The last Saturday in January brought Downingtown East wrestling a fresh dual meet competition as well as its hallowed “Senior Day.” On this day when the program celebrates the careers and efforts of its seniors and their parents, the team also got to compete against Central League tournament champs Conestoga.
It was a great day of wrestling with 16 JV matches and a Varsity dual meet worth the price of admission. Conestoga prevailed 39-31, but East won 6 of the 12 contested bouts without their trusted heavyweight who was out with illness. Valen Piff (114), Paxson Warnock (139), Josh Hillestad (145), and Brandon Pacinelli (152) all recorded falls, while Ryan Loraw (160) and Felix Mason (285) won by decision and major decision respectively. The JV’s roared back to tie the Pioneers 48-48 in an epic JV contest.
We want to congratulate and wish the best for illustrious seniors: Josh Hillestad, Brandon Pacinelli, Ryan Loraw, Akil Talakola, Ishan Katakam, and our beloved managers, Kaila Manuel and Charlotte Yarnall-Stevenson! You will be missed and best wishes for future success!!
Over this past weekend, the East wrestling team took their game to Octorara’s “George Heebner Invitational” and JV extravaganza. The weekend started off on Friday night (1/20) with an 8-team Varsity tournament. The action was fast-paced, and in the end, the Cougars finished in 2nd place, just 10 points behind winners LaSalle. East concluded with champions Ryan Loraw (160) and Felix Mason (215), as well as silver medalists Paxson Warnock (139), Brandon Pacinelli (152), and Adham Abouraya (285). On the backside, Christian Fosmire (107), Valen Piff (114), Steven Elinski (133), and Tommie Grizzanti (189) took the bronze. On Saturday (1/21), the JV Cougars competed at Octorara’s JV event and put their best effort out on the mat. Ishan Katakam (160) and Garrett Knott (145) both finished 2nd, while Michael Brady (121), and Caleb Aikens (172) secured third-place finishes. The weekend was a tremendous success, setting the squad up for a productive week of practice and a “Senior Day” dual on Saturday 1/28. Let’s have a strong week!
This year’s “Battle of the Brandywine” between Downingtown East and West fell on Wednesday 1/18. Wagner gym at the West campus was a packed house and wrestlers and wrestling families across generations came to see the event. There was some fantastic action, but in the end, the young Cougars were outmatched and dropped a 9-51 dual to their crosstown rivals. The lone winners for East were seniors Josh Hillestad (152) and Ryan Loraw (160) who earned a pin and decision respectively. There were some improved efforts by Cougar wrestlers, but lumps must be taken and lessons learned in this sport. Hopefully, losses like these motivate the 1st and 2nd year wrestlers who find themselves on the Varsity as well as those JV wrestlers who hunger for something more. The potential is there, but none of it can be realized without a plan and commitment. Best of luck moving forward!
On Saturday (1/14), East travelled in the early morning down to old Boothwyn and renewed their participation in the Chichester Duals. 6 teams from District 1 collected there and battled each other over the course of 5 dual meets. The Cougars finished the day 4-1, dropping their opener to Upper Dublin 26-28, but they rebounded quickly and won their last four duals. They beat Chichester 49-18, Springfield (D) 42=22, Norristown 72-5, and Penncrest 35-26. Valen Piff (114), Josh Hillestad (145), Ryan Loraw (172), and Adham Abouraya (285) all ended the day with unblemished 5-0 records. The Cougars are now 7-3 on the year, but there is much to face in their campaign and the road will only get more challenging. Best of luck!
Chesmont League wrestling action continued Wednesday evening (1/11) when D-East took on Coatesville in their home opener. The event is always a tough one as Coatesville consistently brings the grit and determination they are known for. At the final whistle, the Cougars fell 21-30, losing 8 of the 13 bouts, two of them in overtime. Adham Abouraya (285) and Valen Piff (114) scored the lone falls for East, while Steven Elinski (133), Cade McDowell (160), and Felix Mason (215) chipped in with decisions. In the end, East learned some hard lessons in battling through adversity and digging deep when needed. They will need these skills as the season progresses. Congrats go out to the JV Cougars who did an outstanding job in handling an 11-match contest, winning 46-18! Mike Brady, Akil Talakola, Jake Bouska, Joe Duque, Caleb Aikens, Scott Zhang, and Nick Romano all picked up wins. Next up, the Chichester duals this coming weekend. Best of luck to our young group!
This weekend, D-East traveled down 202 to once again take part in Garnet Valley’s “Rage In The Cage.” The event is an 8-team bracketed dual tournament and is always worth the admission price! The Cougars went 2-1 on the day securing 5th place in the overall competition. They lost 15-49 to Pennsbury, but rebounded to beat Chichester 51-21 and Garnet Valley 37-33. Their lone undefeated wrestler on the day was Adham Abouraya (285) who went 3-0. Double winners who went 2-1 were Valen Piff (114), Steven Elinski (133), Josh Hillestad (145), Ryan Loraw (172), Tommie Grizzanti (189), and Felix Mason (215). Congrats to the squad as they rebounded from a tough loss to come back and take 5th place with great resilience. Next Wednesday, they will be back to league action. Good luck!
On Wednesday evening (1/4), the DE wrestling squad opened their new year with a league victory over Avon Grove at their new facility in West Grove. The Cougars won 9 of the 13 bouts with some solid performances and finished with a 46-19 victory. Frankie Hydutsky (127), Paxson Warnock (139), Ryan Loraw (172), and Felix Mason (215) recorded falls while Valen Piff (114) and Adham Abouraya (285) collected forfeits. Steven Elinski (133) and Josh Hillestad (145) won hard-fought decisions at their new descended weights while freshman Cade McDowell (160) collected a major decision at his own. Declan McDowell (121), Christian Fosmire (107), Brandon Pacinelli (152), and Tommie Grizzanti (189) all lost tough matches but showed tremendous effort in battling against experienced opponents. East was able win big when needed and stay in matches when called upon. Next up, the 3-dual “Rage In The Cage” at Garnet Valley this coming weekend!
After a tough league tournament the previous weekend, the Downingtown East wrestlers licked a few wounds and had a solid week of preparation. On Saturday 12/17, they visited Pequea Valley HS just west in District 3 for their annual Winter invitational. The Cougars competed well with a young team that was missing a few injured first-team wrestlers. In the end, East finished in 4th place out of 8 teams and had 9 members place in the top four. Steven Elinski (139) captured the team’s lone championship, while Adham Abouraya (285) continued his strong campaign finishing 2nd . Valen Piff (121) and Tommie Grizzanti (189) also captured silver finishes. The Cougars secured 3rd place medals from Declan McDowell (127), Josh Hillestad (152), and Cade McDowell (160). Felix Mason (215) finished 4th along with team newcomer and freshman contributor Caleb Aikens (172). Christian Fosmire (107) finished 6th in his wrestling debut. Overall, the event was a big step for the Cougar grapplers and gives them some ground to build on. Now, the team must use the rest of December to work smart and improve for the dual meet season that opens up in January. Happy Holidays to all and see you on the mats in 2023!