The first weekend of February created more magic for the Downingtown East wrestling team. Once again, District 1 rolled out the red carpet for it’s final 8 teams to compete for a birth in the state duals, and the Cougars showed up committed to the task. East honored it’s seed and captured 3rd place in the duals, solidifying their place as one of the best 20 wrestling teams in the great state of Pennsylvania. On Friday night, they beat a state-quality laden Pennridge 32-28, but fell to Council Rock South 44-21. The next day saw the Cougars defeat Chesmont-American league rival WC Rustin 37-31, and Upper Darby 46-24 in the consolation finals. The weekend was grueling, but the pay-off was large. This ’15-’16 East team is the second team in Chester County history to reach the apex of the PIAA duals; the other team was the ’12-’13 Cougars. Talented freshman Lukas Richie (106) and senior captains Wade Cummings (132) and Jude McDowell (160) went undefeated on the weekend. James Strommer (113), Nik Zimmerman (138), and Alec Horne (170) suffered just one loss during the competition. Hats off to team members such as Jake Neubaum (145) and Jack Clay (152) who didn’t check marks in the win column, but battled every second of every match to stave off ranked opponents and protect team points for the Cougars. Congrats also go out to Wade Cummings for collecting his 100th fall and chiseling another record in the Chester County wrestling history books. The East wrestlers showed tremendous courage and resilience in a challenging District 1 field and now deserve their first round PIAA state dual at Exeter HS on Monday night. Keep it rolling gentlemen, and most importantly, believe in what you’ve done!