Liberty gets another shot at Nazareth in EPC title match
The last time Liberty and Nazareth met at the Virginia Duals, both teams took away seven wins apiece until the Blue Eagles managed to sneak out a 27-26 criteria victory. This weekend the Hurricanes will have a chance at redemption with the EPC title on the line when they get a rematch with Nazareth Saturday night at Easton Area Middle School in the EPC Championship Day.
Saturday’s festivities will cap off one of the most memorable regular season’s in Liberty history, as the Hurricanes (14-2) will have the chance to win their first league title since 1980.
“There will be some adjustments to apply to the lineup for Saturday’s match against Nazareth,” said head coach Jody Karam. “Ultimately, I am sure both teams are making moves and adjustments, with their eyes on the District team championships.”
Before Liberty can focus on the weekend, they’ll have matches with Pocono Mountain West on Wednesday and a home bout with Freedom (14-3) on Thursday.
The Patriots have won 10 straight bouts heading into this rivalry matchup and are hoping for a good showing, even though their most common opponent with the Hurricanes came this year against Nazareth in a 64-7 loss.
Freedom is coming off a seventh place finish at the War on the Shore tournament in Maryland over the weekend, where they placed seven wrestlers, including champion Luis Vargas at 113.
“We had a solid weekend at War on the Shore,” said head coach Dante Terenzio. “The guys had quite a few close, quality matches. We’re at a point in the season where each wrestler has confidence in their own individual style. Our mat awareness has gotten to another level and we’re wrestling aggressive.
Sebastian Gibbs (160) and Jared Jenkins (182) each took third respectively, while Max Marrero (220) took fourth. Connor Huber (120) came home with a fifth place medal and Chris Jurado (152) and Darryl Shands (195) finished in eighth.
Freedom could end up wrestling either Northampton or Stroudsburg at the EPC Championship Day on Saturday, based on the results throughout the league this week.
“Our match with Liberty on Thursday will be tough,” Terenzio said. “This is the best team Liberty has had in a long time, so we will have our work cut out for us. Then we hit Northampton on Saturday, which will be the 5th/6th place match. In those matches, I’ll be looking more at fearless, intense wrestling from my guys opposed to winning and losing. We will be ready to go to battle.”
Bethlehem Catholic looks to be picking up steam in the first week of Jeff Karam’s restored tenure, as the Hawks edged LaSalle (OH) by a 162.5 to 155.5 margin at the Escape the Rock tournament over the weekend for the team title.
Becahi medaled seven wrestlers at the event and crowned two champions in Ryan Anderson (145) and Luca Frinzi (160).
Other Hawks to medal included: Kenny Herrmann (132, second); Cole Handlovic (152, second); Jase Crouse (285, fourth); Joe Kurtz (195, fifth) and Matt Lackman (138, sixth).
The Hawks will wrestle Easton in Saturday’s third place match, marking the first time in seven years the Hawks won’t be the conference champion.