The curtain falls for East wrestling at the Giant Center

The PIAA Wrestling Championships at Hershey’s Giant Center is perhaps one of the most illustrious and challenging of the state’s great competitions. It collects Pennsylvania’s greatest wrestlers to lay their blood, sweat, and tears on the mats one final time and find out who can finish a long and grueling season with a spot on the the 8-place podium. Downingtown East sent it’s remaining two athletes in Keanu Manuel (106) and Lukas Richie (132) to take part in the heated battle. When the final curtain fell, these two Cougars gave their hearts’ best effort, but fell short of the medal rounds. Keanu went 2-2 over the course of the tournament, and senior captain Lukas met with a difficult fate of 0-2. Although it seems short of achievement, the stage is set for a positive future! Keanu will return for his junior year next season and will use his experience at the state tournament to fashion new goals and new skills and earn his rightful spot amongst the state’s elite. Lukas finishes his Downingtown East career as one of our most decorated athletes with 145 wins and a path to the University of Pennsylvania to continue his wrestling and academic endeavors. We wish both wrestlers, and the rest of the team, the best of luck as Spring makes its much needed debut! It is time to reflect on the good, learn from the bad, and make those important decisions about what comes next. Only you can decide what comes next for you! INVICTUS

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The Cougars carve a path to the big dance!

The first weekend in March traditionally ushers in Southeastern PA’s District 1 Regional wrestling tournament. This past weekend was no different. Over 60 high schools from the four counties sent their district’s best to compete at the regional for a berth at the following weekend’s PIAA State Tournament, the penultimate event. From East, the remaining four of Keanu Manuel, Lukas Richie, Spencer Uggla, and Zach Sharaf put their training to the test. In the end, East finished in 9th place out of the entire 60 team field, qualifying two wrestlers for the state tournament. Senior co-captain Lukas Richie finished out his District 1 career with the 132 lb. championship and a gold medal. At 106 lbs, Keanu Manuel took 4th place and also booked his spot at states. The magical run of junior Spencer Uggla at 160 lbs. resulted in a 6th place finish, one place shy of a birth. And Zach Sharaf at heavyweight, with just two years of wrestling under his belt, went 0-2 at the tournament, but proved his potential is there. The final week of competition is upon us, and DE Wrestling and community would like to congratulate our regional competitors on a great performance, and wish our state qualifiers the best of luck up on the mats at Hershey! See you in Chocolatetown!

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East mines some gold at the inaugural District 1 West Tournament!

This last weekend in February found the 15 wrestling teams in District 1 West convene at West Chester Rustin HS to see which competitors would advance to the regional. The top four placewinners in each weight punch tickets to the Southeastern Pennsylvania state qualifier next weekend. Downingtown East finished in 5th place, with 149.5 team points earned. The team put on a strong performance, finishing with 7 wrestlers in the final round, 3 champions, and a fourth place. Keanu Manuel (106), Lukas Richie (132), and Spencer Uggla (160) all won their respective weights and took home gold medals. Zach Sharaf (285) ground his way through the wrestle-backs and took 4th. Falling short of advancement, but competing in the final round were Billy Dyer (170, 5th), Ray Wilceczek (195, 6th), and Zach Aceto (220, 6th). East wrestling would also like to congratulate seniors Jett Lucas Murphy (138) and Will Vincent (145) on great careers in the blue and gold! The final four Cougars will now compete at next weekend’s SEPA Championships at Souderton HS to hopefully find a spot in the top five and punch a coveted ticket to the PIAA dance at Hershey! Good luck to all!!!

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The JV Cougars finish in stride!

This past Presidents’ Day, Downingtown East hosted the annual Chester County Junior Varsity Championships in Boyer Gymnasium. This event features future varsity wrestlers from the Chesmont league and beyond, totalling 15 teams. The day recognizes those wrestlers who have put in the time on their respective teams and are on the precipice of becoming Varsity contributors. For the JV Cougars, Billy Dyer (170) was the lone champion. Jackson Swearhart (195) fought back to claim 3rd place, and Alex Hillestad (106) earned a 4th place finish. Other Cougars in the mix were Alex Viscomi (126, 1-2), “Vegas” Vic Cozzone (132, 1-2), Alejandro Santiago (138, 1-2), Jeff Scott (145, 0-2), Jack Myers (145, 0-2), and  Johnny “Pants” Palladino (152, 1-2). Above all, these championships give the wrestlers a final shot at demonstrating what they’ve learned and allow them to see where they must develop. Congrats and good luck to all of the JV Cougars as they set new goals ad help the Varsity prepare for their post-season!

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The Cougars struggle in final dual meet!

On Wednesday 2/13, East wrestling traveled out to Bucks County to take on the Neshaminy Redskins in a final non-league dual meet of the season. The Cougars knew the ‘Skins would be tough and well prepared as one of the more successful teams in District 1, but the line was drawn and the challenge had to be met. Neshaminy had too much fire-power and the battered Cougars gave all they had in a 49-24 loss. Keanu Manuel (106) and Lukas Richie (132) picked up falls for East, while Zach Sharaf (285) collected a forfeit. Jett Lucas-Murphy (138) and Spencer Uggla (170) both won hard-earned decisions for East’s remaining wins. As the dual meet season concluded, the Cougars finished 10-12, falling short of the .500 mark. There were many misfortunes with the team this season, among them, significant injuries and the lack of experienced members, but there was always a willingness to learn and fight. Hopefully, these values will continue on in the post-season and the years to come as East looks to rebuild. Good luck to all of the wrestlers as the Chester County JV Championships and the inaugural District 1 West tournament loom!

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East faces the PAC-12 and falls!

With a week of regular season left, Downingtown East used this weekend to take on PAC-12 upstarts Pottsgrove. In the final home dual of the season, the Cougars were missing the most wrestlers to date with illness/injury, and had to forfeit two weights while filling others with young and inexperienced wrestlers. The patchwork showed, and East fell 36-42. Each team won seven bouts, but the Cougars were unable to prevent the submission of bonus points. Lukas Richie (132), Billy Dyer “On Fire” (182), and Zach Sharaf (285) all secured pins for East, while Spencer Uggla (182) and Keanu Manuel (106) collected forfeits. Earning hard-earned decisions were Jett Lucas-Murphy (138) and Will Vincent (145). If there is any lesson to be learned, it’s that only a collective team of healthy, focused, and self-sacrificing individuals can get the job done. The Cougars have seen glimpses of this philosophy in 2018-2019, but glimpses are not enough. Good luck to the East grapplers as they face their last dual meet opponent this coming Wednesday night!

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The Cougars rise up to take the Brandywine!

This week of wrestling action saw the East grapplers face their final Chesmont National dual meet and the “Battle for the Brandywine” against crosstown rivals, Downingtown West. The Whippets hosted the dual on the traditional Wednesday night, spotlight out, and crowd thick with fans. Battered and bruised with injuries and illness, the Cougars assembled their best line-up and went for broke against a statistically superior team. When the final whistle blew, East manufactured a 36-35 win, demonstrating once again that it’s not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog. The “Splendid Splinter” Alex Hillestad (113), Lukas Richie (138), Jett Lucas-Murphy (152), and Spencer Uggla (160) secured falls for East, while Kyle Mittelstadt (132) collected a tech. Other winners were Keanu Manuel (106) who won by major decision and Zach Sharaf (285) who stuck to his plan and won a tight 1-0 match. Regardless of the outcome, the wrestling atmosphere was awesome and congrats go out to all of the competitors, both East and West. If you were fortunate enough to be at the dual, you now understand the thrill and excitement of this great sport.

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The JV Cougars take Haverford by storm!

This past weekend, Haverford High School hosted their annual junior varsity competition and Downingtown East sent their squad to rumble with the Fords! Other attending schools like WC Henderson, Father Judge, Upper Darby, and Ridley sent their future stars as well! It was a great day of action, and East finished with a number of place-winners! Sean Mullen (126), Alex Viscomi (132), and Billy Dyer (170) all claimed championships after going 4-0 on the day! Alex Hillestad (106), Alejandro Santiago (138), Connor Huntoon (145), and Jackson Swearhart (195) took silver medals, and first-year wrestler John Palladino (152) wrestled back hard to collect the bronze. Victor Cozzone (138), and Jeff Scott (145) all collected wins, but fell just short of the top three finishes. Collectively, the JV Cougars wrestled well and showed the improvement they’ve been earning with those hours in the practice room! Congrats goes out to the squad! Here’s to a bright future as these grapplers continue reach new levels!

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