Hornet grapplers top ESS at EPC Duals
The Emmaus Green Hornets wrestling program continues to improve, earning a 37-30 victory over East Stroudsburg South on Jan. 26 in the EPC Duals Championship at Easton Area Middle School.
The win secured Emmaus the ninth seed in the upcoming PIAA District 11 Class 3A Team Championships, scheduled for 6 p.m. on Jan. 31 at Liberty High School against Freedom, the eighth seed.
“The biggest thing is this is a different East Stroudsburg South team than we wrestled at the Whitehall Duals,” said Emmaus coach Thad Smith. “When we wrestled them at the Whitehall Duals they had a lot of kids banged up and out of the line up. Those kids are back today, so it’s not the same team.”
Smith knew his Green Hornets were in for a fight and predicted before it started that it would be a close match.
Connor Carter got the Green Hornets off to a super start by pinning Dylan Osorio in just 51 seconds. Caden Wright then pinned Gary Welge in 34 seconds in the 182-pound battle for a quick 12-0 lead.
But the Cavaliers won the next three matches. James Bowie broke the streak with a pin of Nicholas Ruiz in 55 seconds to put the Green Hornets back on top 18-12. Geovanni Lainez lost an 8-7 heartbreaker in an entertaining match at 113.
Smith said the Green Hornets “we’re looking out for a big match from Gio.” While the sophomore came up on the short end in this brutal fight, he has shown continued improvement during the 2018-2019 campaign, earning a 8-8 mark.
Nicholas Velde then won by technical fall (16-1 in 4:07) over Omar Chellaoul in the120-pound match. That was followed by strong showing by Kordell Waiters at 126 when he pinned Dawson Miller in 57 seconds to bolster the Emmaus lead to 29-18.
With their backs to the wall the Cavaliers rebounded with two straight wins to pull to within two points at 29-27. That’s when Jackson Karrat went into action. He manhandled Jaidon Garcia 16-0 for a technical fall and a 34-27 Green Hornet lead after the 145-pound bout. Karrat, who Smith has said “is having his best season,” has come into his own this year, owning a 17-5 record.
Jared Groller couldn’t keep the momentum going, bowing in a tough 3-1 loss to Nicholas Alejandro at 152. The loss pulled the Cavaliers to within four at 34-30, setting up the final showdown.
In a thrilling battle at 160 pounds, Christopher Tigar, who Smith has called the glue to the Green Hornet team, pulled out a 9-7 decision over Joseph Anello to tally three points and produce the final margin.
Earlier in the week on Jan. 24 the Green Hornets dominated Whitehall at home during a 40-16 win.
“I actually thought that was the best we wrestled all year,” said Smith. “We showed up to wrestle.”
The Zephyrs won two of the first three matches to take an early 6-3 lead, with Emmaus’ Jared Groller winning an 8-6 decision at the 152-pound dual.
Then the Green Hornets got hot, winning the next six matches.
Caden Wright pinned Whitehall’s Mike Hernandez in 2:27 to win the 170-pound tilt. Connor Carter manhandled the Zephyrs’ Tim Ritter and pinned him in an expedient 1:34 at 182. Bryce Ebbinger claimed a 7-2 decision at 195 pounds and teammate Luigi Mannino took a 3-1 decision at 220 pounds.
James Santichen pinned Steele Hess during the 285-pound match in just 47 seconds. James Bowie won a tight 7-6 decision in the 106-pound battle and Emmaus held a commanding 30-3 lead.
After a loss in the 113-pound match, Nick Velde won a 14-6 major decision, defeating Whitehall’s Johnny Colon, in the 120-pound battle to give Emmaus a 34-9 advantage. Two consecutive defeats occurred before Jackson Karrat pinned Zack Beblavy in just 36 second to end the night on a winning note.