Kids win Parkland Duals; prep for Escape the Rock
If Northampton turned a corner at the Parkland Winter Duals over the weekend, the Kids picked a good time to kick-start their season in the new year.
Northampton went 5-0 last weekend featuring wins over Exeter, Delaware Valley, Cumberland Valley, Council Rock South and Parkland to push their season mark to 7-2 heading into Thursday’s dual meet with lowly touted Pocono Mountain West before the team heads to the Escape the Rock tournament this weekend at Council Rock South.
After losing their previous two dual meets to Bethlehem Catholic and Liberty on December 21 and 22 respectively, the Kids were back in dual meet action for the first time in nearly three weeks with Sam Hanley (113), Devon Britton (132) and Mike Kistler (145) leading the way with 5-0 performances.
“I thought the Parkland Duals proved a lot to our team,” said head coach Seth Lisa. “The guys have been dealing with a lot of sickness and injury and to go out and win five straight bouts against great programs was a good start to the new year. They fought hard for each other and improved throughout the day. That being said, Gunner Wagner filling in at 106 has shown a lot of heart. Devon Britton has been wrestling very well so far this season and he has proved himself to be a leader. Sam Hanley has looked great being down a weight class. Hunter Werkheiser (HWT) has been competing hard and proving he can wrestle with the area heavyweights.”
Junior Julian Chlebove is still out of the lineup for disciplinary reasons and Lisa hasn’t indicated a timeline for his return.
When asked if Chlebove’s situation has become a distraction, Lisa wasn’t too focused on the direct narrative of the two-time state champ.
“Distractions are present nonstop,” he said. “Kids have a ton of emotional baggage just because of being in school and their age. This team has been focused and working on what they can control.”
Northampton finished third last year at the Escape the Rock tournament, as Britton enters the tournament with the highest seed of any K-Kid coming in at fourth.
Working on the technical side will be important for the team this weekend as they head into the second half of their season.
“We need to continue to improve our technique but the desire to score points and be competitive has to continue to get better,” said Lisa. “We need to continue to be more physical and be more aggressive to reach our post season goals as a team and as individuals.”