Oxford High School hosted this year’s District 1 Central wrestling tournament, replacing last season’s “snow-covered” Wissahickon. The scenery might have changed, but the results came back in the same style! Downingtown East wrestling captured the team title in a dominating fashion, amassing 154 points and outpacing the rest of the field by 62 points. They qualified 10 wrestlers for next weekend’s regional tournament and collected their 4th straight District 1 Central crown. Led by champions James Strommer (113) and Wade Cummings (126), East put 7 in the finals, and had 3 wrestle back to take advancement honors. Lukas Richie (106), Nik Zimmerman (138), Alec Horne (160), Brent Czajkowski (182), and Owen Morris (220) claimed silver medals, while Connor Birzes (132) and Jude McDowell (152) wrestled back hard for the bronze. Josh Wileczek (195) stretched to the limit and collected a 4th place qualifying bid, and heavyweight Brendan McGinley (285) secured a 5th place alternate bid. The Cougars displayed a memorable team effort and reaped the rewards of such a display. Congrats to them as they march forward to the Regional tournament at Souderton HS and those coveted bids to PIAA Hershey. Good Luck gentlemen!
The District 1 Regional tournament plays host to wrestlers from 63 of the represented schools in the four-county area, Chester, Delaware, Bucks, and Montgomery. Some consider it a “meat grinder,” where the best of SEPA come to fulfill their destiny, or meet their fate. Downingtown East wrestling attended with 10 charged hearts, but only 3 remain. The team finished in 6th place with 51pts, and placed 3 athletes in the top five of their respective weight classes to qualify for the PIAA State tournament this coming week at Hershey. Wade Cummings won the 126 lb. class with a 3-2 victory over highly-ranked Zach Trampe from CR South. Their match was held till last as the premier event of the night. James Meyer took 2nd at 152 falling in the 2nd tie-breaker with a score of 2-1 to another CR South foe, Dylan Schwartz. Lastly, Billy McGinley took 4th place at 220 losing to Pennridge’s Ezra Outlaw 3-1. Congratulations must also go out to the other regional qualifiers who put forth hard efforts, but came up short: Nik Zimmerman (120, 0-2), Jude McDowell (132, 0-2), Austin Lillis (138, 0-2), Alec Horne (170, 0-2), Jason Gibson (182, 2-2), Brent Czajkowski (195, 0-2), and James Strommer (113, injury withdrawal). The weekend definitely drew some tears, but also shed light on future possibilities for the DE wrestling program, especially for those who have gotten a taste of the regional. Good luck to the state qualifiers as they brave the toughest high school championship in the nation! Bring home some hardware gentlemen!!!