PHS wrestling looks to build on 13-win season
When Parkland wrestling legend Jon Trenge became the high school program’s leader in 2019, he offered candor instead of platitudes. The Trojans, he said, have a way to go to get where they want to go.
Entering his fourth season the Parkland program is coming off a 13-3 season and this winter the Trojans are eager to take it another notch up.
“This season Parkland boys should be strong enough to be a top-five team in District 11 with Nazareth, Bethlehem Catholic, Easton and Northampton probably holding the top four spots,” Parkland coach Jon Trenge said. “That said, I do believe we have a solid handful of guys who could make some noise in the postseason and get beyond the very tough District 11 tournament.”
Trenge, who is entering his fourth season as head of the Trojan wrestling program, has goals for the team to finish at least fifth in the district, to send five wrestlers to regionals and three to states. The schedule is appropriate for the roster’s talent.
“It is a good schedule but not overly challenging,” Trenge said. “I think it is perfect for the caliber team and the number of freshmen we will have.”
The 2022-23 roster is still taking shape, but a few positions are settled or likely to be settled. One of those is 107-pounder sophomore Eli Russ, who should get the nod thanks to an outstanding work ethic. The 114-pound classification should feature junior Blake Dergham, who returns after two solid seasons including a sixth-place finish in districts last season. The 121-pound class is up in the air.
Nothing’s up in the air at 127, which is the territory of senior Phoenix DelVecchio who is tough, skilled and determined.
“Phoenix will be a team captain this year,” the coach said. “His work ethic, attitude and resilience have brought him so far since his freshman year.”
The 133-pound category is yet to be determined, however 139 should go to sophomore Leo Kern, who is coming off a solid freshman campaign. The 145-pound class remains undecided, but there’s no drama at 152 where senior Juan Moya is locked in. Moya took sixth place at districts last winter.
“Juan will be a team captain and is returning off a heartbreaking and extremely controversial call that kept him from making it to the regional tournament last season,” Trenge said. “I am looking for Juan to make the state tournament this year and really surprise himself.”
Three other weight classes (160, 215 and 285) have seen fierce competition. Parkland fans can enjoy watching senior Victor Carrasquilla at 172. He should turn a few heads this season. Senior Adrian Gacek will patrol the 189-pound class after finishing third at districts last year at 160 to reach the Northeast Regional Championships. He repeated the feat, finishing third at regionals to qualify for the state championships.
“Adrian has grown and filled out to a good-sized 189,” Trenge reports. “He will be team captain this year and has signed with Clarion for a partial scholarship to wrestle.”
Parkland begins their season Dec. 7 at East Stroudsburg North. On Dec. 17 they’ll participate in the Travis Manion ‘99 Memorial Duals, the Bethlehem Holiday Wrestling Classic on Dec. 28 and 29, the Parkland Duals on Jan. 7 and the Coal Cracker Invitational on Jan. 20 and 21.