Hawks have same goals, new coach
Bethlehem Catholic might have a new coach, but they’ll bring in the same expectations that have made them the best wrestling program in the state over the past five years.
Rick Thompson steps into his first season as boss of the Golden Hawks, who won the 3A state title a year ago and bring back the majority of their state championship squad this year.
The Hawks will be led by Iowa State bound senior Ryan Anderson, a state champion last season, who looks to make it back-to-back state titles this season, as he started the year off a champ in the 145-pound bracket of the Ironman Tournament last weekend in Ohio.
Anderson topped Jaden Abas Rancho Bernardo’s (Calif.) by an 11-1 major decision to help the Hawks finish in third place at the event. While the Hawks may not have many blue chippers like Anderson, they have plenty of quality wrestlers that should help them make a run back to Hershey.
Returning for the Hawks this year include Sr. Nate Lackman (113-120); Sr. Dillon Murphy (113-120); So. Matt Mayer (113-120; district and regional champion; state 4th); Jr. Kenny Herrmann (126-132; district runner-up; regional champion; state 4th); Jr. Jaden Youwakim (138); Jr. Matt Lackman (138); Jr. Cole Handlovic (152; district and regional runner-up; state 6th), Sr. Luca Frinzi (160; district and regional champion; state 7th); Sr. Joe Kurtz (160-170; district 4th; regional 5th); Jr. Tavion Banks (182-195; district runner-up) and Sr. Jase Crouse (285; district runner-up; regional 6th).
The Hawks group of newcomers into the fold this year are So. Justus Bozzi (district 11 junior high champion at 147 pounds); Fr. Dante Frinzi (106; two-time District 11 junior high champion); Fr. Trey Miletics (District 11 junior high runner-up at 102); Fr. Giovanni Bozzi (District 11 junior high third at 107) and Fr. Charlie Pavis (District 11 junior high third at 82).
Matt Lackman was one of four Becahi medalists to come home from the Ironman with a medal, as he took home a fifth place finish at 138. Kenny Herrmann (132, seventh) and Cole Handlovic (152, eighth) also placed at the tourney.
“We must continue to work hard on technique and conditioning to attain this goal,” said Thompson of the Hawks goal of winning the state title this year.