Roughs aim to be at best by end of season
Although his wrestlers have been reaching new heights. Catasauqua head wrestling coach Kyle Rusnock is looking for some more dividends down the road.
“Our motto is that we are a team and a family,” said Rusnock. “We want to grow and come together. We want to be wrestling our best at the end of the season.”
The Roughies certainly appear to be heading in that direction. They recently placed five wrestlers in the top 10 positions of their respective brackets at the annual Coal Cracker Tournament at Panther Valley High School that featured 27 teams.
Ben Nosal finished third overall in the 220-pound bracket. Tyler Melendez gained a sixth-place finish at 120 pounds, and Tyler Youssef (182) and Ryan Greene (145) both finished seventh in their bracket. Bradshaw Henning was eighth in the 106-pound class.
“Nosal had a loss in the quarters and he was involved in close matches,” said Rusnock. “Youssef has a close match in the quarters and had a good tournament. Melendez is getting healthy again and is looking good. Greene has been in these types of situations before and he is wrestling well. Henning had a nice tournament for us.”
The tournament proved to be another test of mettle for his club.
“All of these guys and everyone else has to learn how to deal with adversity and with close matches. They have to learn how to handle situations and know how tough it can be and how to respond to it.”
The Roughies just missed qualifying for the Colonial League tournament that began Tuesday night. They were bumped from the fourth spot by Northwestern, who edged them, 42-36, in their final dual meet.
“That was a heartbreaker,” added Rusnock. “Just like us, they (Northwestern) have some very talented wrestlers and some new guys. We figured it hinged on three matches and all of them went against us.
“Not to make excuses, but we were a little banged up and the flu hurt us. We have a few guys who weren’t full strength.”
Catty did qualify for the District 11 Class 2A duals that begin Thursday night. The ninth-seed, Catty will wrestle eighth-seeded North Schuylkill at Bethlehem Catholic High School.
“We know it will be a tough battle for us,” said Rusnock. “If we get through, we’ll likely get Saucon Valley. We would hope to be at full strength, but we came off a tournament in which guys were wrestling five or six matches.”
After the district team championships, the Roughies won’t be back in action until Feb. 24 when the District Class 2A individual championships begin. For Rusnock and his wrestlers, the wait truly will be the hardest part.
“We don’t like the long break,” he said. “It does help everyone heal and get some time off, but we would rather be wrestling. We just have to realize what we are doing and keep working to get better.”