12th Annual Golf Scramble @ Arrowhead set for Saturday, August 12th
Our largest fundraiser, the annual Golf Scramble, is scheduled for Saturday, August 12th @ Arrowhead Golf Course. All of the information needed is on the flyer below. We are always looking for foursomes of golfers, and we cap the number of golfers at 124 so get your money in early! We are also looking for $100 hole sponsors and door prizes. Click here to see all of this year's hole sponsors and donations. Thank you in advance to all the volunteers and local businesses, who make this fundraiser a success year after year!
• Click Here for the Golf Flyer
• Click Here for the Sponsorship Letter
A Special Thanks to The IRIS Companies
We would like to personally thank The IRIS Companies for their generous donation of the 250 Custom Lanyards celebrating the Exeter Township Wrestling District III Championship this year as well as last year’s 25 County Championship Valued at $400.00, which will benefit our youth wrestling club in so many ways. Here is a letter we sent to the company.
All-Stars Honored at Annual Banquet
All-Stars honored at BCIAA Banquet.
Last evening at the annual BCIAA All-Star Banquet, 9 Exeter Wrestlers were honored for their accomplishments this past season. This banquet marks the end of a season that will be remembered forever. Exeter's First Individual State Champion, first District III Team Championship, and many others accomplishments were honored on this night. Austin DeSanto, Tyler Bagoly, and Oscar Daniels were selected to the All-County team. Ryan Watts, Tyler Harkness, Tyler Borton, Nolan Buck, Dennis Karas (missing from photo), and Jon Greenleaf were selected to the All-Division team. Gage Moran recieved an Honorable Mention.
Off-Season is Set
The off-season schedule is set and the handout with all the information can be found below. All K-12 wrestlers are encouraged to attend the Arsenal Summer Training camp at Boyertown JH East on June 19th-21st. All 8-11 grade wrestlers are expected to compete in the Boyertown Summer Duals on the same days in the evenings.
HS and JH will lift on Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays, starting on Monday April 3rd, from 2:45-4pm after school in the HS weight room. Bob Nagle, from 5th Street Powerhouse, will once again be running these lifting sessions. Cost is $75 for the rest of the school year and checks can be made out to "Exeter Mat Club".
Starting Thursday, April 6th, HS and JH wrestlers will have an after school workout every Thursday from 2:45-3:45. Starting Sunday, April 9th, there will be an open mat for all Elementary wrestlers from 5:30-6:30pm in the HS wrestling room.
In addition to all of those workouts, camps, duals, there are plenty of other options for training, including joining a freestyle club, attending an intensive camp, or competing in off-season tournaments like MAWA's or FloNationals. HS and JH wrestlers are encouraged to join Team PAC for freestyle, folkstyle, and open mats held at 3 nearby schools. The cost to be a member of this club is only $65 and will host a lot of the top talent in District 1.
If you have any questions about any of the workouts, camps, club, please contact Coach Rugg. #workday #whosnext
• Click Here for the Off-Season Training Handout
• Click Here for the Team PAC Registration
• Click Here for the Boyertown/Arsenal Day Camp
• Click Here for the Boyertown Summer Duals
DeSanto Strikes Gold!
Wow. Just WOW!
Austin DeSanto atop the podium as Exeter 1st State Champion.
Austin DeSanto has rewritten the record books for Exeter Wrestling - from front to back. But, like "everything Austin," just rewriting the book for the school wouldn't be enough. He likes to push. Bigger is better. There are many a high school wrestler that wants to be good. Austin wants to be the best. In order to do that, you have to have some pretty lofty goals, a work ethic that borders on insanity, and the discipline and focus to stick with it for a long time. Turns out that he had all of those things.
DeSanto made a statement after last year's state final loss to 3x PIAA Champion and 3x World Champion Spencer Lee of Franklin Regional. He was clear in that he wasn't happy with his performance, and he would be back. As he said, "day one starts tomorrow." And, at the high school level, you often get a lot of emotional talk from an immature athlete that just suffered a humbling loss. A few weeks later, they're talking about what could've been, and what might be. Not DeSanto - he got to work. He trained multiple times per week at Penn State with the likes of Nick Suriano and Mark McKnight. He would seek the best training partners that were within a drivable distance, and he would go work with them, challenge himself, and continue to sharpen the saw. DeSanto - headed to Division I Drexel in the fall - trained physically and mentally. Reviewing what went wrong, and how. What would be different, how could he slow Lee's offense? How could he improve his own?
All of his preparation made him one of the most dominant wrestlers in the state over the past two seasons. Heading back to the PIAA AAA State Final with a record of 102-1 over the past two seasons. Impressive. On the other side - University of Iowa bound Spencer Lee returned in search of his 4th PIAA AAA State Title. Maybe even more impressive was that Lee had arrived to this point unscathed with a career record of 144-0. The match was billed as the broadcast's "Main Event." Pretty serious stuff for a tournament that featured over a dozen Top 10 wrestlers in the country - some of them settling for state medals below their national ranking.
The stage was set last year, when DeSanto said he'd be back for another shot at Lee. During the season, the two competed at different weights, with DeSanto a weight above Lee. DeSanto made the commitment - and a statement - when he dropped down to take on Lee - a la Louden Swain dropping to take on Shute in 1985's Vision Quest. DeSanto was an instant celebrity at the tournament with kids seeking him out for autographs - not one or two, dozens and dozens of autographs. The crowd was electric. The lights were bright. The tension intense as we waited for the match to start.
Off the whistle, Austin worked Lee's head and pushed the pace as he always has. Stalking forward fearless in his personal David vs. Goliath. DeSanto kept his shooting hand busy, working the head, faking shots, pushing forward. For two minutes, you heard "oohs" and "ahhs" from the crowd as he initiated the action, created little scrambles, got in deep on Lee's leg, but was unable to finish. End of first, score 0-0. Lee won the toss and deferred his choice to the third period, giving DeSanto choice to start the second. DeSanto chose to be where he always wants to be, on his feet. A "Rocky" like moment, as you could feel the balance of power leveling out. Again, DeSanto would initiate the activity, driving Lee out of bounds on occasion, drawing loud "boos" from the crowd that felt Lee should be called for stalling. Just past the midway point of the second, as DeSanto was trying to get a leg in to score the matches first points, he got his right arm and leg caught up, and surrendered a takedown. He would finish the period on bottom and go into the third down 2-0.
Lee chooses bottom to start the third. And DeSanto choose an optional start, basically letting Lee up for a 3-0 lead. Cue Rocky music... here comes Austin. The pace that seemed to be intense during the first 4 minutes of the bout appeared to be about a notch or two below DeSanto's third period pace as he could feel the champion beginning to break down. Desanto would score his first points - ever - against Lee with a takedown with about a minute left in the bout, and cut him loose almost immediately. Lee 4, DeSanto 2. DeSanto scores again with about :30 left on the clock and ties the score with the takedown, 4-4.
:28 seconds remain in the bout, and DeSanto elects to go on his feet - surrendering the lead to the one who has proven to be unbeatable over 4 years... so far. The crowd is insane at this point. The roar is deafening and communication is out the window. As they step to the line, DeSanto leans in and stares down Lee. The whistle blows, and Lee appears to be doing all he can to hold on, slow the pace, and just maintain position. DeSanto is working franticly - his conditioning is insane. The commitment he made 12 months ago comes down to the final seconds of his high school career. :11 seconds left, they're in a scramble. :5 seconds left... DeSanto hits an underarm spin, and is coming behind Lee on their feet... Lee's hand touches the mat, he comes back up... hits a granby.... The crowd erupts as time expires and the official is standing with two fingers up awarding DeSanto with the takedown! 6-5 David has slain Goliath!
DeSanto becomes the first ever PIAA AAA Champion for Exeter... but again, that's not enough. He's also become the first wrestler to defeat a 3x PIAA Champion in the State Tournament. He's also become the first wrestler in high school to defeat Spencer Lee in his career. He's also become a hero to a generation of kids that now see that "Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn't work hard."
Tyler Bagoly with his 4th place medal on the AAA podium.
Joining DeSanto on the podium was Senior Tyler Bagoly. "Bags" put together a run at a championship that was impressive in its own right. Bagoly had no easy road in the 170 pound bracket as he took on Kyle Homet - ranked # 8 in the state - in his opening round. Bagoly would advance by way of a 3-0 shutout to draw # 9 David Cox. Bagoly would continue to be stingy with the points, shutting out Cox with an 8-0 major decision to advance to the state semifinals. This would mark the first time in school history that Exeter would have two wrestlers in the state finals simultaneously.
Bagoly's semi opponent would be Mikey Labriola - defending PIAA champion - from Bethlehem Catholic. Labriola bounces around a 1 or 2 ranking in the country, and is one of the most dominant wrestlers in the country on his feet. The Nebraska-bound Labriola would hand Bagoly his 4th loss of the season in the semifinals, moving "Bags" to the consolation bracket for another matchup with Wilson rival Tommy O'Brien. Bagoly would keep his career record against O'Brien flawless and advance to the 3rd place bout with a 3-1 victory.
Bagoly - who will wrestle at Division I Clarion next season - would take on Tim Wallace, who came into the tournament with a #2 ranking in the state. Bagoly would drop a 5-1 decision to take 4th in the state - and finish an impressive senior campaign with a record of 48-5. Of the 5 losses Bagoly surrendered this season, 3 came to eventual state champions holding national rankings.
Oscar Daniels came one win shy of a podium finish, dropping an exciting back and forth bout to Cathedral Prep's Kewaun Deboe.
The three racked up enough points over the weekend to reaffirm Exeter's standing in the state. After wrapping up the dual meet season with a final ranking of #9, the team finished the individual tournament in 8th place - Exeter's highest finish ever. The team will graduate 10 seniors this season - the largest graduating class in a long time. The team looks to be back in the mix for county and district accolades next season, as a couple of the returning starters have their eyes on some state hardware next year. #workday #whosnext
• Click Here to watch Desanto vs. Lee
• Click Here for the PIAA AAA Tournament Brackets & Team Scores
Eagles Take 2 Individual Titles, Advance 3 to State Tournament
Ten Exeter wrestlers took to the mats over the weekend in the PIAA District III SC Regional Tournament. On the line this weekend was a trip to the PIAA AAA Tournament, and hopes of a PIAA State Title - the Holy Grail of high school wrestling nationwide. Exeter's Austin Desanto (SR, 126) and Tyler Bagoly (SR, 170) claimed individual gold medals. For Desanto, this was his 3rd straight regional title, and 4th podium finish. Bagoly stood on the podium for the first time at the regional tournament, after being upset in last year's tournament, and exiting early.
Austin Desanto looking for a takedown.
Tyler Bagoly working on top.
Oscar Daniels (SR, 285) took a step down on the podium this year, after last year's runner up finish. Daniels will join Bagoly and Desanto at the State Tournament March 9-11, as the top 4 regional place finishers receive automatic bids to the state tournament. Denny Karas (JR, 195) came up short on his quest for a return trip to states. Karas dropped a decision in the quarterfinals to Shippensburg junior Cole Forrester - his second loss to Forrester this season. Karas' road back to the tournament looked promising until top seeded Jake Koser (Northern York, JR), was upset in the semifinals dropping into the consolation bracket to face Karas. Karas had wrestled Koser 3 times earlier in the season, losing all 3 by close decisions. This match saw Karas score the only points, and carrying a 1-0 lead with less than :30 seconds on the clock, when Karas was warned for stalling. Maintaining a 1-0 lead, Karas continued to ride on top, but was nailed for an untimely stall penalty as time expired, forcing overtime. Karas ultimately dropped the decision to Koser on a sudden victory takedown. Karas followed up with a fall in the 5/6 bout to take 5th place and serve as the state alternate.
Tyler Borton (SR, 160) was the Cinderella Story of the tournament for Exeter. Borton dropped his first bout by a point to Cumberland Valley's Quentin Milliken. Borton battled back to win 4 matches in the consolation bracket and set up a rematch with Milliken with the winner taking the trip to states. Milliken would end up victorious once again - but not without some fireworks. With less than :30 on the clock, Borton threw Milliken to his back for 5 points, but couldn't secure the arm to get the fall. Ultimately losing, and like Karas, the state alternate for his weight class.
Ryan Watts (SR, 113), Chris Matthews (SO, 120), Tyler Harkness (SR, 152), Nolan Buck (SR, 182) and Jon Greenleaf (SR, 220) saw their seasons - and for all but Matthews, their careers - come to an end at the tournament. Despite the disappointment, they were all contributors to Exeter's highest finish in the District III SC Regional Tournament, as the Eagles took home 2nd Place in the team race, just 4.5 points behind Cedar Cliff. The State Tournament will be held at Hershey's Giant Center Arena, Thursday March 9 through Saturday March 11. Bagoly, Desanto and Daniels will all look to medal. #workday
• Click Here for the 2017 AAA D3/South Central Regional Brackets
• Click Here for the 2017 AAA D3/South Central Regional Team Scores
• Click Here for the PIAA AAA Tournament Schedule
Harkness, Bagoly, Daniels Earn "Scholarship for Books"
Harkness, Bagoly, and Daniels with their coaches and scholarship awards.
Each season, the District 3 Coaches Association awards book scholarships to graduating seniors who qualify for the District 3 Tournament. After qualifying for the tournament, wrestlers earn the scholarship based solely on their cumulative GPA. Exeter has had at least 1 scholarship winner each of the last 6 seasons. It's almost becoming habit and shows what great students we have had graduate from our program. Best of luck to all 3 of these individuals as they pursue their academic and career goals at the next level.
13 Youth Wrestlers Place at Schoolboy Tournament
Travis Harner on the Podium.
Chase McCusker and Gavin Gery on the Podium.
Kevin Oswalt on the Podium.
Kole Swartley on the Podium.
Some of the youngest members of our program competed at the annual Schoolboy Tournament held at the Geigle Complex in Reading on Sunday February 19th. The annual Schoolboy Tournament serves as the "post-season" for most of our elementary wrestlers and we strive to increase our numbers of wrestlers participating each season. The Tournament also acts as a fundraiser for the BCWOA (Berks County Wrestling Officials Association) so they can purchase the awards and scholarships for the annual end of season Senior High Banquet. The following youth wrestlers competed this season with 13 of them bringing home hardware.
- Brandon Geiger - 3rd place
- Lincoln Glennon - 3rd place
- Xavier Jacobs - 2nd place
- Evan Lanteigne - wrestled hard
- Kevin Oswalt - 1st place
- Urijah Suliverrer - wrestled hard
- Corbin Strobel - 1st place
- Liam Thomas - wrestled hard
- Conlan Boyer - 4th place
- Ben Dodson - wrestled hard
- Trey Douglas - wrestled hard
- Gavin Gery - 3rd place
- Travis Harner - 4th place
- Chase McCusker - 4th place
- Gavin Miller - wrestled hard
- Kole Swartley - 3rd place
- Jacob Thomas - 3rd place
- Michael Borja - wrestled hard
- Joey Henderson - wrestled hard
- Chase Painter - 3rd place
- Matthew Skipper - wrestled hard
- Ashton Warchol - 2nd place
Exeter Claims 5 Individual Titles, Team Title
The team with their 2nd consecutive Sectional Championship Trophy.
Exeter Wrestling's individual post-season got under way on Saturday at Governor Mifflin Intermediate School. Exeter has high hopes after coming off a banner season of team accomplishments. Heading into the Sectional Tournament, the Eagles looked to defend their title from a year ago. Winning titles for the Eagles, and advancing to the District III Tournament were Austin Desanto (SR, 126), Tyler Harkness (SR, 152), Tyler Bagoly (SR, 170), Denny Karas (JR, 195) and Oscar Daniels (SR, 285).
Harkness in the Sectional Finals.
Desanto locked up his fourth consecutive title with a dominating technical fall in the finals. Desanto's road to the finals wasn't any more difficult - posting a first period fall and first period technical fall in the preceding two rounds. Tyler Harkness entered the tournament as the #5 seed, and clearly wasn't content with that ranking. Harkness' day was dominating as well - notching three wins by fall, and one win by technical fall, for his first sectional title.
Tyler Bagoly with his OW trophy.
Bagoly took home his second consecutive title. Bagoly was barely tested en route to the finals where he'd square off with Tommy O'Brien of Wilson - ranked 5th in the state behind Bagoly (4th). The matchup was the most highly anticipated of the finals, and the match delivered. Bagoly and O'Brien went scoreless through the first period; however, Bagoly opened the scoring with a reversal, and later put O'Brien to his back for three more points. O'Brien scored an escape late in the third, too late for a comeback of any sort, and Bagoly took gold with a 5-1 decision. The dominating final win was noticed by all coaches, as Bagoly was voted the tournament's "Most Outstanding Wrestler."
Karas and Daniels also took home their second consecutive title. Powered into the finals with two falls, Karas ran off a 9-2 decision over #17 Ben Fromm of Cocalico. Daniels scored a first round fall to advance to the semifinals. In the semis, Daniels posted a 5-2 decision to advance to the finals. The finals saw Daniels square off against #17 Brady Maxwell of Cocalico. Daniels handed Maxwell a convincing 5-2 loss to bring home gold. Jon Greenleaf (SR, 220) continued his quest for 100 wins, getting 3 wins to advance to the finals. In the finals, Greenleaf dropped a 3-1 decision to returning PIAA 7th Place Jesse Enck of Daniel Boone.
Tyler Borton (SR, 160) dropped a close semifinal match to eventual champion Bailey Funk of Wilson. Borton rebounded in the consolations to take home 3rd place, and his second trip to the District III tournament. Ryan Watts (SR, 113), Ryan Matthews (SO, 120) and Nolan Buck (SR, 182) advance to the District tournament with 4th place finishes. Each wrestler suffered 2 losses in the tournament - both losses came at the hands of the same opponent for each. Not qualifying for the tournament, but finishing on the podium were Alex O'Neill (JR, 138) and Gage Moran (JR, 145). Both took home 6th place finishes, and dropped close consolation semifinal matches to eliminate them from the District tournament.
The 10 wrestlers advancing will be back in action on Thursday evening at the Giant Center in Hershey. A top 4 finish at the District III tournament will advance the wrestler to the PIAA AAA State Championships two weeks later - again in Hershey at the Giant Center. #workday
• Click Here for the2017 AAA D3 Section I Brackets
• Click Here for the2017 AAA D3 Section I Team Scores
• Click Here for the2017 D3/SC Regional Brackets
Exeter's Run Cut Short By Perennial State Powers
Exeter opened up with a win over Boyertown at the PIAA State Duals. The win would be the organizations first team duals win at the Giant Center for the PIAA State Tournament. In the past, Exeter had only won a "wrestle-in" bout - only getting them to "The Show" at the Giant Center once, and returning home after a 0-2 performance. This year was different. As the group of 10 seniors continue to raise the bar of what Exeter Wrestling is, they once again guided their team further than any other team in program history. The Boyertown dual was expected to be close, and it didn't disappoint. Oscar Daniels (SR, 285) got Exeter started with a forfeit, and Jake Keller (FR, 106) won a huge swing bout by major decision to put Exeter up 10-0. Boyertown responded with a pair of major decisions and a fall over the next 3 bouts, to take the lead at 14-10.
Desanto working a bar on his opponent.
Moran looking for the fall against Boyertown.
Austin Desanto (SR, 132) got Exeter back on top with a technical fall, coming close to the pin several times. Justin Landis (SR, 138) has been battling through excruciating pain, winning some and losing some. On this night, it would be a loss; however, Landis would prevent Boyertown from getting any bonus points. Gage Moran (JR, 145) took another key swing bout - this one by fall. Once on top, Moran through his legs in and cranked on a power half. After a nice adjustment with his hips, Moran flattened his opponent with 6 seconds remaining in the first period. The 6 point fall put Exeter back on top - temporarily - 21-17, heading into the heart of the Bears lineup.
Exeter would surrender the next three bouts - all by decision - and fall behind by a score of 26-21. After weathering the storm of some of Boyertown's strength, Boyertown would now need to hold on as Exeter would run a pair of State Ranked wrestlers to the mat, and a senior 4-year starter. Ty Bagoly (SR, 170) - ranked #3 in the state at 170 pounds - would bump up to take on Boyertown's Elijah Jones, ranked #6 in the state at 182 pounds. Bagoly would surrender the initial takedown, but would later lock up a cradle and turn Jones to his back for a 3-point near fall. Bagoly would add 3 more points, and walk off the victor by a score of 6-3.
With the Eagles now down by only two points, the match headed into the final two bouts. Denny Karas (JR, 195) - ranked #6 in the state would win by fall in the middle of the second period, as he turned his Boyertown opponent with an arm bar, pushing the Eagles ahead 30-26. Exeter felt more than confident at this point, knowing that even if Boyertown could get a win, it would need to be by bonus points against senior, and 4-year starter, Jon Greenleaf (SR, 220). Greenleaf would go into the second period scoreless, and that wouldn't last long. :49 seconds into the second period the match was over, and Exeter had notched their first ever dual meet win in Hershey. The Eagles now advanced to the quarterfinals against #5 North Allegheny. Exeter needed all of the swing bouts against North Allegheny, as well as key bonus point victories in other matchups, in order to advance to the state semifinals.
Karas with the pin vs. Canon Mac.
Daniels with a takedown on the edge.
Tyler Bagoly, Nolan Buck and Denny Karas would do their part early, with a three match win streak by fall, decision, and fall, respectively. Jon Greenleaf would have his hands full with North Allegheny's defending state champion Jake Woodley. Greenleaf - who's normally hard to score on - would come up on the short end of the 19-9 decision, limiting NA's stud to only one additional bonus point. Oscar Daniels would post a 5-2 decision, and the Eagles were on their way with a 18-4 lead. At the turn, Exeter would surrender a major decision and a fall before a heartbreaking 3-1 loss for Ryan Watts (SR, 113). Watts would bump up to 120 pounds, and appeared to have a takedown locked up in the waning seconds; however, after a scramble ensued, Watts wound up on the short end of the decision, as NA's Gabe Falo scored a takedown with :02 seconds remaining.
The loss could have hurt the teams momentum and hopes, but Chris Matthews (SO, 120) - also up a weight - would take a one point decision for the Eagles by way of a score of 3-2. The momentum came at a good point, as Austin Desanto would follow Matthews with an onslaught of takedowns and a 23-8 technical fall. Exeter would be in the lead by a score of 26-17 with only 4 bouts remaining. However, the four bouts remaining would see Exeter as longshots in each one. Justin Landis would battle 6th ranked Zach Stedeford - and surrender a major decision 9-1. Gage Moran took on NA's #3 Jake Hinkson. Moran had caught the attention of the entire arena, battling extremely hard against the heavy favorite. Down by a score of 2-0 in the last 20 seconds of the second period, Hinkson locked up a tight cradle and put Moran on his back for the fall and a 1-point North Allegheny lead 27-26. Tyler Harkness (SR, 152) was caught for backpoints early, and was unable to get to his offense and close the gap, ultimately surrendering a 7-0 decision adding 3 team points to the NA lead, now 30-26.
To say the battle was uphill at this point would be an understatement. Exeter's Tyler Borton (SR, 160) would take the mat against NA's Eric Hong - ranked #2 Nationally at the weight. Borton would not make it to the second period, and the Eagles would need to regroup for one more bout to keep their hopes of a state medal alive. Final score NA 36, Exeter 26. Exeter's path to a state medal would get no easier in the consolation bracket. After losing to #5 North Allegheny, Exeter was bumped to the loser's bracket to square off with #4 Canon-McMillan. It would appear as the emotion of the big victories and disappointing losses had taken its toll on the Eagles, as they dropped a 42-21 dual to the Big Macs. The effort and energy never seemed to arrive - as the Eagles dropped one disappointing match after another. Winning for the eagles in their finale were Denny Karas (fall), Jon Greenleaf (dec. 2-0), Austin Desanto (forfeit), Tyler Borton (dec. 6-2) and Tyler Bagoly (dec. 4-0).
The Eagles would end the programs best season as a Top 10 ranked team in the #1 high school wrestling state in the country. With the opportunity to compete as a team in dual meets over, the team now heads into the individual postseason with several wrestlers focused on some state hardware. #workday
• Click Here for State Pictures
DISTRICT III CHAMPIONS!!!
The Eagles with their District 3 Championship Trophy.
Exeter appeared in its first ever District III title match over the weekend, after falling short in the semifinals the last three years. The opponent would be a familiar foe in Cedar Cliff, the team the Eagles squared off with last year in the District III 3rd place bout. Last year, Exeter bested Cedar Cliff in a close dual. This year, the expectations were the same. The Eagles could take home their first ever District III Championship, but in order to do so, they were going to have to win the close bouts, and minimize bonus point victories for Cedar Cliff.
The bout started at 126 where Brandon Borton (SO, 126) faced one of Cedar Cliff's top wrestlers in Josh McLaughlin. McLaughlin, ranked #5 in the district at 132, dropped a weight class for the dual. Outgunned, Borton gave McLaughlin a fight before losing by fall midway through the second period. At 132 pounds, Austin Desanto (SR, 132), ranked #1 in the state, received a forfeit to start a run of 8 consecutive Eagle victories - many by the slimmest of margins. Justin Landis (SR, 138) has been making the best of a bad situation, fighting through a nagging, painful injury for the better half of the season. Landis would take on #9 in the district Luis Tirado. Tirado came out and secured an early takedown but couldn't seem to keep Landis on the mat. After several times to their feet, and many mat returns, Landis turned into Tirado from his feet and hit him with a lateral drop as time expired in the period. The reversal was good, to even the score, but time was up before Landis could get any back points. The bout continued as a back and forth battle, but late in the third period, Landis once again got into an upper body tie and was able to throw Tirado to his back, secure near fall points, and lock up the victory by an 8-7 final.
Gage Moran (JR, 145) took the mat at 145 against Christian Prestil. Prestil, typically a 138 pounder moved up (along with Tirado) due to the vacancy that the forfeit to Desanto created. This meant that most of the lineup would bump, and exposed Cedar Cliff's strategy. Moran would start slow but score first. On top, Moran went to work and was a hammer, grinding out back points on a couple of occasions - nearly securing the fall in both instances. Ultimately, Moran would finish the match with his opponent on his back, as time expired, one second away from a 5-count for backpoints, leaving him just that one-second shy of a major decision, winning 11-4.
Matt Ward working for the fall.
With things going the Eagles' way, there were several swing bouts upcoming. Matt Ward (JR, 152) entered the lineup for just the 5th time this season. Coming into the bout with a 2-2 record, Ward is known in the room as one of the harder workers - and always willing to go to battle. Ward took to the mat and scored the first takedown. From there he didn't look back. With the crowd on their feet, the Spartan Center erupted in a deafening roar as Ward won by fall at the 5:58 mark in the match. With a major decision locked up, the fall gave Exeter 2 additional team points.
As if there couldn't be enough drama in the dual, a pair of 152-pounders would take the mat at 160 pounds. Exeter's #11d Tyler Harkness (SR, 152) and Cedar Cliff's #5d Jared Meise. This was the swing bout the Exeter staff was anticipating. Harkness has been on fire of late - almost surpassing his total wins for sophomore and junior seasons combined this year. Harkness found himself trailing for most of the bout, going back and forth. In the third period, he surrendered a takedown to put himself down 7-4 with time quickly winding down. He worked quickly for an escape, and persisted on his feet against a fading Meise, securing the match tying takedown with 6 seconds remaining. The match would end regulation in a dead heat, and they entered the sudden victory period on their feet. After a brief injury time taken by Meise, the period started with Meise taking a quick deep shot. Harkness "funked" Meise to come out the back - getting the takedown and the victory at the :37 mark of sudden victory.
With Exeter going full throttle through the heart of the lineup, the lead was built to 21-6 as Tyler Borton (SR, 160) headed out for a brawl. Borton had the crowd on their feet, almost immediately as Cedar Cliff's Hunter Nelson hit him with a "gator roll" to score a quick 2 point takedown and 2 point near fall. Borton would quickly reverse Nelson and earn near fall go to the second period, relieved, at a 5-4 lead. Borton would control the remaining two periods, logging a 9-6 decison and putting the Eagles up 24-6.
#3s #1d Tyler Bagoly (SR, 170) was battling illness last meet against Shippensburg, and was still feeling the effects heading into his meeting with Cedar Cliff's Bobby Whalen. If "Bags" wasn't feeling well, Whalen didn't want to hear about it, and certainly didn't want to see him at full strength. Bagoly took it to Whalen, running up a 17-2 technical fall late into the third period. Getting the technical fall by way of takedowns late in the third secured an additional team point for the Eagles boosting their margin to 29-6 with with 6 bouts remaining. #11d Nolan Buck (SR, 182) would enter another huge swing bout, with the meet still not out of reach for Cedar Cliff. Wrestling at 195 pounds, Buck was seeing Cedar Cliff's #7d Donovan Ball - a 170-pounder weighed in at 182. Buck scored first, but Ball battled back. Midway through the second, Ball through a violent crossface and was penalized for a point. That point proved to be the margin needed, as Buck continued to keep Ball off a good shot, winning by a 6-5 final score. Eagles 32, Cedar Cliff 6.
Buck's decision would be the last for the Eagles as #6s #2d Denny Karas (JR, 195) was upset at 220 pounds by #19s #3d Emorson Wentz - Cedar Cliff's 182-pounder. Exeter's #9s #4d Oscar Daniels would surrender a decision to Cedar Cliff's #3s #1d Francis Duggan - a 2x PIAA Medalist. Daniels battled through a difficult first period, as Duggan looked to turn Daniels, knowing he needed a fall for his team to remain mathematically in the dual. After the first period, Duggan's conditioning failed, and while he was able to score on his feet, he was unable to get Daniels to his back, and the 11-5 loss for Daniels secured the Eagles biggest victory in team history.
Exeter would lose the final 3 bouts by Fall, Tech Fall and decision, respectively. The final score Exeter 32, Cedar Cliff 27.
The loss was Cedar Cliff's first of the season, and the win pushed Exeter to 22-1. Exeter became the first Berks County team to win a District III AAA title since Boyertown in 2001. Speaking of Boyertown, the Eagles will face off against the Bears in their first round PIAA AAA Team Duals at the Giant Center in Hershey on Thursday at 8 PM. #Workday
• Click Here for the Cedar Cliff Box Score
• Click Here for the PIAA AAA Team Tournament Bracket
• Click Here for the PIAA AAA Team Tournament Schedule