On Saturday 1/30, D-East travelled south on Route 1 to the fabled grounds of Avon Grove to take part in their second tri-meet of the year. The Cougars faced Avon Grove and Delaware County visitors, Sun Valley. In the end, East split the day beating Avon Grove 60-16 and falling to Sun Valley 24-39. Double winners for the Cougars were Keanu Manuel (126), Ryan Loraw (132), Alex Hillestad (145), Bo Horvath (160), Matt Romanelli (172), and Ray Wileczek (215). Also, Josh Hillestad (120) secured a nice fall against Avon Grove and Connor Huntoon (152) followed with a hard-earned fall of his own. The team now stands at 2-2 as they get ready for the first snow-storm of 2021 and the “Battle of the Brandywine” against D-West this coming Wednesday. GOOD LUCK Cougars!
Despite the challenges of the pandemic, the Chesmont wrestling season kicked off on Saturday 1/23 and the Cougars hosted a tri-meet to get the ball rolling. East wrestled Coatesville and Henderson, finishing 1-1. They began their day with a 46-20 win over the Red Raiders of Coatesville. Keanu Manuel (126), Alex Hillestad (145), and Connor Huntoon (152) picked up falls while Bo Horvath (172) and Nick Viscomi (160) earned technicals. In the second tilt, East was roughed up by WC Henderson losing 51-12. The lone winners were Keanu Manuel (120) and Bo Horvath (160), who both won by fall. Conditioning and sharpness were factors, so if anything is to be gained, it’s the awareness that improvement in those areas is needed. Next up, a quad-meet down in Southern Chester County on Saturday 1/30!
The first weekend in March brings the final stage of the PIAA Wrestling season. Beginning Wednesday, and running the gauntlet through Saturday, wrestlers from across the great state of Pennsylvania kick and scratch for a coveted place on the PIAA podium. For Downingtown East, three brave young men took to the mats at Hershey’s GIANT Center and gave every last drop of strength they had to compete with the state’s best. Keanu Manuel (1-2, 106 lbs.), Ryan Loraw (0-2, 113 lbs.), and Matt Romanelli (2-2, 170 lbs.) fought tooth and nail to secure some hardware for the Cougars, but the wrestling fates pulled some tough strings and they were left with valuable experience and lasting memories to build on. On a positive note, these three are underclassmen, and will most certainly gather and set new goals for 2020 – 2021. Downingtown East Wrestling is proud of the three state qualifiers as well as the rest of the squad for a resurgent 19-20 season! Many thanks for your efforts and best of luck in the days ahead! Remember the tracks you have left behind and break out the tools to forge the new road ahead! INVICTUS
This final weekend of February saw the remaining Cougar grapplers bring their skills to the SEPA Regional Tournament at Soudrton HS. This event is the final qualifier for the PIAA State Tournament and only 5 place-finishers from each weight progress. The action was fierce, and in the end, East placed 6th out 53 teams and qualified 3 wrestlers for the final competition in Hershey. Keanu Manuel (106) and Matt Romanelli (170) were crowned champions and Ryan Loraw (113) defied the odds and pushed strong to snatch 4th place. These 3 will look to get on the podium next week at Pennsylvania’s greatest sports competition, the PIAA State Wrestling Championships. Congrats go out to them and their teammates Bo Horvath (2-2, 152), Spencer Uggla (0-2, 160), Ray Wileczek (0-2, 220), and Zach Aceto (1-2, 285) who battled to the end in Souderton. Best of luck to the remaining 3 as dreams are either confirmed or crushed in Hershey, but the memories are worth more than gold. GOOD LUCK!
This past weekend marked the beginning of the post-season for all of the wrestlers in District 1. Downingtown East took to the mats at Oxford HS and the District 1 West tournament. 14 teams total from the Chesmont and Central leagues entered their best in 14 individual weight classes. Only the top 4 in each weight qualify to move on for the following weekend’s SEPA Regional tournament at Souderton. In the end, the Cougars finished in 2nd place behind WC Henderson with 7 wrestlers qualifying for the next stage. Keanu Manuel (106), Bo Horvath (152), and Matt Romanelli (160) collected championships for East, while Ryan Loraw (113) beat the odds and captured second place. Spencer Uggla (160), Ray Wilecezek (220), and Zach Aceto (285) worked hard for 4th place finishes and bids to advance. Waiting in the wings are Billy Dyer (182, 5th place) and Jackson Swearhart (195, 6th place). Congrats also go out to Josh Hilletstad (120, 0-2), Vic Cozzone (126, 1-2), Sean Mullen (132, 2-2), Alex Viscomi (138, 0-2), and Connor Huntoon (145, 1-2) who fought hard to pick up points for the team when they could. East’s second place finish with 183 points demonstrated their ability to put together a team performance despite the wide variety of experience on the team. Now, the remaining Cougars must prepare for the regional tournament where only the top five wrestlers in each weight will secure a coveted ticket to the PIAA State Tournament. Good luck gentlemen!
On a rare Tuesday night, the Cougar grapplers travelled up Route 100 to take on the Pottsgrove Falcons from the PAC-12. The battle-hardened Cougars gave a strong performance and bested the Falcons 35-28. Keanu Manuel (120), Matt Romanelli (170), and Billy Dyer (182) came up with big falls for the team, while Bo Horvath (152) earned a tech-fall. Spencer Uggla (160) and Connor Huntoon (145) secured crucial decisions and Ryan Loraw (106) picked up the lone forfeit. It was the last dual meet of the season and the win bolstered some tired spirits as the team finished 15-9, surpassing last year’s sub .500 record. Congrats to the team for a fine regular season and to the seniors for winning the final dual of their blue and gold careers! Good luck in the post season!
After a tough mid-week brawl with the Whippets, East came back with a resurgence taking on familiar foes Neshaminy in a Saturday home dual. The Cougars fell to the Redskins in earlier District Dual action, but stormed back in their second meeting of the season. East won 39-23 winning 8 of the 14 bouts wrestled. Ryan Loraw (108), Keanu Manuel (113), Bo Horvath (152), and Ray Wileczek (220) won by fall, while Spencer Uggla (160), Matt Romanelli (182) and Zach Aceto (285) picked up hard-fought decisions to seal the win. The victory was well-deserved and a quality boost as the Cougars head towards the individual post-season. Next up, away at Pottsgrove Tuesday night. Good luck boys!
Wednesday night brought the final Chesmont National dual of the season to East’s home gym. The Cougars hosted crosstown rivals Downingtown West in the last league dual to see who would capture second place in the National. At the end of the annual “Battle of the Brandywine,” East fell 30-43 and learned a number of valuable lessons. Of all the sports in the PIAA, wrestling requires the most commitment, sacrifice, and preparation. If those criteria are not met, a team can certainly forget a league victory against a crosstown rival. Keanu Manuel (120), Sean Mullen (132), Bo Horvath (152), and Matt Romanelli (170) registered falls for the Cougars, while Spencer Uggla (160) and Zach Aceto (285) won decisions. In the end, it was not enough. In the JV competition, Josh Hillestad (113), Brandon Pacinelli (126), Jack Thompson (138), Alejandro Santiago (145), and Kevin Clark (220) earned victories to give their team the edge. Congrats to both programs for another exciting Downingtown battle! We’ll see everyone again at the District 1 West Tournament.