Closing time at Hershey!

The first weekend in March brings the final stage of the PIAA Wrestling season. Beginning Wednesday, and running the gauntlet through Saturday, wrestlers from across the great state of Pennsylvania kick and scratch for a coveted place on the PIAA podium. For Downingtown East, three brave young men took to the mats at Hershey’s GIANT Center and gave every last drop of strength they had to compete with the state’s best. Keanu Manuel (1-2, 106 lbs.), Ryan Loraw (0-2, 113 lbs.), and Matt Romanelli (2-2, 170 lbs.) fought tooth and nail to secure some hardware for the Cougars, but the wrestling fates pulled some tough strings and they were left with valuable experience and lasting memories to build on. On a positive note, these three are underclassmen, and will most certainly gather and set new goals for 2020 – 2021. Downingtown East Wrestling is proud of the three state qualifiers as well as the rest of the squad for a resurgent 19-20 season! Many thanks for your efforts and best of luck in the days ahead! Remember the tracks you have left behind and break out the tools to forge the new road ahead! INVICTUS

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February closes with a bang!

This final weekend of February saw the remaining Cougar grapplers bring their skills to the SEPA Regional Tournament at Soudrton HS. This event is the final qualifier for the PIAA State Tournament and only 5 place-finishers from each weight progress. The action was fierce, and in the end, East placed 6th out 53 teams and qualified 3 wrestlers for the final competition in Hershey. Keanu Manuel (106) and Matt Romanelli (170) were crowned champions and Ryan Loraw (113) defied the odds and pushed strong to snatch 4th place. These 3 will look to get on the podium next week at Pennsylvania’s greatest sports competition, the PIAA State Wrestling Championships. Congrats go out to them and their teammates Bo Horvath (2-2, 152), Spencer Uggla (0-2, 160), Ray Wileczek (0-2, 220), and Zach Aceto (1-2, 285) who battled to the end in Souderton. Best of luck to the remaining 3 as dreams are either confirmed or crushed in Hershey, but the memories are worth more than gold. GOOD LUCK!

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The Cougars claw their way at District 1 West!

This past weekend marked the beginning of the post-season for all of the wrestlers in District 1. Downingtown East took to the mats at Oxford HS and the District 1 West tournament. 14 teams total from the Chesmont and Central leagues entered their best in 14 individual weight classes. Only the top 4 in each weight qualify to move on for the following weekend’s SEPA Regional tournament at Souderton. In the end, the Cougars finished in 2nd place behind WC Henderson with 7 wrestlers qualifying for the next stage. Keanu Manuel (106), Bo Horvath (152), and Matt Romanelli (160) collected championships for East, while Ryan Loraw (113) beat the odds and captured second place. Spencer Uggla (160), Ray Wilecezek (220), and Zach Aceto (285) worked hard for 4th place finishes and bids to advance. Waiting in the wings are Billy Dyer (182, 5th place) and Jackson Swearhart (195, 6th place). Congrats also go out to Josh Hilletstad (120, 0-2), Vic Cozzone (126, 1-2), Sean Mullen (132, 2-2), Alex Viscomi (138, 0-2), and Connor Huntoon (145, 1-2) who fought hard to pick up points for the team when they could. East’s second place finish with 183 points demonstrated their ability to put together a team performance despite the wide variety of experience on the team. Now, the remaining Cougars must prepare for the regional tournament where only the top five wrestlers in each weight will secure a coveted ticket to the PIAA State Tournament. Good luck gentlemen!

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East claims victory in final dual of 2020!

On a rare Tuesday night, the Cougar grapplers travelled up Route 100 to take on the Pottsgrove Falcons from the PAC-12. The battle-hardened Cougars gave a strong performance and bested the Falcons 35-28. Keanu Manuel (120), Matt Romanelli (170), and Billy Dyer (182) came up with big falls for the team, while Bo Horvath (152) earned a tech-fall. Spencer Uggla (160) and Connor Huntoon (145) secured crucial decisions and Ryan Loraw (106) picked up the lone forfeit. It was the last dual meet of the season and the win bolstered some tired spirits as the team finished 15-9, surpassing last year’s sub .500 record. Congrats to the team for a fine regular season and to the seniors for winning the final dual of their blue and gold careers! Good luck in the post season!

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The Cougars resurge against the Skins!

After a tough mid-week brawl with the Whippets, East came back with a resurgence taking on familiar foes Neshaminy in a Saturday home dual. The Cougars fell to the Redskins in earlier District Dual action, but stormed back in their second meeting of the season. East won 39-23 winning 8 of the 14 bouts wrestled. Ryan Loraw (108), Keanu Manuel (113), Bo Horvath (152), and Ray Wileczek (220) won by fall, while Spencer Uggla (160), Matt Romanelli (182) and Zach Aceto (285) picked up hard-fought decisions to seal the win. The victory was well-deserved and a quality boost as the Cougars head towards the individual post-season. Next up, away at Pottsgrove Tuesday night. Good luck boys!

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The Battle of Brandywine falls hard on the Cougars

Wednesday night brought the final Chesmont National dual of the season to East’s home gym. The Cougars hosted crosstown rivals Downingtown West in the last league dual to see who would capture second place in the National. At the end of the annual “Battle of the Brandywine,” East fell 30-43 and learned a number of valuable lessons. Of all the sports in the PIAA, wrestling requires the most commitment, sacrifice, and preparation. If those criteria are not met, a team can certainly forget a league victory against a crosstown rival. Keanu Manuel (120), Sean Mullen (132), Bo Horvath (152), and Matt Romanelli (170) registered falls for the Cougars, while Spencer Uggla (160) and Zach Aceto (285) won decisions. In the end, it was not enough. In the JV competition, Josh Hillestad (113), Brandon Pacinelli (126), Jack Thompson (138), Alejandro Santiago (145), and Kevin Clark (220) earned victories to give their team the edge. Congrats to both programs for another exciting Downingtown battle! We’ll see everyone again at the District 1 West Tournament.

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The Cougars hit D-E-L-C-O!

On Saturday 2/1, East travelled to it’s second tri-meet of the year. They hopped on a bus and rolled down to ol’ Delaware County to take on Ridley HS and Episcopal Academy. The “Green Machine” of Ridley hosted and all teams served up some heated competition. The Cougars finished the day 2-0 beating Ridley 43-27 and Episcopal 46-25. Double winners on the day were Ryan Loraw (106), Keanu Manuel (120), Bo Horvath (152), Spencer Uggla (160), Matt Romanelli (170), and Billy Dyer (182). Over at Haverford HS, the Cougar JV contingent battled at their annual JV scramble. Vic Cozzone (126) and Jon Jon Asiddao (170) captured gold medals going 4-0, while Oskar Bustos (106), Bent D’Archangelo (113), and Alejandro Santiago (138) all collected silver medals going 3-1. Congrats to all the East grapplers on a fine weekend! Next up, the neighborhood bash against D-West. GO COUGARS!

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The Cougars dig deep in the Battle of Route 100!

This Wednesday night rekindled Chesmont National action as the Cougars took on the Vikings of West Chester East as the annual contest between Route 100 teams commenced. East came in limping with injuries and illnesses, but put together a team performance that withstood the tide and got the win. The Cougars won 34-28 with pins from Spencer Uggla (170), Matt Romanelli (182), and Ray Wileczek (220). Ryan Loraw (106) and Keanu Manuel (120) registered tech falls while Connor Huntoon (145) and Bo Horvath (160) picked up decisions. Josh Hillestad (113), Sean Mullen (132), and Alex Viscomi (138) all lost their bouts, but battled hard and won the dual for the team by saving points at every turn. Congrats to the team for ulitmately getting the job done despite missing several key wrestlers. Also, many thanks and best of luck to our seniors and their parents who were celebrated with our annual “Senior Night!” Good luck this weekend at the Ridley/EA tri-meet!

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