Kids avenge EHS loss
Northampton barely qualified for the District 11 team wrestling tournament last weekend at Freedom High School, but that didn't diminish their mindset.
The Kids got some revenge in their opening bout against Emmaus, but fell to eventual champion Easton in the quarterfinals to give head coach Seth Lisa a mixed bag of results during Friday's action.
However, it was an experience that this young Northampton team can build from as they move forward into the individual postseason, which started with a motivational 45-27 victory over eighth-seeded Emmaus in the preliminary round.
The victory reversed a 33-30 defeat Northampton (7-7) suffered to the Green Hornets back on January 2 and was a point of emphasis as they geared up for the tournament as the ninth-seed.
"It was good for our team to be able to get some revenge on Emmaus," said Lisa. "It shows that our training is paying off and that we're headed in the right direction going into districts."
The Kids trailed 24-0 off the bat following four straight falls to open the match from weights 132-152.
But a forfeit for Bobby Fehr at 160 made it 24-6 and got the ball rolling for the Kids.
The Hornets struggled throughout the rest of the match, losing nine of the next 10 bouts.
Mike Scheetz's 7-6 decision over Lucas Schaf at 106 finally pulled Northampton even at 27 apiece with three bouts to go and the Kids pulled a theoretical cement job on Emmaus the rest of the way.
Todd Hetrick (113), Zach Valley (120) and Paul Hetrick (126) closed the match out with three straight falls to turn an earlier season three-point loss into an 18-point victory.
"Our motivation for that match was payback," Lisa said. "We lost a close one during the year and we really wanted to get that one back."
Northampton met their match in the quarterfinal round when they took on top-seeded Easton and lost 52-22.
The Kids quartet of Fehr, Scheetz, (Todd) Hetrick and Valley provided victories for Northampton, which were able to score seven more points on the Rovers this time around compared to a 50-15 loss over two weeks ago.
"I think being at district duals was good for all of our guys," said Lisa. "It kept our program in the conversation and after seeing the results of the event it showed us that there was not much difference from the 10th seed to the third seed.
"Easton and Parkland were wrestling at different levels than everybody else."
Northampton wrestles Pleasant Valley this Monday in their final dual meet of the season as they tune-up for the individual postseason, which kicks off on February 25.
"We have three weeks till districts and we're using the first week and a half to train hard and build confidence" said Lisa. "The last week we are lightening the training load and getting all the guys fresh for districts.
"Confidence is the biggest thing. Pointing out the periods of the season where we wrestled with confidence and showing the guys that the most prepared team will be rewarded at the end is what we're focusing on."