Wrestlers see season come to an end
For Jaryn Hartranft and Austin Brett, it was all about the experience.
The Catasauqua duo had their initial experience in the PIAA Class 2A Southeast Regional at Wilson West Lawn High School last weekend.
Hartranft, a freshman in the 106-pound bracket, finished a win away from qualifying for the state tournament.
He began the regional Friday by beating Eric Howe of Lancaster Catholic, 7-6, in the opening round. Hartranft then suffered a tough, 1-0 defeat to Eric Alderfer of Faith Christian.
In the second round of consolations, Hartranft bounced back and defeated Jaxen Zimmerman of Susquentia, 4-2, before his days ended with a 6-0 loss to Gavin Smith of Newport.
Overall, Hartranft finished with a 26-9 record with 14 falls, and he had an impressive second-place finish in districts on his resume.
Through it all, Hartranft never lost his perspective on the present and the future.
“It was the second step toward reaching states,” he said. “I lost in the match that would have qualified me for states.
“It was a super tough tournament with a lot of really good wrestlers. I learned a lot of good lessons this season that will only help and drive me moving forward.”
Brett, a sophomore at 120 pounds, also finished second at the district meet.
He decisioned Korey Smith of Bermudian Springs, 8-6, in the opening round, but Brett then suffered a pair of falls to Bailey Gimbor of Hamburg (2:46) and Gavin Locke of North Schuylkill (3:44)
Brett finished his year with an overall 22-9 mark with 10 falls. He finished fourth at districts in his freshman year.
Like Hartranft, Brett realized what his potential could hold for the future.
“There was a lot of good wrestling out there,” said Brett. “I came up short of my goal to make it to states, but it was a great experience.
“All I can do is to keep improving in the offseason and get better day by day.”
Head coach Joe Russo is very optimistic about his two future anchors of his program.
“Austin (Brett) lost to a national ranked kid from Notre Dame and he was locked in a 4-4 battle with the North Schuylkill kid before he got caught on his back. He came up two wins short of states.
“Jaryn (Hartranft) lost a 1-0 decision that would have punched his ticket to states. After an exciting overtime win, he lost a 6-0 decision.
“The pressure is these situation is high and watching these young men fight for their goals is why my staff and I coach. We are extremely proud of them and excited for the future.”