Hawks handle Nazareth in District 11 3A final
To say that revenge wasn’t on the mind of Bethlehem Catholic wrestlers heading into last weekend’s District 11 3A finals would be an understatement.
The Hawks were out to take back the district crown that has reigned in their trophy case for much of the duration of their stay in the 3A bracket following last year’s defeat to Nazareth.
Last Saturday at Freedom, Becahi took back their crown in a dominating 43-12 victory.
The Hawks won 12 of 14 bouts and controlled the match from the start with Kenny Herrmann’s 4-3 win over Sean Pierson at 126.
“I’ll be the first one to tell you Kenny didn’t wrestle his best match,” said head coach Jeff Karam. “He didn’t have his A-game going and that’s a testament to him. After that we got some big wins from Jarred (Papcsy) and Ryan Anderson. That was a good start.”
Papcsy scored a 6-4 decision over Andrew Cerniglia at 132 and Anderson pummeled Ryan O’Grady by a 15-2 major decision at 138 to put the Hawks ahead 10-0 against three of the Blue Eagles top wrestlers.
Decisions by Cole Handlovic (145) and Luca Frinzi (152) followed to put Becahi ahead 16-0 with five straight wins to open things up before Nazareth got on the board with a fall by Sammy Sasso (160) over Matt Arciuolo in 3:15.
Cade Wilson would pick up a fall at 195 over Tavion Banks in 1:18 to make it 22-12, but those would be the last points of the night Nazareth would register.
Becahi would win five straight to end the match and punctuate one of the goals they set out before the season.
“It feels awesome to win and we’ve come a long way from last year,” said Anderson. “We were all pretty motivated to come out here and get some revenge. Now we want to go win states. We can definitely win it.”
As much as Becahi (12-1) may have tried to downplay the need for payback to Nazareth (15-3) following last year’s losses to the Blue Eagles in the district and state finals, Saturday’s result was certainly another step in the process toward vindication.
“Last year, we really took it on the chin here [at districts],” said Karam. “Even after wrestling them at EPC’s, you start wrestling the same guys over and over again and you start closing the gaps. They’re getting used to us and we’re getting used to them.
“Now we got to work hard, but we can’t rest on this. I feel pretty good about this team right now. We got four matches to go and that’s our goal right now to finish this season.”