Taylor Lawson has goals that only very few gymnasts could fathom coming true. Currently a senior at Bridgeway Academy, the gymnast has hopes of not only reaching nationals in her final season, but also coming out on top.
It looks like she may be on her way to that level.
Lawson has put together a successful season thus far, which included a fourth-place finish in the all around at the 43rd Annual Parkettes Invitational at the end of January. She also placed first in her age division in the all around at a competition in Philadelphia shortly later.
Just about everything was on Reed Custer’s side a couple of months ago. The Emmaus senior was 15-2 on the mat and was arguably wrestling the best of his career as the New Year hit.
But then a meniscus injury in mid-January, the same injury that forced him to miss districts last year, cost him the rest of the regular season. Custer, however, made his return to the mat for this weekend’s District 11 Class 3A Wrestling Championships and made it a memorable one.
The current week is a big one for the Emmaus rifle team. After its “toughest match of the season,” according to coach Peter Chromiak, which came at the beginning of the week against East Stroudsburg South, a number of Hornets sought to qualify for the individual state championships on Tuesday.
It’s been an eventful February for Emmaus so far, one that capped off a successful regular season on the range. But the Green Hornets have become accustomed to that rich tradition over the years.
Emmaus sent out one of its best wrestlers to start the District 11 team duals on Thursday at Liberty High School. And while Tyler Corpora was able to earn a decision victory at 145 pounds to open the Hornets’ match against No. 7 seed Easton, the remainder of the evening wasn’t nearly as successful.
The Red Rovers won 10 of the 14 bouts, including five wins by fall, to defeat No. 10 Emmaus 44-15 last week and advance to the District 11 Class 3A semifinals.
Everything was on the line for Joey Barno and the Emmaus wrestling team when the Hornet junior took the mat. East Stroudsburg South had picked up two straight falls to get within 32-30 with one bout remaining.
There was certainly pressure, but Barno wasn’t deterred under a win-or-go-home situation.
Barno secured a hard-fought 6-2 decision over Dan Opong-Duah to solidify a 35-30 victory for Emmaus over East Stroudsburg South on Saturday afternoon at Shawnee Middle School. The win placed the Hornets ninth in the league at the EPC Wrestling Championships.
The best thing that Emmaus could have asked for following last week’s deflating loss to Parkland was a chance to get back on the basketball court. It may have taken three days, but the Hornets were able to erase their minds of that 76-63 defeat to their rivals on Emmaus’ home court.
Emmaus (12-2 overall; 9-1 in EPC) got back on the winning track with a 62-44 victory at Pleasant Valley (5-9; 2-9) on Friday night. David Kachelries’ game-high 34 points helped pace the Hornets from the opening tip.
A number of area teams have already qualified for the district playoffs even though that tournament is still a month down the road. The Allen and Emmaus boys basketball teams, both who are ranked in the state Class 6A rankings, have already cemented a spot.
But when those district tournaments do tip off starting on February 21, the scene will look slightly different than in years past. The biggest change fans will notice is the increase from four PIAA classifications to six based on student enrollment numbers.
Much like the entire season has been so far for the Emmaus wrestling team, head coach Jeff Arbushites might not have been sure how his team would fare over the weekend at the Zephyr Duals.
The results, however, were impressive for the Hornets.
Emmaus completed a successful day at Whitehall High School with a second-place finish in the 16-team event on Saturday. The Hornets won their first three matches before falling to High Point Regional out of New Jersey in the championship match, 48-21.
The Eastern Pennsylvania Conference schedule didn’t get off to the best of starts for the Emmaus wrestling team when it hosted Northampton last week. The Konkrete Kids left little doubt from the beginning of the match, defeating the Hornet grapplers 57-9.
Hornet head coach Jeff Arbushites and those Hornets were in dire need of a bounce-back performance sooner rather than later. Emmaus wasted little time in getting back to its winning ways
Heading into last week’s District 11 Class 6A semifinal against Freedom, Emmaus had already accomplished much more than any Hornet football team in recent memory. Its 10 wins were tied for the most by any Green Hornet team.
One more win would have qualified top-seeded Emmaus to play for a district title. Instead, it turned out to be its toughest loss of an impressive season under first-year head coach Harold Fairclough.