The year of the pandemic proved challenging for all sports across the country, but wrestling and other “full-contacts” faced the greatest challenges. Hats off to District 1 and the PIAA for organizing a memorable season and post-season for these athletes which culminated in the PIAA State Wrestling Championships held this past Saturday (3/13) at the Giant Center in Hershey, PA. With 106-138 battling in the morning, and 145-285 in the evening, the day was long and the action was heated. Downingtown East’s senior captains Keanu Manuel (120) and Matt Romanelli (172) put on the armor one last time for the Cougars and fought their way to the medal stand. Keanu finishes his blue and gold career with a record of 121-20 and a 6th place state finish, while Matt concludes with a 94-25 tally and an 8th place finish in Hershey. The coaches and DE wrestling community are tremendously proud of the two for fighting tooth and nail and putting the DE wrestling program back on the map after a long medal drought. We wish them luck in their future endeavors at the US Naval Academy and Columbia University respectively. As for the future, that is to be determined by each individual member of the program. You must ask yourself, what can I do to get better today, and every day that follows? The path is not difficult to see; you just have to take the first step. INVICTUS
On Saturday 3/6, the Eastern side of the “keystone” state had its top 8 wrestlers collect at Quakertown HS to battle it out for one of four coveted spots that lead to a state medal. Known as the Eastern Super Regional, this tourney gathered the best from Districts 1, 2, 11, and 12 and had them duke out for state hardware. After 5 long years of dust collecting in the DE Wrestling trophy cabinet, East finally got back to the podium as Keanu Manuel (2-2 at 120) and Matt Romanelli (2-2 at 172) placed fourth to secure a spot in next weekend’s placing rounds. Fellow qualifier Bo Horvath (160) went 0-2 on the day, but gained valuable experience. The scene is now set for Keanu and Matt to wrestle next Saturday at the GIANT Center in Hershey, Pa to see where they fall in the illustrious top 8 medal count. Best wishes go out to them in their endeavor and a hearty congratulations to the program for reestablishing presence on the PIAA stage. GOOD LUCK COUGARS!