Wrestlers ready as season kicks into gear
With January coming with a blast of new weather, Catasauqua’s wrestling team is taking a similar cue.
“We wanted to be healthy for January,” said first-year head coach Joe Russo. “We had a few meets, but we know we have a busy January schedule, and our season really kicks into gear.
“We had some wrestlers injured, but we believe we can have a solid lineup. This will be a busy month for us and we’ll get a good feel for what kind of team we have.”
The Roughies begin their journey this week when they wrestle Notre Dame Green Pond Thursday and then will participate in the Whitehall Zephyr Duals on Saturday.
After this week, the Roughies will have matches left with Northern Lehigh, Wilson, Palmerton, Northwestern, and Salisbury. They will also participate in the prestigious Berwick Duals and the Coal Cracker Tournament in Panther Valley.
The Roughies opened the dual meet season with matches against Bangor and Southern Lehigh, both of which they dropped.
“Bangor was a tough match for us,” said Russo. “They (Bangor) are a better team than us right now. Southern Lehigh also was a tough match.
“But our kids fought hard in both matches.”
However, Russo was impressed with his team’s overall showing and noted performances from Jake Nye (pins in both matches), Derrick Rodriguez (who went 2-0) Oscar Cordon (1-1), and Shane Brader (1-1).
LaVonte Bouie lost both of his matches, but he was impressive in both showings.
“Jake (Nye) is a freshman and he has looked very good,” added Russo. “Oscar (Cordon), Derrick (Rodriguez), and Shane (Brader) are veterans and they should have good years. LaVonte (Bouie) has been wrestling some tough kids and he is doing a nice job.”
Russo also welcomed back Austin Brett, Tyler Melendez, and Doug Scott from injuries to have shape the Roughies lineup.
Recently, Nye, Scott, Bradshaw Henning, Ben Langsdorf, Brad Panto, and Adam Reinhart all had solid showings in a JV tournament at Northern Lehigh.
Overall, though, Russo is confident his squad can endure the rigors of the month ahead.
“We feel we are in a good situation now,” he said. “We’ll get better as the season goes along. We’re healthy now and staying healthy will be one big key to our season.”