Wrestlers storming Tunkhannock mats

Montrose’s Zach Thorne (160) finished fifth place in the Kiwanis Tournament last year and returns to the mat this year. Here he battles with Greater Nanticoke’s Kyle Koviak. STAFF PHOTO/KEVIN WOODRUFF

BY KEVIN WOODRUFF

Wyoming County Press Examiner

Tunkhannock’s Kiwanis Wrestling Tournament kicks off on Wednesday, Dec. 29, and runs into Thursday, marking the event’s 33rd year.

Wrestling will start up on Wednesday around 10:30 a.m. and continue up to the semi-final round, and will pick up at 10 a.m. on Thursday morning with the final matches taking place tentatively around 5 p.m. that evening.

This year’s tournament features a pool of 24 teams, and tournament coordinator Frank Wadas said that for the first time in the tournament’s history, there will be two rooms of wrestling.

“With the addition of three more teams this year, we decided to open up the high school cafeteria and put two mats in there,” Wadas said. “And there will be three mats going in the gymnasium.”

Wadas noted that the first day will see the pool of wrestlers slimmed down to the top eight in each weight class, who will move on to the second day of contention.

Last year, Towanda, who will not participate this year, took first place with Elk Lake grabbing sixth, Tunkhannock in seventh and Lackawanna Trail in 14th.

There are five returning champions this season including Coughlin’s Josh Popple, Pocono Mountain East’s D.P. Miller, Wyalusing’s Mike Cobb, Mahonoy Area’s Nathan Fegley and Western Wayne’ Casey Fuller.

Elk Lake’s returning medalists are Derrick Smith (130) and Devin Fiorentino (135), who each took fifth place, and Frank Delesky (112) had eighth place for the Warriors

Other returning medalists are Susquehanna’s Nick Vales (130), who took sixth last year, and Montrose’s Zach Thorne (160), who finished fifth.

Looking at the pool of competitors, Wadas said that he believes that Wyalusing, who took second last year, along with Pocono Mountain East, who took third, and Coughlin, who was fifth, all have a good chance of taking home the team title.

Wadas said that the tournament keeps growing, and that there are seven teams from out of the area, including new additions Phoenixville, Nanticoke, Cedar Crest, Mt. Carmel and North Penn along with Warren County (Va.), and Mahanoy Area.

Also new to the tournament this year is Lake-Lehman.

With the addition of the second room of wrestling, Wadas is excited about the tournament’s growth.

“The tournament keeps growing, and we are thrilled to have seven teams from outside of the area,” Wadas said. “If everything runs well, we would like to add some more teams next year.”

Kiwanis team showcase

Cedar Crest

The Cedar Crest Falcons wrestling team of District 3 features a squad of 18 wrestlers with a core of four seniors in Ethan Carter (135), Chevy Houser (125) and Noah Gerdes (160), who will hope to lead

Coughlin

Coughlin, now in its fourth year at the tournament, is coached by Steve Stahl, and is bringing back Kiwanis champion Josh Popple (189). The team finished fifth in team standings last year.

Elk Lake

The Warrior team, of coach Wes Warner, enter the tournament after finishing up last season with District II Class AA semifinal finish. The Warriors return Devin Fiorentino (140), who finished fifth at Kiwanis last year, along with Derrick Smith (130), who took fifth, and Frank Delesky (112) who finished eighth.

GAR

The GAR Grenadiers, who took 20th overall last year, will be led by senior Rich Williams (171), who is under the direction of coach Rich Simon.

Honesdale

The Honesdale Hornets this year will be led by returning starters Ryan Smith (119), and Matt Evans (140), who will hope to best last year’s fourth place finish in the tournament.

Lackawanna Trail

Lackawanna Trail head coach Jeff Stauffer brings district runner up in Chris Dixon (145) and PIAA Class AA state champion Eric Laytos (215), and will use the power of returner Marvess Rosiak (189) to get a jump on the Lions 2009 finish.

Lake-Lehman

Lake-Lehman will hit the mats at the Kiwanis Tournament under the direction of Tom Williams and bring with them an experience squad featuring seniors Jeff Kioskie (103), Dan Precone (145), Derek Ellard (171), Richard Lauri (215) and Zack Duboff (215).

Mahanoy Area

Mahonoy Area is coached by Mike Joseph, and brings with them returning varsity wrestler Nathan Fegley (119), a 2009 Kiwanis gold medalist, who will provide a solid base for the Golden Bears.

Montrose

The Meteors enter the tournament with returning standouts Jeremiah Johnson (125), Blake VanNostrand (152) and Zach Thorne (160). Second-year coach Jim Lewis will use returning talent to get a jump on the Meteors’ 19th place 2009 finish.

Mount Carmel

The Mount Carmel Red Tornadoes are a first-year team to the Kiwanis Tournament and bring with them seniors Nick Dusendschine, Dylan Hornberger and juniors Mike Saukatis, Myric Lamb, Brett Przekop and Derek Urbanavage and hope to make a strong showing in the standings.

Nanticoke

The Greater Nanticoke Trojans, coached by Joe Ebert, will make an appearance at this year’s tournament and bring 10 seniors to the matt in Dylan Androckitis, Brad Condo, Tyler Dagraffenreid, Alex Delguerico, Rob Kotz, Kyle Koviak, Alex Leiby, Jim McMoore, Austin Mulhern and Ron Wolfe.

North Penn

The North Penn Panthers of Blossburg come to the mat this year with District 4 qualifiers Lucas Groover and Nathan Stettler along with Tyler Stettle, wrestling for coach Craig Pequignot.

Northeast Bradford

The Northeast Bradford Panthers are coached by Micah Russell and hope to contend for a title. They bring with them standouts Zack Green (112) and Jacob Balchikonis (140), who hope to give the Panthers a boost.

Phoenixville

The Phoenixville Phantoms of District 1 are new to Kiwanis and bolster a young team with a mix of freshman and sophomores. The teams three seniors, Ken Cenci (215), Matt Cermanski (145), Joe Giampietro (171) will lead the squad.

Pocono Mt. East

Third year coach Chris Potter returns three wrestlers to the Kiwanis mats, after finishing 14th in last year’s team standings. This year DP Miller, Blake Smith and Ed Helm will help the team fight for a title.

Scranton

Scranton coach John Fox is looking to a pair of returners Jason Caramanno (135) and Todd Cummings (103) to help the Knights take a top finish. Scranton took eighth overall in 2009.

Scranton Prep

Scranton Prep coach Marty Flynn will bring top wrestler Pat Creedon (103), back to the mat to contend for the tournament in which they took 21st overall last year.

Susquehanna

Susquehanna coach Dan Orner brings with the Saber team a pair of returning standout wrestlers. This year’s team hopes to improve on a 17th place finish from last year’s tournament, and will rely on Jarret Coleman (285) and Nick Vales (125) to give them a boost in the standings.

Tunkhannock Area

Tunkhannock is hitting the mats this year under new coach Mike Carroll with returning seniors Kevin Packer, Corey Balko, Mike Thomas and Nathan Franko and juniors Charlie Generotti, Clayton Brehm, Casey Drake, Mitch Wiernusz, Mike Pavlichko and Kyle Nichols.

Valley View

The Cougars finished 15th in the team standings last year and return starters Fred Mitchell (135), John Munley (140-145), Tyler Chesko (145-152), John Joyce (112-119), Matt Wolfel (145-152), Brandon Rotell (160), Nick Krehel (160-171) and Mike Galantini (285).

Warren County, Va.

Warren County coach Matt Wadas, a Tunkhannock graduate and son of former Tunkhannock coach Wadas, brings with him seniors Ben Carey (285), Cory Zimmerman (135), Cody Zimmerman (140), Sam Fiel (145), Robert Canby (152), Stuart Eshleman (160), Ryan Molka (171) and Sam Eshleman (215). The team took 9th place in the standings last year.

Western Wayne

The Wildcats, under coach Dan Terenzio return Kiwanis medalist Casey Fuller (152), Raphael Ingaglio (135), Josh Harrison (160) and Matt Rosensweet (215), who will contend for Western Wayne who finished 10th in last year’s team standings.

Wyalusing

The Wyalusing Rams, of coach Gary Haley, bring with them returning wrestlers Bryan Brown (125) and Joe Champluvier (140) and The Rams took second at Kiwanis last year.

Wyoming Area

The Wyoming Area Warriors are a second year team to the tournament lineup, and under coach John Ratajczak bring with them premier wrestlers in Tony Lemardy (145) and Rich Gates (171). Wyoming Area finished 12th last year.