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Wrestlers go 3-2 at tourney

Catasauqua’s wrestling team hit the mats last weekend. This time around, it was literally and figuratively.

The Rough Riders participated in the “Mats of the Mecca” team tournament at Pottsville High School. They finished their day with an overall 3-2 record, as they beat Lower Merion (48-27), Ephrata (42-24), and East Stroudsburg South (45-18). The Roughies dropped matches to Malvern Prep (68-0) and Perkiomen Valley(42-27) in the 10-team tournament.

“I thought we wrestled well,” said head coach Joe Russo. “We finished fifth in the tournament.

“Our losses were to nationally ranked Malvern Prep, which won the tournament, and we also lost to Perkiomen Valley, which had a 9-3 record. We had some nice wins against Lower Merion, Ephrata, and East Stroudsburg South.

“It was a good test for us.”

Seniors Jaryn Hartranft (138-152) and Luis Del Rosario (172-189) both finished the afternoon with 4-1 records. Hartranft has an overall 17-2 mark with 11 falls, and Del Rosario is 9-4.

Senior Cole Brown (132), junior Gavin Fehr (138), and sophomores Miles Melendez (152-60) and Mikhail Hartranft (113) all went 3-2 overall. Brown has a 10-6 record, Fehr is 162-, Melendez has a 7-7 slate, and Hartranft is 10-6.

Fehr, who had two pins at the tournament, likes the overall performance of his team this season. He has taken a different approach this season.

He welcomes the contrast in the environment this year.

“We’re all really together this season,” said Fehr, who finished fourth at districts last season. “We all struggled last year with COVID, and we managed to pull it together at the end of the year.

“I changed my style this year, and I’ve opened up more this year. We all feel we can have a good finish this year.”

So far, the Roughies also have a fourth-place finish at their own invitational and a 14th-place finish at the Jim Thorpe Christmas Tournament. They are 4-0 in matches, defeating league opponents Salisbury, Palmerton, Bangor, and Northern Lehigh.

Russo wants his team to place special emphasis on this week’s matches against Wilson and Southern Lehigh, two of them can have a bearing on the team staying in the league hunt.

“This is a big week,” said Russo. “We have two matches that could determine if we make the league championships.”

Press photo by Mike Feifel Luis Del Rosario, shown here against Northern Lehigh, recently went 4-1 at the Mats of Mecca Tournament.