The coach of the winning team wasn't totally satisfied afterwards.
The coach of the losing team was.
After last night's Colonial League wrestling match between Palmerton and Northern Lehigh, the Blue Bombers' head coach Dave Lavin had plenty of concerns, while Northern Lehigh's Todd Herzog was happy with his team's performance. The reasoning comes from the fact that despite the final score (Palmerton 47, No. Lehigh 27), the Bulldogs managed to win six out of the nine contested bouts. The Bombers benefitted from five forfeits on their way to the crucial win, that earned them a spot in the Colonial League tournament on February 18.
"Overall, this was not our best match," Lavin mentioned afterwards. "A lot of people didn't think that they had a chance against us, given the situation. But they put themselves into a position to have a shot of winning."
After Kyle Greenawald's pin at 184-pound weight class, Northern Lehigh closed to within two points (29-27), with three bouts remaining. Palmerton's Andrew Strauss came up big with a pin over Theo Young at 197 to wrap things up, considering Northern Lehigh had to forfeit one of the remaining two contests.
"Strauss had a great turn-around, I thought," Lavin admitted. "(Northern Lehigh) went for (the win), but Andrew really did a great job, shutting that door."
Strauss held a 5-4 edge in points at the point of the pin, before catching Young and getting the mat slapped for the six points.
If that didn't finish things off, Kane Kralik followed with a second period pin to end the Bulldogs' chances.
Palmerton's other wins came from Josh Evans at 115 with a technical fall, earning the bonus points that every team needs to win.
"Josh did a really good job tonight, I thought," Lavin stated. "He wrestled aggressively and his opponent, (Zach) Leiby did a great job, taking it to him. But Josh was working for those bonus points and they were big."
All things considered, Nolehi did come up big and provide the healthy crowd with excitement.
"As of yesterday, I only had six varsity wrestlers," Herzog admitted, referring to the recently-cleared up skin issue his wrestlers suffered two weekends ago at the Buckley Duals. "My priority is always in the best interest of the team, though, and I thought we did a great job of having a realistic shot of winning, despite the problems."
The adversity the Bulldog line up is going through at the moment, is something Coach Herzog hopes his team will thrive from. "I tell the kids, 'True character will always show, when faced with adversity," Herzog recalls. "Tonight, I think it showed with the kids doing as well as they did, considering the situation. (Palmerton) has a great team and they're solid throughout the line up. It's probably one of the best they've had in 20 years. But we won six out of the nine contested bouts and that says a lot."
Ryan Rubio started things out picking up a 4-2 decision over Palmerton's Daniel Russo. Evans' tech fall ensued, along with two Northern Lehigh's forfeits. Kyle Baumann picked up a 4-1 decision at 134 over Zach Christman and the two sides swapped forfeits.
Dylan Hofmann earned a tech fall and Cody Bowman took a 9-1 major at 172. After Greenawald, Strauss and Kralik's heroics, Palmerton picked up a forfeit at 287.
One thing is safe to say, with both teams healthy, a rematch would be just as intense.
With both teams participating in the District Duals this Friday, wrestling experience is on both teams' minds in order to keep things competition-ready.
In the Junior High match, Nolehi picked up a 57-27 win.
Palmerton 47, No. Lehigh 27
106 – Ryan Rubio (NL) dec. Daniel Russo, 4-2
113 – Josh Evans (P) tech. fall Zach Leiby in 5:20, 20-5
120 – Sam Oberlander (P) won by forfeit
126 – Dillon Massington (P) won by forfeit
132 – Kyle Baumann (NL) dec. Zach Christman, 4-1
138 – Joe Bubble (P) won by forfeit
145 – Ty Herzog (NL) won by forfeit
152 – Dylan Hofmann (NL) tech. fall Zach Graver in 5:50, 17-2
160 – Cody Grohotolski (P) won by forfeit
170 – Cody Bowman (NL) major dec. Jake Christman, 9-1
182 – Kyle Greenawald (NL) pinned Matt Wolfe in :40
195 – Andrew Strauss (P) pinned Theo Young in 5:09
220 – Kane Kralik (P) pinned Kyle Schomp in 3:46
285 – Skyler Rosenberry (P) won by forfeit