Hawks aim for dominance
It may be a different group of wrestlers for Bethlehem Catholic this year, but many people expect more of the same.
The Hawks enter the season with a preseason national ranking of No. 13 by Intermat and look to push their way toward the top of the PIAA dual meet podium after falling to Nazareth last year in the district and state dual meet championships.
Head coach Jeff Karam comes back for his 10th year leading the program that looks to stay in the conversation of the state’s best.
“We have a good group of returning junior varsity wrestlers who were part of the junior varsity district championship last year,” Karam said. “Plus getting three guys back from season ending injuries last year (Mikey Lewis, Cole Handlovic, and Matt Arciuolo) will definitely help us.”
The names that will battle out for starting spots this year include Jr. Dillon Murphy (106-113); Jr. Nate Lackman (106); Fr. Matt Mayer (106/113); So. Matt Lackman (120); So. Kenny Herrmann (120/126); So. Tyler Blatnik (120/126); Sr. Zach Glenn (126/132); Jr. Ryan Anderson (132/138); Sr. Jarred Papcsy (132/138); So. Cole Handlovic (138/145); Fr. Jamier Jimenez (138/145); So. Jaden Youwakim (138/145); Jr. Luca Frinzi (145/152); Sr. Mikey Lewis (152/160); So. Matt Arciuolo (152/160); Jr. Henry Pavis (152/160); Sr. Tommy Schadt (160); Jr. Joey Kurtz (160/170); So. Tavion Banks (182); Sr. Robert Spezza (195); Sr. Joseph Bozzi (195/220); Sr. Nate Andrew (220) and Jr. Jase Crouse (285).
After losing four 100-match winners (Mikey Labriola, Niko Camacho, Luke Carty, and Jody Crouse), plus regional champ Ryan Zeiner to graduation, Karam has some holes to fill, despite the talent level that comes through the hallways at Becahi.
“Getting the young guys experience in big match situations to prepare for the end of the year will be key for us,” said Karam. “Getting out on bottom as well, definitely cost us in team states last year.”
The Hawks throttled Pocono Mountain West and Emmaus last week for their first dual victories, but face their first task of the season Wednesday night when they travel to Northampton.
They hit the road tomorrow night to Stroudsburg before gearing up for the Tony Iasiello Christmas Tournament next Thursday and Friday.