and one technical fall to earn his title.
The tourney was also a place to get their junior varsity wrestlers on the mat as Tommy Ritter placed first at 195 and Steele Hess was tops at 285.
It was a successful tourney for the Zephs, the prelude to the local Christmas City gathering of 32 teams at the Bethlehem Holiday Wrestling Classic that was held last weekend.
Head coach Tim Cunningham said that they showcased sound technique at the Donegal tourney and that helped them have a strong tournament.
“We have been seeing improvements on the fundamentals and wrestling a little more aggressively,” said Cunningham. “We still need to work on just scoring points and mat awareness.”
With only one senior currently in the lineup, The Zephs feature a lot of underclassmen who are rapidly gaining varsity experience. Cunningham said that it’s a valuable opportunity “for our younger guys that have a lot of promise and really want to become wrestlers.”
It develops a common bond between them, he said.
“These guys really get along well and want each other to perform well,” said Cunningham. “It is nice to have a group of guys that believe in building and wrestling as a team and are willing to do their part no matter what we need them to do.
“The guys we have wrestling currently make no excuses and just want to be on the mat and get better and can handle adversity and learn from it, this will also prepare them for life once they are out of high school.”
Cunningham said that they still have some needs at the upper weights, a place where they’re looking to build a team so the younger guys have partners in those higher weight classes.
“We are looking forward to building the team both through good technique and winning mental mindset,” said Cunningham.