Kids prep for big week
Northampton’s wrestling team is brimming with confidence early in the season following last week’s win over Nazareth and the K-Kids (2-0) now enter their toughest stretch of the regular season this week.
With their annual trip to the Beast of the East coming this weekend, the Kids have EPC matches with Stroudsburg and Bethlehem Catholic this week as precursors to the toughest weekend tournament they’ll see this year as a team.
Head coach Seth Lisa knows the team’s mentality has elevated since last week’s convincing 41-20 victory over Nazareth.
“That was a good early season win for us,” said Lisa. “The kids battled tough and came out on top against a good team. We have two very good teams this week against Stroudsburg and Beca and then the Beast of the East this weekend. This is a busy week for these guys.”
With a Thursday night showdown on the road in Bethlehem against the Hawks, the Kids will get to test how they fare against the best team in the conference.
“Many of our guys have wrestled these Beca kids before so we are excited for some good rematches,” said Lisa. “The only way you beat a team like Beca is by fighting harder and making their guys quit before us. Just like our Nazareth match, winning or losing isn’t the end of the world so we are excited to fight and see what we are made of.”
As for this weekend, the Kids look primed to improve upon their 20th place finish in Delaware last year, where Devon Britton was the lone member of the team to medal.
The Kids should have a few wrestlers in contention to medal with Britton (138) and Julian Chlebove (132) leading the way. Chlebove won the 126-pound weight class in 2016 as a sophomore and returns for the first time after not wrestling last year.
“The Beast is a long challenging weekend for athletes and coaches,” Lisa said. “We are returning a previous champion and (Britton) eighth place finisher this season. Individually, we have guys with goals of winning and placing very high. On a whole, everyone needs to win matches and contribute if we want to place high. As long as everyone fights for points and contributes it’ll be a good weekend.”