Pennsylvania’s official high school wrestling season opened this past weekend (12/2 and 12/3) and our own Downingtown East Cougars broke the ice at Solanco’s “Mule Invitational.” The tournament has been around for years and it’s an opening weekend meat-grinder. Licking some wounds from Fall sports, East sent 9 healthy wrestlers, all up a weight class, to engage in some early battle. In the end, 2 wrestlers snatched podium space. Seniors Josh Hillestad (152) and Ryan Loraw (172) placed in the top eight of their respective weight classes. Josh took 8th and Ryan took 5th. Gaining their first Varsity wins of the season were Frankie Hydutsky (133), Scott Zhang (139, and Steven Elinski (145). East finished in 21st place out of 25 teams, which serves as a significant wake-up call. The work has just started and there is much room for improvement! Next up, the ChesMont league tournament on Saturday 12/10.
The Route 100 Wrestling Club begins in 1 week1s on Monday 4/4! The club is designed for all levels with a focus on area teams and their development. DE’s own Wade Cummings is a director/coach and he is supported by other local legends (see the flyer below)! The DE staff is a proud supporter of this opportunity and STRONGLY advises our team members to sign on and start improving for 22-23! The club runs on Mondays and Wednesdays (6:30 to 8:30pm) at Pottsgrove HS. If rides are an issue, the DE staff will provide springboard rides (up and back) from/to Pickering Valley Elementary School right here in our district. If fees are an issue, contact Coach Horvath directly. Register today and build for the future!
In the wrestling world, the first weekend in March is known for the Southeast Regional tournament and the five tickets to Hershey each weight class is allotted. 16 battle-tested wrestlers from across the four-county area compete at their highest level for one of those coveted five spots. Downingtown East sent its three-man contingent and fought to the best of their abilities. The challenge proved extremely difficult, and in the end, the Cougars took it on the chin and landed out of the competition. Noah Pagaduan (145, 0-2), Josh Hillestad (132, 1-2), and Connor Huntoon (172, 1-2) fought bravely, but the task was a tall one. Congrats go out to these three, and the rest of the team who nurtured them along the way. Many lessons were learned this year and the question becomes, “What’s Next?” East is a young team with a lot of potential, but they must make a conscious and collective effort to improve before November 2022. They have to create a plan and follow it knowing even more success lies in front of them if they do. The stage is set. Finally, congrats and thanks to our departing seniors and their families for their hard work and leadership. You will be greatly missed! Best of luck to all! INVICTUS
The PIAA post-season officially started for East wrestling this past Saturday at District 1’s West Tournament held at Oxford HS. 15 teams competed for the top 4 places in each weight to qualify for next weekend’s Southeast Regional tournament. It was a long day of wrestling with incredible action and lots of tension. In the end, the Cougar squad stepped up their game and finished with 3 qualifiers and 6 medalists. They finished in 7th place as a team. East gave an elevated performance, besting their results of the league tournament at the same venue just weeks prior. Qualifying for the regional were Josh Hillestad (4th – 132), Noah Pagaduan (4th – 145), and Connor Huntoon (4th – 172). Other Cougars to pick up place-finishes and gain valuable seeding points for next year were Valen Piff (6th – 106), Paxson Warnock (6th – 126), and Ryan Loraw (5th – 152). Congrats go out to all of the East wrestlers for a great weekend of competition! Best of luck to our regional qualifiers who will battle it out next weekend for one of five coveted tickets to the PIAA tournament!
On Monday 2/21, Downingtown East once again held the annual JV Chesmont Championship tournament. Competitors around the league as well as those from Springford, OJR, Garnet Valley, and Souderton were chomping at the bit to reignite this revered competition after a short dormancy in the pandemic. The JV Cougars attacked from all sides as Steven Elinski (132) and Felix Mason (215) brought home 1st place championships! Tommie Grizzanti (189) fought hard for a 2nd place silver, and Scott Zhang (138) wrestled back to claim a 3rd place bronze. Rounding it out were Brandon Pacinelli (145) and Kyler Moles (160) who earned 4th place finishes at their respective weights. Congrats to all of the East wrestlers who competed this day and good luck on your development going forward! As for the Varsity, a season of blood, sweat, and tears has led you to this point. Only you can decide where you will fall this coming Saturday at the District 1 West tournament. It’s time let it fly!
For their last dual meet of the year, the Cougar wrestlers hosted the pesky Falcons of Pottsgrove for some heated competition before the post-season. The Grove arrived with a battered line-up and East took full advantage. Adham Abouraya (285) scored the lone fall for the Cougars, but Noah Pagaduan (145) collected a tech-fall and Valen Piff (106) and Tommie Grizzanti (189) earned hard-fought decisions. Frankie Hydutsky (113), Paxson Warnock (126), Josh Hillestad (132), Liam Knott (138), and Connor Huntoon (172) all won by forfeit. East finishes their regular season with an 11-5 mark, far better than predicted by most accounts. Now, they must prepare for the post-season where the JV troops will face the JV Chesmont Championship tournament and the Varsity will compete at the District 1 West qualifier. Good luck to all!
Once again, Downingtown East took the long turnpike drive out to Bucks County to face the ‘Skins of Neshaminy. The dual was tough and Neshaminy put forth a hard, blue-collar effort that paid dividends. The Cougars fell 23-36 winning 5 of the 13 bouts. Adham Abouraya (285) picked up the lone fall, while Ryan Loraw (160) collected a technical fall. Noah Pagaduan (145) and Connor Huntoon (189) worked for hard-earned decisions, while Paxson Warnock (126) claimed the night’s lone forfeit. The Cougars learned important lessons in physicality and starting strong in matches. Hopefully, they can carry these lessons on as they near the end of the dual meet season. Good luck East!
On Saturday 2/5, the Cougars travelled to Boothwyn and old-school Delaware County to compete in Chichester’s annual tri-meet. East delivered a rebound performance beating Chichester 49-24 and Academy park 50-7. Double winners for the Cougars were Valen Piff (106), Frankie Hydutsky (113), Paxson Warnock (126), Josh Hillestad (132), Liam Knott (138), Noah Pagaduan (145), Ryan Loraw (152), Connor Huntoon (172), and Adhan Abouraya (285). The successful day was much needed and helped the team to rebuild confidence and focus. Congrats to the Cougars and best of luck with the remaining dual meet schedule!