BC ready to take districts by storm
This is the week that everyone in the wrestling community has been looking forward to, as the District 11 individual postseason gets underway this Saturday and Sunday.
The 3A tournament has moved to Parkland from it’s long-time home of Liberty’s Memorial Gymnasium for this season, but one thing that won’t change coming into the week is Bethlehem Catholic’s status as title favorite.
The Hawks should be the leader to come away with the team title and the most individual championships, but head coach Jeff Karam is preaching a cautious approach in this year’s tourney amid the most uncertainty the tournament has ever seen with the COVID pandemic.
“We’re very excited to finally get to this point,” said Karam. “We always approach it as winning one ‘round’ at a time and not looking ahead. This is going to be extremely important given the fact that we will see upsets and how the guys bounce back if they fall on the losing end.”
This year’s tournament will have a different feel to it without any fans. With wrestlers from all over the district converging at one site, it’ll be the biggest event wrestlers from the area will be apart of this season. How that plays out will certainly be on the minds of many, but for Karam, his coaches and wrestlers, it’s just another test in a season in a season full of hurdles.
“I think the biggest adjustment will be for the coaches,” he said. “The ‘split’ weight classes is going to make for a long day from the staff as well as making sure everyone follows the itinerary for weigh-ins/skin checks. We can only control what we can control. Really can’t think about it at this point and just do what we have been doing to stay safe since the beginning of the season.”
With only three wrestlers from each weight class advancing, Becahi aims to be among the leaders in pushing individuals to regionals, as Karam has high expectations for his group coming into the weekend.
“I think we have a really good shot of five winning, but hopefully a couple more,” he said. “Hoping to have 10 or 11 medal. The more you can get through districts will go a long way in getting more guys to states. Regionals and Super Regionals advance four per weight class in eight-man brackets. I like those odds for the guys that can advance past districts.”
Bethlehem Catholic will have plenty of wrestlers in contention for gold medals, as Cael McIntyre (113), Dante Frinzi (120), Tyler Kasak (126), Matt Mayer (132), Andrew Harmon (138) and Evan Gleason (152) are part of Becahi’s contingent that can come away with gold.
Liberty and Freedom hope they can push some wrestlers through to regionals after a tough regular season.
Freedom is more likely to push more wrestlers through, as 106-pounder CJ Horvath should be in contention for a top-three finish, if not a place in the finals. Connor Bevan (138), Jared Karabinus (145) and Chris Jurado (152) could make a push for Freedom as well.
On Liberty’s side, it appears Connor Werner (106), Javien DeLeon (126) and Christian Reid (172) will lead the Hurricanes pursuit of advancing to regionals.