Hawks look for Christmas title too
Bethlehem Catholic romped their way to the team title during last year's Tony Iasiello Christmas City Wrestling Tournament when they placed 10 wrestlers in the finals, with seven coming away with gold medals.
Whether that happens in the 45th version of this Bethlehem tournament will all unfold Friday and Saturday at Bethlehem Catholic's gymnasium. Head coach Jeff Karam hopes for more of the same this Christmas, but with Darian Cruz (120), Ryan Todora (145) and Jose Ortiz (182) returning as the only champions from last year, the Hawks will need to find new gold medalists.
"I don't think we'll see 10 guys back in the finals again, but who knows," said Karam. "I think our older guys know the importance of this tournament with it being at Becahi, but for the younger guys, this is there chance to make a name for themselves at home."
There ere 30 teams enter the format again this season for the tournament that kicks off this weekend, along with the Bethlehem Holiday Wrestling Classic.
With all the traveling Becahi goes through during the season on weekends with various tournaments, Karam enjoys staying right at home after the holidays.
"It's always nice to host and stay at home," he said. "We have some good teams coming in and some great individual wrestlers as well. We always look forward to these two days."
The crop of teams featured this year include: Arch Bishop Wood; Bethlehem Catholic; Cedar Crest; East Stroudsburg North; East Stroudsburg South; First Colonial (VA.); Hill School; Notre Dame; Palisades; Palmerton; Pottsgrove; Pottsville; Pius X; Pocono Mountain West; Port Jervis (NY.); Saint Benedict's Prep (NJ); Schuylkill Valley; South County (VA.); Susquehanna Township; Upper Perkiomen; Wallenpaupack; Wilkes-Barre Meyers and William Allen.
Wrestling begins at 10 a.m. Friday morning and continues straight through the day up until quarterfinals and three rounds of consolations.
Same format runs on Saturday with semifinals taking place at 10 a.m. and wrestling going through the day. A half-hour break will take place between the consolation medal rounds and the finals.