Roughs do well at Coal Cracker
Over the last few years, Catasauqua’s wrestling team has used the annual Coal Cracker Tournament in Lehighton as a measuring stick for the upcoming postseason.
This season wasn’t an exception.
The Rough Riders placed 21st out of the 42-team field that annually attracts some of the top programs in the state and beyond.
It was a good tuneup for their District 11 Class 2A dual meet against Jim Thorpe Thursday night.
“This tournament happened at the perfect time for our team as we prepare for the postseason,” said Roughies head coach Joe Russo. “There were 41 teams that we competed against in the two day, two gym event. Hats off to the parents who supported the team for over 18 hours of wrestling. Through it all, we were able to medal two guys.”
Sophomore Jaryn Hartranft extended his impressive showing with a four-place and he raised his overall record this season to 25-3. He was beaten in the semifinals by Meadowbrook Christian’s Cade Wirnsberger, 6-2.
Junior Austin Brett also continued his assault this season at 122 pounds with a third-place finish in the bracket. Brett recorded a first-period pin in his final victory and raised his overall mark to 20-9. Fellow junior Jacob Nye (17-10) also wove his way through the 106-bracket for an eighth-place finish. Both wrestlers were allowed to be at the same weight class for the tournament.
“Hartranft was in close matches with state-ranked opponents,” added Russo. “Brett turned it up and took third avenging a loss he took a week ago, and Jacob Nye clawed his way to eighth.”
Freshman Gavin Fehr (22-8 overall) worked his way to a seventh-place finish also at 120 pounds. Senior Adam Reinhart (182 pounds, 22-7 overall) finished one match away from placing and sophomore Cole Brown (126, 9-9), junior Donnie Gair (170, 6-18), and senior Lavonte Bouie (285, 15-7) each recorded a win. Bouie was later scratched as a precautionary measure, according to Russo.
Luis Del Rosario placed third in the JV portion of the tournament.
The Roughies will have another test when they meet Jim Thorpe at Liberty High School Thursday evening. Jim Thorpe placed 15th at the Coal Cracker Tournament.
From there, the Roughies will either advance to the finals Saturday morning at Freedom High School, or they will prepare for individual districts the weekend of Feb. 21-22.
“It’s going to be a close one,” stated Russo. “Lavonte (Bouie) and (Zach) Scheirer are hurt, and we don’t want to risk any further injuries for individual districts. It looks like we will have to forfeit a few weights.”