The Cougars rumble at the Denver Duals!

On Saturday 1/21, Downingtown East Wrestling joined a number of District 3 teams in the first annual “Denver Duals” at Cocalico HS. In the 10 team event, the Cougars fought tooth and nail to collect a 2-3 record, getting themselves to a 10 win season despite all odds. East defeated Wilson Westlawn 39-32 and Strath Haven 45-31, while dropping duals to Garden Spot 49-23, Northern Lebanon 57-15, and Emmaus 45-34. Undefeated wrestlers on the day were Lukas Richie (120), Josh Wileczek (195), and Brendan McGinley (285). The team showed great effort and made good decisions on the mat to get their over-all record to .500. With the same mentality, East can target their next league match against Avon Grove and get themselves above the mark. Good luck Cougars!

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East goes down in the “Battle of the Brandywine”

Downingtown East Wrestling rolled downhill on Wednesday night (1/18) to do battle with crosstown rivals Downingtown West. Known as the “Battle of the Brandywine,” the dual always delivers the wrestling champion of the Downingtown wrestling community. Downingtown West showed up and logged an impressive 57-7 score-line against the Cougars to claim the Brandywine crown. East only had two victors on the evening, Brendan McGinley (285) and Lukas Richie (120). With several first-year wrestlers in the line-up along with a forfeit, East was unable to dent the West line-up. D-West has a solid team and East is thankful that if anyone is going to wrest the league title from their hands, it is their crosstown rival who will keep it in the community. Good luck to West as the dual season finishes, and good luck to the Cougars as they look to improve in the remaining weeks!

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D-East brings Blue and Gold to the Big Red!

Following Wednesday’s league contest, the Cougar grapplers had an early Saturday rise and journeyed up the Northeast Extension to compete in Souderton High School’s “Big Red Duals.” The 16-team bracketed event began at 8:00am, and battled though each round until completion. East secured 9th place after falling in the first round, but fighting back to win their last three. The Cougars lost to Wissahickon by a  narrow 42-39 score, but bounced back to defeat Northeast 40-33, Pennsbury 35-34, and Penn Argyl 41-36. Lukas Richie (120), Brett Horne (132), Connor Birzes (145), and Brendan McGinley (285) went a perfect 4-0 on the day. Congrats also go out to Zach Aceto (220) who won by fall to clinch the Pennsbury dual, and Praneeth Ramesh (138) who wrestled up two weights to win a crucial match against Penn Argyl. The Cougars continue to scratch and claw for victories despite the odds. Next week, the league jumps back in to play and East will travel across town to take on district rivals D-West. Good luck to all!

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WC Henderson outmatches the Cougars

On Wednesday 1/11, Chesmont league action continued for Downingtown East wrestling as the team travelled to the borough of West Chester to take on WC Henderson. The two teams definitely had some big guns to depend on, but Henderson’s overall balance and level of experience bested the Cougars. Falling 46-24, East did get outstanding performances from Brett Horne (132), Josh Wileczek (195), and Brendan McGinley (285) who all won by fall. Captains Connor Birzes (145) and Lukas Richie (120) also earned victories over key opponents. Once again,  the Cougars made a valiant effort in the face of adversity as they forfeited two weights and sent out several first-year wrestlers. The league will continue, and opposition will be strong, but this East team seems to show its resilience no matter what. Good luck to them as they march on to the “Big Red Duals” at Souderton.

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D-East takes 4th at “The Rage in the Cage!”

Eight wrestling teams, including your Cougars, collected at Garnet Valley’s annual “Rage in the Cage” event on Saturday 1/7. East was able to put themselves in the medal round by defeating Central Bucks East 39-36, but fell to hosts Garnet 52-24 in the semi’s, and Chichester in the 3rd place round 36-34. The 4thplace finish was shy of expectations, but lessons must be learned. East’s Lukas Richie (120) and Connor Birzes (145) went 3-0 on the day, while Brett Horne (132), Jack Lawton (160), Josh Wileczek (195), and Brendan McGinley (285) went 2-1. Congrats also go out to sophomore Jett Lucas-Murphy (145) who collected his first Varsity win by fall in the day’s first round. This coming week, league contests continue as the Cougars will travel to West Chester borough to take on the Warriors of Henderson. Best of luck gentlemen!

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East falls in the “Battle of Route 100”

On Wednesday night (1/4), DE Wrestling opened its gymnasium doors for their home and league opener. They took on the Vikings of West Chester East in the “Battle of Route 100.” Wrestling alongside their “little brother” middle school teams of Lionville and Fugett, Downingtown and West Chester traded wins and losses during the heated event, with WCE claiming the victory and a 41-33 score. Giving up 3 forfeits, the Cougars were unable to gather the bonus points they needed to get ahead. Jack Lawton (160) and Brendan McGinley (285) managed to secure pins, while Lukas Richie (120) registered a technical fall. DE also logged wins from Brett Horne (132), Jake Neubaum (152), and Josh Wileczek (195). The match of the evening was senior captain Connor Birzes’ 8-2 decision over WC’s Tyler Blum at 145 lbs. Connor avenged a loss he suffered to the Viking not more than a week ago. DE learned some valuable lessons in the loss including the importance of saving or pursuing bonus points and making sure to be competitive at all times. Hopefully, these lessons will propel the young Cougars to their next stage of development. Good luck to the team at the “Rage in the Cage” this weekend!

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The Cougars place six at the Wetzel Classic!

Right before the turn of the new year, the Downingtown East wrestlers once again made their way up to Hatboro-Horsham HS to compete at their holiday classic, which celebrates the life-long efforts of local wrestling enthusiast and coach, Ralph Wetzel. The tournament collected 24 teams, from as far as Florida to the South, to Connecticut to the North. The matches were fast and furious, and when the dust had settled, the Cougars finished 5th with 114.5 points over two days of competition. With nine entered participants, they placed six in the medal rounds. East crowned two champions in Lukas Richie (120) and Josh Wileczek (195), while Brendan McGinley (285) placed 4th, Brett Horne (132) placed 5th, Connor Birzes (145) placed 6th, and Jake Neubaum (152) finished in 8th. The team went into the event a few men down, but persevered, and put forth the effort to keep them in the top five. Congratulations go out to all DE competitors, including the JV team who battled in the back gym for two solid days and found one medalist, Praneeth Ramesh (138) who took second after having to leave the tourney early and miss his final. Great job men, and good luck in 2017!

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Donegal serves up the main entrée: BEEF! 

This past weekend (12/17-12/18), DE Wrestling braved the first ice and snow of Winter to go out and face the monster known as the Donegal Holiday Tournament at Donegal HS. Known as Mt. Joy, the town hosted wrestlers from throughout the state, but the only visible joy came from those who stepped on the line and made it through the battle. Teams like East Stroudsburg South, Troy, Upper Dauphin, Notre Dame and Canton travelled the miles to compete. In the end, the Cougars placed 6th out of 16 teams, finishing with 118.5 points. Lead by champion Brendan “Beef” McGinley (285), they had 8 total place winners with Lukas Richie (120) placing second, Brett Horne (132), Connor Birzes (145), Jake Neubaum (152), and Josh Wileczek placing 4th, Zach Aceto (220) placing 7th, and Jack Lawton (160) finishing 8th. Beef McGinley highlighted the tourney as the very last match where he defeated the top seed  Brandon Tomeo of Camp Hill 12-5. Congratulations to the Cougars for being the highest finishers from District 1 and continuing to compete at a high level despite their overall youth and inexperience. Next up, the Ralph Wetzel Classic in Hatboro; time to once again ready the troops! Merry Christmas to all!

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