Downingtown East Wrestling closed out their 2015-2016 campaign on Saturday evening at the GIANT Center in Hershey, PA. The PIAA State Championships bring the strongest wrestlers from across this great state to battle for the illustrious medals awarded to the top 8 competitors in each weight class. After many bumps, bruises, and even tears, the Cougars finished their season with another state medal, a 5th place finish for senior captain Wade Cummings at 126 lbs. Wade went 4-2 at the tournament securing his second state medal and finishing with a career record of 181-14 wearing the blue and gold. His efforts and achievements will go down in Downingtown East wrestling history. Seniors James Strommer (113) and Alec Horne (160) also finished their high school careers in Hershey, going 0-2 in the event, but experiencing the thrill of unparalleled wrestling competition they’ll never forget. Congratulations and gratitude go out to these three Cougars, as well as their teammates, for a season filled with remarkable achievement and memorable moments! Good luck to all of the seniors as they step into the next phase of their academic/athletic careers and always remember that you will be in our thoughts! The coaching staff would like to personally thank the wrestlers, parents, boosters, and fans for making 2015-2016 a wrestling season for the ages. INVICTUS
The District 1 Regional wrestling tournament found its way to a new venue, Souderton HS this past weekend. As always, the 64 high school region sent its best athletes to the competition to battle for the 4 coveted spots per weight class and only shots at the PIAA tournament. The Regional was fast, furious, and emotional, and the Cougars gave their maximum effort. By Saturday night, East captured 4th place in the team race with 71.5 pts. behind Pennridge, Council Rock South, and eventual champions, Boyertown. Wade Cummings (126) captured his 2nd regional gold, while James Strommer (113) and Alec Horne (160) finished in 4th, all qualifying for the illustrious PA state tournament held next weekend in Hershey. Owen Morris (220) took alternate honors by securing 5th, and Lukas Richie (106) set himself up for next season by finishing 6th. Congrats also go out to Connor Birzes (132), Nik Zimmerman (138), Jude McDowell (152), Brent Czajkowski (182), and Josh Wileczek (195) who fought bravely at the event, but came up just short of extending the journey. The Downingtown wrestling community wants to thank all of the wrestlers for their weeks and months of dedication; we wouldn’t be at this point without all of your contributions. Best of luck to the remaining 3 qualifiers as they enter the final week of PA wrestling competition! Bring home some hardware from Chocolate-town boys!
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!
On Saturday 2/20, the post-season began for all District 1 wrestlers. For the Cougars, the journey began at Bayard Rustin HS in a 14-team league tournament where only the top 7 place-winners advance to the next weekend. Individuals were asked to concentrate on their own performances, and in turn, the team component would work itself out. In the end, East wrapped up their 4th consecutive Chesmont League Tournament championship, collecting 210 team points and outdistancing 2nd place D-West and 3rd place Rustin by close to 30 points. The Cougars qualified 11 wrestlers for next weekend’s District 1 Central tournament and none of them finished any lower than 5th place. Champions Wade Cumimings (126), Nik Zimmerman (138), and Owen Morris (220) led the charge while runners-up Lukas Richie (106), James Strommer (113), Jude McDowell (152), and Alec Horne (160) rounded out the championship finalists. Brent Czajkowski (182) and Brendan McGinley (285) took 4th place finishes, while Connor Birzes (132) and Josh Wileczek (195) fought back for 5th. The team held firm to their goals and put on a strong performance to secure that 4th title. Now, the road leads to Oxford HS and the District tournament where only the top 4 place-winners will proceed. Good luck to the Cougars as they chase more hardware and continue the journey towards Hershey!
On Presidents’ Day, Downingtown East once again held its annual Chester County JV Championship tournament to close out the season for the young and aspiring. The competition brings competitors from all over the area, including Boyertown, OJR, Garnet Valley, and Ridley. At the day’s end, Downingtown East crowned 4 individual champions and 6 total medalists. Jett Lucas Muprhy (126), Stuart Regitz (132), Josh Wileczek (195), and Carter Regitz (220) all won gold medals, while Jack Hayward (152) finished a close second, and Praneeth Ramesh (126) battled back for fourth. Jarrett Hansen (120) and Jack Clay (152) went 3-1, falling just short of medal contention, and Luke Moran and Jake Neubaum finished 1-2. A sincere thanks and congrats go out to the JV Cougars for a tremendous season filled with notable improvement and much promise for the future. Aim high gentlemen, and start getting ready for 2016-2017!
This past weekend saw D-East wrestling pack the vans and head West to the historical Gettysburg area to conduct a battle scene of their own. New Oxford HS hosts a 32-team tournament that draws competition from all over the state. Lines were drawn and cannons fired! The Cougars finished the two-day event with 183 team points and a 2nd place finish, just nine points shy of champions Tunkhannock. They boasted 7 place-finishers, highlighted by champions Wade Cummings (132) and Nik Zimmerman (138). Lukas Richie (106) finished 2nd, while James Strommer (113) and Alec Horne (170) finished 3rd. East’s final medalists were Connor Birzes (126) who placed 4th, and Brent Czajkowski (182) who battled back for 5th. Wade Cummings was voted “Most Outstanding Wrestler” of the tournament. The East JV squad also had a great tournament finishing 2nd behind champions Milton-Hershey, who had double the amount of competitors there. Josh Wileczek (195) and Jarrett Hansen (120) took home top honors and Stuart Regitz (138) finished 2nd. The Cougars will refresh and gear up for another big week with league action and crosstown rivals D-West on Wednesday night and District Dual action on Friday night. Come out and support the Cougars as the season speeds towards an exciting post-season!
The Winter break saw the Downingtown East wrestlers pack the bus and head to Bucks County to defend their title at Hatboro-Horsham’s “Ralph Wetzel Classic.” The 28 team tourney draws competitors from District 1 as well as Delaware, Connecticut, and Philadelphia. The Cougars finished with 221 team points and the top honor, claiming the championship for the 4th straight year. They out-distanced runners-up Unionville by over 60 points. Wade Cummings (132), Nik Zimmerman (138), and Alec Horne (170) all claimed gold medals and undefeated marks. James Strommer (113) and Brent Czajkowski (182) finished with silver, while Lukas Richie (106) won the bronze. Other place-winners were Brendan McGinley (285) who finished 5th, Brett Horne (120) and Owen Morris (195) who finished 6th, and Connor Birzes (126) and Carter Regitz (220) who finished 7th. Collectively, the team hit the event in stride and picked up bonus points at every corner helping them secure the team title. In the JV portion of the classic, Jett Lucas-Murphy (126), Stu Regitz (132), and Josh Wileczek (195) all won championships, while first-year wrestler Jack Hayward (152) lost in ride-out to take 2nd. The JV grapplers wrestled 4 or more times each and showed their grit as they aligned their championship intentions with the Varsity. Congratulations go out to the entire team as they put forth another monumental effort! Happy New Year to all and best of luck to the DE wrestlers in 2016!
Once again in December, Central Mountain HS in Lock Haven hosted one of the state’s toughest tournaments, “The King of the Mountain.” Once again, the Cougar grapplers threw their names in the mix and faced some of the greatest challenges in PA wrestling. Downingtown East finished in 25th place out of 32 teams and placed one wrestler, Wade Cummings who took 2nd at 132lbs. The competition was stiff and East took several lumps as the two-day event lit up the Central Mountain gym. Lukas Richie (106) went 3-2 with 3 technical falls, but fell one match short of placing. Also going 3-2 were James Strommer (113), Alec Horne (170), and Brendan McGinley(285). Wade Cummings fell in the final to District 1 nemesis Zach Trampe of CR South, 6-2. The crowd saw an exciting final, and we’re sure they can’t wait to see the re-match whenever it goes down. Above all, the Cougars learned what is necessary to compete at the highest level in this state. It takes unwavering commitment and a winning attitude no matter who is standing in the opposite corner. East will now lick their wounds and get back to work as they await the Ralph Wetzel Classic at the end of the month. Merry Christmas and happy Winter Break!