Wrestlers set for start of District 11 tournament
When they enter the PIAA District 11 Class 2A individual championships this weekend at Freedom High School, Catasauqua's wrestlers will be monitoring the present as well as keeping an eye on the future.
Beginning Friday night, the Roughies will nearly fill a full lineup with few seasoned upperclassmen and handful of budding underclassmen.
Head coach Kyle Rusnock is optimistic all outcomes will lead to a productive future.
"We have some young kids who won't know what will hit them," said the first-year head coach. "We also have some of our older wrestlers who I expect to win a few matches and advance to next week.
"This will be one of the best tournaments around, and we'll be able to hold our own."
Freshman Anthony Stahl (4-14), who battled weight issues earlier this season, will be in a challenging bracket at 106 pounds, and he'll be followed by sophomore Jason Gustin (3-14) at 113.
"Anthony (Stahl) and Jason (Gustin) should be competitive and be able to get a win or two," said Rusnock. "Both of them have been in and out of our lineup."
Freshman Tyler Melendez (18-11) has been a pleasant surprise all season and he'll open at 120 followed by fellow freshman Oscar Cardon (3-10) at 126.
"Tyler (Melendez) has a chance to be in the top five or six guys or even higher," said Rusnock. He is really making a name for himself. Oscar (Cardon) has been working very hard and has done a nice job for us."
Sophomore Ryan Greene (20-6), who has one of the more consistent wrestlers all season, will be at 132, and sophomore Antonio Castanedes (8-18) will be at 138.
"Ryan (Greene) moved up a weight and is looking to crack the top four," said Rusnock. "Antonio (Castanedes) has improved a lot and he has a shot to get some wins."
Junior Devin Greene (7-10) will open at 145 and senior Mike Shutta (12-13) is expected to make an impact at 152.
"Devin (Greene) has been out some of this season and he's in a competitive weight class," said Rusnock. "Shutta is in a tough weight class, but we're looking forward to him making a strong showing."
Sophomore Tyler Youssef (13-16) has been gaining notoriety at 160, and freshman Jacob Latch will wrestle at 170.
"Tyler (Youssef) has wrestled better than his record shows," said Rusnock. "Jacob (Latch) will have a good experience."
Sophomore Ben Nosal (9-3) will grapple at 182, senior Satchel Stauffer (24-6) will go at 220, and freshman Kyle Zimpfer will handle the 285 bracket. The Roughies will not fill the 195-pound bracket.