Bethlehem Press

Sunday, February 18, 2018
Matt Lackman and the Hawks were surprise shutout victims recently but will look for revenge in the EPC finals this weekend. Matt Lackman and the Hawks were surprise shutout victims recently but will look for revenge in the EPC finals this weekend.

Seminary blanks BC

Wednesday, January 24, 2018 by Peter Car pcar@tnonline.com in Sports

There’s one thing you never see from a wrestling boxscore and that’s Bethlehem Catholic having a zero beside their final score.

For the first time in Jeff Karam’s 10 years as head coach of the Golden Hawks, a team shut them out over the weekend.

Wyoming Seminary’s 56-0 victory over the Hawks on Saturday night was certainly an eye-opener, even for the most seasoned Becahi observer.

Facing the third-ranked team in the country on the road was never going to be an easy task, but not coming away with a victory certainly humbled the Hawks (7-1) in their first defeat of the season.

“We wrestled a very tough team and they [Wyoming Seminary] were probably favored in six bouts,” said Karam. “They just got on a roll early and took control. We weren’t able to get any of the toss up bouts and we just wrestled really uninspired. I saw it from the kids in the warm up and I just didn’t do a very good job preparing them for the match. It’s like we were stuck in quicksand and could never get out.”

Nate Lackman suffered a 4-2 loss to Timothy Levine to open the bout at 106 and the tumbling continued with Matt Mayer getting pinned by Nic Botello in 3:32 at 113 to put the Hawks behind from the get-go.

Kenny Herrmann (126) lost by major decision, while Jared Papcsy (132) and Ryan Anderson (138) each went down with decisions in successive fashion. Seminary ended the match with falls in three of the final four bouts, including Tavion Banks (182) getting pinned by Darrien Roberts in 5:43.

Cole Handlovic (145), Luca Frinzi (152) and Mikey Lewis (160) each lost decisions by one-point as well. Papcsy fell by a point too, giving the Hawks four losses by slim margins against one of the nation’s top teams.

“We look at this as a learning experience for our guys,” Karam said. “It shows us a lot of things we need to work on. We were definitely humbled as a team. Now we got to move on from that and prepare for Pleasant Valley this week and Nazareth on Saturday.”

Saturday’s showdown for the EPC crown against the Blue Eagles will take place at 7 p.m. at Easton Area Middle School.

The Hawks are looking to win their seventh straight EPC crown. After knocking off Nazareth last year 40-20 in the league final, the Blue Eagles came back to win the District 11 and PIAA 3A crowns in the ensuing weeks.

Karam acknowledged that those results won’t play much into the psyche of the team, but perhaps a bit of a rivalry has now been formed, one that was sorely needed in the Lehigh Valley.

“These are two totally different teams from a year ago, but I think it helped the rivalry grow from them beating us,” said Karam. “They deserved it last year and they were the better team. Now we have to be ready for them this week because we know they’re going to give us their best shot.”

Freedom came home from the Clearfield Bison Duals by winning their group before falling to Montoursville 38-35 in the semifinals. They knocked off West Branch by the same 38-35 score to secure third place at the tournament.

“The Bison Duals allowed us to compete against teams we wouldn’t otherwise see,” said head coach Brandon Hall. “It also allowed some of our less experienced kids (JVs) to get an opportunity to compete. Our sophomores Luis Vargas, Connor Huber, Jared Jenkins and Max Marrero really wrestled well. Max gave up a lot of weight when he moved up to 220 but it really doesn’t matter to him. They are all team players and will do whatever they can to help the team have success. Andy Evans and Ben Huber have been solid for us all year. Great to see Ben pick up his 100th win over the weekend.”

The Pates have a full week of wrestling with bouts against East Stroudsburg South, Central Catholic and Liberty this week, as the two city rivals square off at 7 p.m. Thursday night at Freedom.