Catasauqua sophomores Ryan Green and Ben Nosal both had busy afternoons and new experiences when they participated in the PIAA District 11 Class 2A individual tournament last weekend at Freedom High School.
They both also have endured through injuries in the process.
Greene, a 132-pounder, was back on the district stage after he was eliminated in the third round of consolations last year, while Nosal was making his first appearance in the limelight.
In the end, Greene managed his way through the consolation round for a third-place finish and earned a ticket to regionals at Wilson West Lawn this weekend, while Nosal had a heroic effort and notched a sixth-place finish.
Greene won his opening match over Daniel Russo of Palmerton, 6-1, but then suffered a fall against Preston Gehring of Schuylkill Haven. From there, Greene efficiently weaved a path through the consolation round before he finally defeated Philip Zito of Pen Argyl, 8-4, to capture third place.
"You never can imagine how kids fight to get to regionals until you get out there," said Greene, who entered the tournament as the fourth-seed with an overall 20-6 record. "It was more than I thought it would be."
It was an especially pleasing accomplishment for Greene, who has been battling a left shoulder rotator cuff injury incurred at the Panther Valley tournament a few weeks ago.
"I have been wrestling on it and sometimes it is tough," said Greene. "I have been icing it as much as I can and taking the necessary medication. In an early match, I had to take a time out because of the pain.
"But I have been running on adrenaline and I don't feel it. It started off a deltoid injury, but then it got worse. I want to keep going as far as I can."
Nosal, who was seeded fourth with an overall 9-3 record, began the day with an emotional victory when he flipped North Schuylkill's Thad Schatzenbach on his back at 1:06 when it appeared either grappler could win the match.
From there, Nosal was stopped by a fall from Pen Argyl's Oliver Hayden before he rallied with a pair of falls. But Nosal's afternoon ended when he lost an 11-5 decision to Carbon White of Mahanoy and then dropped a 16-0 technical fall to Jared Mooney of Palmerton.
"In my first match, he got me to my back and I just kept fighting," recalled Nosal. "I then got him in a headlock and pinned him. That was the biggest win of my life so far. It was an awesome experience. I was preparing for this the whole season."
Nosal got a late start to the season from a collarbone injury suffered during football season.
"I'm recovered from that and I'm getting stronger," he said. "The injury took longer than expected. But I feel great now."
Head coach Kyle Rusnock has been pleased with both wrestlers' progress.
"Both of them have had great seasons," said Runsock. "Ryan (Greene) has developed into one of the best at his weight class, and Ben (Nosal) has had a number of big victories since he has been back.
"They both have solid futures in the program."