A shorthanded East squad leaves a dent at Pequea!

With a good share of starters and experience left on the shelf this weekend, the Cougar wrestlers travelled to Pequea Valley HS and competed in their first ever invitational, an 8 team individual tournament. East finished in 2nd place as a team while AA powerhouse Bishop McDevitt took the title. Valen Piff (106) was the lone champion for the Cougars, while Steve Elinski (132), Liam Knott (138), Brandon Pacinelli (145), and Adham Abouraya (285) claimed 2nd place medals. Paxson Warnock (126), Kyler Moles (160), and Tommie Grizzanti (215), finished in 3rd place. Congrats goes out to the entire team for rallying around our younger wrestlers and battling to keep it moving forward!

The 21-22 Cougars Kick It Off at Solanco!

On the weekend of 12/10 and 12/11, the Cougars wrestled at the famed Solanco “Mule Classic” down in the countryside near Maryland’s border. The team walked away with a 12th place finish out of 24 teams and two medalists, Valen Piff (6th, 106) and Noah Pagaduan (6th, 138). The JV portion saw a host of Cougars take to the mats for the first time. Steve Elinksi (132), Jake Bouska (152), and Pranav Sangani (189) all got their first official wins while Felix Mason (215) went an impressive 2-0 on the day. Congrats to all!

Letter of Intent Signing

Congrats go out to our senior Cougar wrestlers moving on to D1 Wrestling! Matt Romanelli (Columbia University) and Keanu Manuel (The US Naval Academy) are taking their game to the next level. Congratulations and best of luck!

20-21 Wraps Up and D-East Back On The Map!

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

The Cougars finally add to the trophy cabinet!

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!

The Magic 3 Do It Again!

The next phase of this crazy 2021 PIAA post-season took place in Bucks County on Saturday 2/27! With the lightweights at Council Rock North, and the heavyweights at Council Rock South, the District 1 Southeastern Regional Tournament took place without a hitch. Separated in buildings just a couple of miles apart, the two groups took to the mats and battled it out for a coveted spot in the PIAA State Tournament in this anything-but-normal year. Only the top 4 would advance, so tension was high! When the dust settled, the Cougars qualified all three wrestlers who attended! Keanu Manuel (120) took the gold medal, avenging last weekend’s loss and going 3-0. Matt Romanelli (172) took an early loss, but bounced back to win three straight and claim the bronze at 3-1. Lastly, sophomore Bo Horvath (160) battled to a 2-2 record and placed fourth to earn his first trip to states. Congratulations to all three competitors! Best of luck in the next phase at the Super Regional held at Quakertown HS where all wrestlers will fight for one of eight treasured medal placements. May the wrestling gods be with you!

East keeps 3 alive!


The District 1 wrestling world continued to turn on Saturday 2/20 with the “District 1 South Tournament” held at Sun Valley HS in Aston, PA. As the first official stage of the wrestling post-season, 28 teams were eager to compete and start carving their way towards a ticket to the PIAA State Tournament in March. D-East had four wrestlers selected for the event and they all gave maximum effort. In the end, the Cougars claimed 6th place out of the 28 teams and qualified 3 wrestlers for next weekend’s regional tournament at Council Rock. Matt Romanelli (172) was East’s lone champ taking top honors with 3 straight first period falls. Keanu Manuel (120) and Bo Horvath (160) both took silver medals going 2-1 on the day, while Ryan Loraw (132) battled but fell just short of advancement. Congratulations to all four Cougars for a valiant effort and best of luck as the three remaining press forward!

The Cougars finish strong for their seniors!

Few thought there would be a wrestling season this year considering the effects of the pandemic. But with great determination, District 1, the Chesmont League, and our Downingtown East wrestlers put together a healthy and successful campaign! Our immediate wrestling community is truly thankful! On Wednesday night (2/10), the Cougars finished the regular season strong and defeated West Chester East 40-31 in the “Battle for Route 100.” Journeymen Keanu Manuel (132), Ryan Loraw (138), Bo Horvath (160), and Matt Romanelli (189) all scored falls, while young upstarts Paxson Warnock (113) and Liam Knott (126) notched pins of their own. Junior Connor Huntoon (152) secured a tech to add to the tally. In the JV scrum, Josh Hillestad (120), Brandon Pacinelli (145), and Frankie Colantuno (138) picked up falls. East finishes the season with a 6-2 mark, coming in 3rd in the Chesmont League and 2nd in the National division! The night was also a dedication to our seniors and their parents for their years of effort and support. We want to thank Keanu Manuel, Alex Hillestad, Matt Romanelli, Ray Wileczek, and Kevin Clark, along with their parents, for their years of service. Congratulations to them and best wishes for the future!

DEHS vs WCE 2021 Senior Night Photo Album

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