Two advance to states
As he wrestles at the state tournament in Hershey this weekend, Catasauqua's Ryan Greene is back on the big stage after a few years away.
Greene and teammate Satchel Stauffer, who will wrestle at 132 and 220 pounds respectively, will represent the Roughies at the state tournament. It is the first trip to the big top for Greene, a sophomore, and Stauffer, a senior.
Greene finished sixth at regionals, while Stauffer was third. His finish was the highest since Luke Garner won the same regional bracket in 2012.
For Greene, it is a definite feeling of accomplishment on several fronts. He won individual championships in fifth through seventh grade, but the landscape changed in eighth grade. Last season, Greene had an early exit from the district round.
"I was used to being in the big tournaments, but then I had a bad year in eighth grade," recalled Greene. "As a freshman, I was learning about things out there and I got out of districts in the opening round."
"It is a great feeling to get back to feeling like I am on top again."
Greene, who also has been nursing a shoulder injury over the last few weeks, truly cherished the moment when he discovered he had clinched one of the six spots to advance.
"After the match, I was crying on my brother's (older brother Devin) shoulder," said Greene. "We were both crying at the time. This is a whole other world. I made it back to the big time and now I have to perform well.
"This has been a goal and I have worked hard to get here. The intensity level (at regionals) was all that I expected it to be. I knew every opponent would be a challenge."
In fact, Greene beat Pen Argyl's Philip Zito at regionals to clinch a spot and earlier has beaten him to gain third place at districts. The two have developed a friendship over the years.
"We always talk when we are at tournaments," noted Greene. "It was funny that I had to beat him to get to states. We knew what each other can do and it makes it a challenge."
Greene continues to deal with a rotator cuff injury, one he suffered in a late season match.
"Now, it is just sore from the (last) weekend," said Greene. "Usually, it feels good the first day of a tournament, and then it can bother me the second day. When I'm out on the mat, I tend not to think about it and I'm running on adrenaline.
"I'll keep going out there as long as I can."
Head coach Kyle Rusnock is proud of his two grapplers' accolades.
"It was a really good weekend for us," said Rusnock. "This was a huge accomplishment and we're excited to be at Hershey. Ryan (Greene) doesn't think about his shoulder and we try not to let his opponents find out about it.
"Both of these guys have worked very hard and they deserve to be there."
Greene is certainly glad to be back on the big stage.