Bethlehem Press

Monday, January 21, 2019

Hawks win Escape the Rock

Wednesday, January 17, 2018 by Peter Car in Sports

Bethlehem Catholic won another Escape the Rock title over the weekend and they did it without any of their wrestlers winning titles.

The Hawks squeaked out a 173-171.5 advantage over Cincinnati La Salle (Ohio) for the team title, as Ryan Anderson (138), Cole Handlovic (145), Luca Frinzi (152) and Robert Spezza (195) each found themselves in the finals but all came home with silver medals.

“I thought we performed very well in a tournament with nationally ranked teams,” said Hawks head coach Jeff Karam. “There were a couple of teams ahead of us on the final day but we were able to come out on top. Most of our kids exceeded their seeds, but the unfortunate part was that we didn’t come away with any champs.”

Anderson had the highlight bout of the finals, as he fell 3-2 in an ultimate tiebreaker to Kingsway’s Quinn Kinner, a match that featured the No. 1 (Kinner) and No. 3 (Anderson) wrestlers in the country according to InterMat.

Handlovic lost a tough, 1-0, decision to Delbarton’s Travis Tavoso, while Frinzi was dealt with a 3-1 defeat to William Evanitsky of Scranton.

Spezza lost by a 9-1 major decision to Michael Beard of Malvern Prep to round out the Hawks finals’ contingent.

“We might not have the big names we’ve had in the past, but these guys are making names for themselves,” said Karam. “This is a very well balanced team. We have depth that comes in handy, but the big thing is staying injury free, which is something we struggled with last year. We changed our approach in the room this year and we haven’t done as much live wrestling. I think that’s helping us right now.”

Other Becahi wrestlers that placed over the weekend included: Jarred Papcsy (third at 132), Nate Lackman (fourth at 106), Kenny Herrmann (fifth at 126) and Jase Crouse (eighth at 285).

Becahi (6-0) faces Whitehall on Wednesday night before a premier showdown at Wyoming Seminary on Saturday.

Seminary is ranked third in the country by InterMat and the Hawks come in ranked 13th.

Both teams competed in a fierce battle last year in Bethlehem, as Becahi fell 34-27. Seminary will pose the greatest challenge the Hawks may have on their schedule all season and it’s a matchup that Karam and company are certainly looking forward to.

“We’re never going to shy away from competition,” said Karam. “We’ll see what happens in the match. Our guys are just excited to wrestle against a team that’s ranked in the top five in the country.”