Wrestlers compete in D-11 Duals
Heading into team districts, there were at least a couple dual-meet results that didn’t sit well with Emmaus wrestling head coach Jeff Arbushites.
His Hornets got rematches with two of those teams at the District 11 Class AAA team tournament. Emmaus got revenge on Freedom in the tournament’s opening round, but came up short in a consolation bracket match against Liberty.
The event got started last Thursday at Pottsville’s Martz Hall. The Hornets took on Freedom in the preliminary round with a lot on the line. The winner would advance to the main bracket and be part of the double-elimination tournament. The loser would have its season end until the individual district tournament gets under way later this month.
Emmaus, which had lost to Freedom 33-30 on Jan. 20 turned around a few matches to beat the Patriots 41-20 at district duals.
“I was a little disappointed with our first effort against Freedom,” said Arbushites. “I think we were a little flat. This time I think we kind of came out more ready. We had a lot of the same match ups, but the outcomes changed a little bit. We talked about that in practice all week about controlling tempo, controlling intensity and treating it like a fight instead of like a match.”
Emmaus took control early in the contest.
Patrick Zerpa (195) fell behind the Patriots’ Ryan Deloach 1-0 early in the second period of the opening match. But Zerpa earned an escape and take down in the final 10 seconds of the third period, sending the Hornet fans into an uproar while getting his team a 3-0 lead and some valuable momentum.
“I think that kind of set the tone because I would consider that an upset,” said Arbushites. “That wasn’t one of them that I expected to turn around. He’s a first-year varsity wrestler and he gets a little better every time he goes out. It’s a shame he’s a senior.”
Dan Oberle followed with a first-period pin at 220 to make it 9-0. Freedom won the next two bouts to tie the score, but the Hornets’ James Bowie won by fall at 106 and Peyton Brown earned a major decision at 113 to make it 19-9.
A couple more Freedom wins made it 19-18, but the Hornets Tyler Corpora brought momentum back to his team when he beat the Patriots’ all-time wins leader Dylan Brown, 6-2.
“Corpora is a class act and a really tough kid,” said Freedom head coach Brandon Hall. “From top to bottom I don’t think we wrestled our best tonight.
On the flip side, I commend the Emmaus program. They came out tonight ready to wrestle and they were prepared to wrestle us. Kudos to the kids and coaching staff for coming out prepared and ready to go.”
A major decision win from Jake Alcaro (138) and Lucas Schaf’s first-period pin at 145 gave the Hornets a 32-17 lead. Matt Hamati (160) earned a win by technical fall and Jared Skibinski (170) finished off the team victory with a major decision to bring the final score to 41-20.
With the win over Freedom, Hornets, which came into the tournament as the No. 8 seed, earned a match against top-seeded Pottsville. The Crimson Tide won it 42-18 to drop Emmaus into the consolation bracket.
“That’s a quality team,” Arbushites said of Pottsville. “They stayed in great position. They pushed pace. We got beat. I’m impressed with how they’re coached and how they wrestle.”
Oberle and Chase Pavelko (126) won by fall for Emmaus in the loss to Pottsville, while Corpora and Jake Alcaro earned decision wins.
That loss put the Hornets in a consolation match against Liberty on Saturday with the loser advancing and the winner going home. They lost to Liberty 46-14 at the East Penn Conference Championship Day.
For the second time in a few weeks, the Hurricanes beat the Hornets. This time the score was 44-14.
Schaf won by technical fall, Alcaro, Hamati and Oberle earned decision wins against Liberty.
That loss ended the dual-meet part of the season. Emmaus went 13-7 in the regular season.
The Hornets will have a couple weeks off before competing in the District 11 Class AAA individual tournament Feb. 26-27.