Grapplers win two in a row
The Northwestern wrestling team bounced back from a season-opening loss to Palisades with wins over Salisbury and Northern Lehigh last week.
The Tigers also competed against some top teams at the Excalibur Tournament Jan. 17-18 in Wilkes Barre.
“I feel good,” said head coach Jim Moll of his team’s performance over the first three weeks of the 2021-22 season. “We learned a lot at Excalibur. We had a lot of quality mat time. I think we didn’t quite place where we wanted to but the goal of that tournament is really just to figure out where you are and what you’re weaknesses still are. It’s something to help us prepare for the postseason.”
Northwestern had three placewinners at the Excalibur as Buck Miller led the way with a fifth-place finish.
Miller won his first match at 172 before falling to top-seeded Justin Onello of Bergen Catholic, NJ. The Tiger junior then won two bouts before losing 3-2 to Griffin Goldstein (St. Anthony’s) in the consolation semifinal. He bounced back to beat Nick Matos (St. Anthony’s) 6-5 in fifth-place match.
“I told [Miller] at the Excalibur Tournament that his confidence should be through the roof with how he’s been wrestling this season,” said Moll. “He’s put a lot of hard work in and it’s showing.”
Northwestern’s Noah Schlofer took sixth place at the Excalibur. The sophomore 215-pounder dropped his opening match to No. 3 seed Nicholas Woodruff of Wyalusing. He wrestled back with three straight wins before falling in the consolation semifinal then dropping the fifth-place to Aden Roe of Council Rock North.
The Tigers’ Dalton Clymer, the No. 4 seed at 160, also dropped his opening bout in Wilke Barre, falling to Nick Wehmeyer of Malvern Prep. He then won three straight matches before meeting up with Wehmeyer again in the fourth round of consolation matches where the Northwestern sophomore lost 8-5.
Clymer picked up an 8-2 decision over Jayden Iznaga (Bergen Catholic) in the seventh-place match.
The Tigers were back at it just a few days later, beating Salisbury 36-24 in a Colonial League dual meet last Tuesday, Dec. 21. John Conti (132), Eli Dellicker (152), Nathan Peters (189) and Schlofer (285) won their matches by fall against Salisbury while Clymer and Miller picked up forfeit wins.
Northwestern topped rival Northern Lehigh 39-24 last Thursday in a match that saw just five contested bouts. Dellicker, Miller and Schlofer pinned their Bulldgog opponents, while Peters won his match by decision. Katie Brensinger, Thomas Schneck and Clymer won by forfeit against Northern Lehigh.
Northwestern will compete this week in the Bethlehem Holiday Classic at Liberty High School. That tournament will give the Tigers another chance to see some top competition as it draws many of the Lehigh Valley’s best teams and some other quality programs from outside the area.