Colin Hedash isn't used to wrestling first when it comes to tournament finals, but
Northern Lehigh's 171-pounder was thrust into action Wednesday night at Liberty's Memorial Gymnasium during the Bethlehem Holiday Wrestling Classic.
Hedash opened the finals with Josh Snook of St. Mark's from Delaware and couldn't recover from a second period reversal, which led to a fall in 3:06. After winning the tournament a year ago, Hedash admitted that wrestling first did have an effect on him.
"I'm used to having an hour to wait and warm up and that kinda caught me tonight," said Hedash, since the tournament started randomly at 160 pounds to accommodate Erie McDowell's five-hour trip home. "It's still not an excuse. I got sloppy in the bout and it cost me."
Trailing 2-0 after the first period, Hedash started the second period on top, but found himself high and ended up getting reversed by Snook.
Snook earned some surprising back points, even though Hedash had his elbow propped on the mat and was in an upright position, but it eventually led to his demise in 3:06 to cost him his chance of winning a second consecutive title at the tournament.
"It was really a funky position he got me in," Hedash said of Snook's fall. "He took advantage of me getting caught too high and that was the difference.
"I don't walk away from this too upset. I know there's still a lot of wrestling left in the season and I'll just use this as a learning tool.
Lehighton's Anthony Farole (145) was the only other Times News wrestler to find himself in the finals. Farole was outmatched by Council Rock South's Matt Martoccio during a 13-5 loss, but a finals opportunity gave the Indian pleasure to be the lone representative for Lehighton on the last day of wrestling during the tournament.
"It's a great accomplishment to be in the finals, especially since I didn't do anything in this tournament last year," said the Lehighton junior. "I'm satisfied with taking home silver, but it definitely will push me to work harder the rest of the season."
Farole won by fall and two decisions en route to the finals, including a 5-3 overtime semifinal win over Bound Brook's Merrick Ash to reach the finals. Farole was the only Lehighton wrestler to advance to the second day of wrestling and admitted that he felt "lonely" without any teammates, but assured new found confidence by reaching the final stage.
"This is definitely a step in the right direction for me going forward," said Farole, who missed out on qualifying for states last year. "I definitely have more confidence now and hope that this can be a stepping stone for me getting to Hershey."
Northwestern didn't have anyone in the finals, but they came away with the highest point total for TN area teams, finishing 12th with 96 points to edge Northern Lehigh's 89 points. Lehighton finished with 46 points.
Other area wrestlers to place were: Lucas Dise (NL, 119, 5TH); Zane Heller (NL, 125, 4TH); Micahel Ortiz (NW, 130, 4TH); Nikko Stevens (NL, 140, 4TH); Bobby Clymer (NW, 152, 5TH); Kyle Sorensen (NW, 160, 4TH); Levi Veppert (NW, 171, 5TH) and Brandon Loch (NL, HWT, 5TH).