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Wright earns state medal

If there was one Emmaus wrestler that exemplified everything a team needs out of leader, senior Caden Wright would be that guy.

The team captain and consummate worker saw his efforts pay off over the weekend in Hershey as he came home with an eighth-place finish at the PIAA Class 3A wrestling championships.

Wright (182 pounds) lost in the medal round to Easton’s Isaiah Reinert 2-1, his fourth straight defeat this season at the hands of the Rover, but it was a victory weekend all together.

“Caden isn’t the most natural athlete, but he works harder than anyone,” said Emmaus head coach Thad Smith. “He’s definitely our leader and his work ethic has proven to all of our guys that if they work hard, they can make it too.”

Wright won his first two matches in Hershey, earning a 10-0 major decision over Matt Hamilton of Conestoga in his opener and topping Ethan Rossman of Bellefonte 5-2 in the round of 16.

He then lost to Donovan McMillan of Peters Township 4-2 in the quarterfinals to knock him down to the consolation bracket.

“Coming into the tournament, we thought Caden had a really good chance at making it to the semifinals,” said Smith. “I thought he wrestled great on Thursday and his confidence was up. I think if he wrestles the guy from Peters Township five times, he probably wins three times. Unfortunately, you only get one chance in Hershey.”

Wright beat Jake Marnell of Hazleton 5-2 in the consolation round to lock up a medal before losing in his final two bouts. Despite finishing his senior year with consecutive defeats at the Giant Center, it still felt like a victory for Wright and the program.

“This is a kid who came through our program from K through 12,” Smith said. “He lost in the blood rounds the last two years in Hershey and the most important thing he could have done this weekend was come away with a medal and he did that.”

PRESS PHOTO BY BOB FORDHornet senior Caden Wright made a few trips to the state championship tournament during his high school career. This year he brought home some hardware in his final appearance in the tournament.