Bethlehem Press

Friday, March 23, 2018
Press photos by Don HerbRyan Anderson was one of five regional champs for the Hawks. Copyright - Don Herb 2017_ Press photos by Don HerbRyan Anderson was one of five regional champs for the Hawks. Copyright - Don Herb 2017_
 Copyright - Don Herb 2017_ Copyright - Don Herb 2017_

Becahi crowns five

Wednesday, March 7, 2018 by Peter Car in Sports

If there’s one thing that Matt Mayer wanted to focus on at the Northeast Regional 3A tournament over the weekend, it was simply just competing for a gold medal.

The Bethlehem Catholic freshman took care of business at Liberty’s Memorial Gymnasium by grabbing his second goal medal in as many weeks by posting a 14-12 victory over David Evans of Tunkhannock in the 106-pound championship.

Mayer was one of five Golden Hawks to win regional titles, as Becahi had little trouble coming away with the team title, but you could say that Mayer had himself an interesting weekend.

His opening bout of the tournament came against Mariana Bracetti’s Tatyana Ortiz, giving Mayer a predicament, since the Roman Catholic Diocese of Allentown prevents boys from wrestling girls during the regular season, but allows individuals and their families to make their own choice during the individual postseason.

For Mayer, it never seemed in doubt on what he was going to do, as he pinned Ortiz in 38 seconds and went on to claim the regional crown.

“It feels great to win because all year I was behind someone and I just kept working hard in the room,” said Mayer. “I’m just here to wrestle anyone that steps out on the mat. I’m ready to compete.”

Mayer started the show for the Hawks, but Kenny Herrmann (126), Ryan Anderson (138), Luca Frinzi (152) and Mikey Lewis (160) finished out Saturday’s finals with titles themselves.

Herrmann controlled his matchup with Parkland’s Nick Dolak by a 5-2 margin, while Anderson completely dominated his tilt with Nazareth’s Nathan Stefanik by pinning him in 1:09.

Frinzi doubled up on Stroudsburg’s Lenny Pinto in as many weeks, earning a 5-3 decision, while Lewis edged Emmaus’ Caden Wright by a 6-5 decision.

Lewis was forced to injury default in the district finals against Wright with a dislocated shoulder, but made sure to get some payback this time around.

“It’s a lot better feeling than how things worked out at districts,” said Lewis. “I was motivated throughout the week because for a dislocated shoulder you want to have at least a month to strengthen the muscles and I only had five days.

“I said to myself, ‘this is my senior year and I’m going to go for it all.’ Now I’m going to Hershey with the mindset to win.”

The Hawks are sending seven wrestlers to this week’s PIAA tournament when things kickoff Thursday afternoon at the Giant Center in Hershey.

Robert Spezza (195) and Cole Handlovic (145) will also be making the trip after placing in the top four at regionals. Both wrestlers lost in Saturday’s finals, giving the Hawks seven finalists on the night.

Handlovic lost an 18-6 major decision to Nazareth’s four-time regional champion Sammy Sasso, while Spezza was downed by Blue Mountain’s Nate Stine 8-4.