Bethlehem Press

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Pates look to battle in EPC

Wednesday, December 20, 2017 by Peter Car pcar@tnonline.com in Sports

Expectations might be tempered for the Patriots heading into this season, but Freedom is always looking for improvement as head coach Brandon Hall enters his eighth season at the helm of the program.

The Pates are coming off a 13-9 season, bring back some valuable pieces, but also are young and inexperienced in other spots to make this winter’s campaign difficult.

“This season will be challenging as we compete in the East Penn Conference, Clearfield Duals and Bethlehem Holiday Wrestling Classic,” Hall said. “I know the seniors on this team want to improve on last year’s finish. We have some new and inexperienced wrestlers who are excited to compete as well. The absence of a few wrestlers (various reasons) adds to the challenge. Practices and strength/conditioning training have been going well thus far.”

Back for the Pates include So. Louis Vargas (106-113); So. Connor Huber (106-120); Sr. Gianni Palaios (126-138); Sr. Andrew Youwakim (132-145); Sr. Andy Evans (132-145); Sr. Ben Huber (145-160); Jr. Sebastian Gibbs (152-160); Sr. Marco Augello (160-182) and So. Max Marrero (182-195).

The Pates went 4-1 at their season opening dual meet tournament at home and then downed Pocono Mountain East last week before falling to Easton 40-25.

They face a tough task this week when they host Nazareth on Wednesday night, followed by a trip to Parkland on Thursday.

They’ll get some individual action next week at Liberty for the Bethlehem Holiday Wrestling Classic.

Hall hopes that through all the challenges they do encounter this season, that battling in the EPC will prove its worth toward their end of season goals.

“The team is looking to again qualify for team districts, improve in the EPC and on last season’s record,” he said. “We will need to be healthy, our seniors will need to shine and we’ll need to shorten the learning curve for new wrestlers in the line up if we are to have success this season.”