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Blue Bombers defeat Northwestern

Pins by Josh Merkel and Jameson Trainer propelled Palmerton to a 42-29 Colonial League wrestling victory over Northwestern on Thursday.

“We knew going in, we were moving some guys around, getting some guys in weight classes they normally aren’t,” Palmerton coach Justin Petersen said. “This is the way they were kind of aligned. So I was asking some of our freshmen to move to places they haven’t been, and they stepped up.

“Jameson Trainer, he started the year at 126 and wrestled 145 tonight. Josh Merkel, Dylan Lombardi, Caleb Gaffney all moved up, and everybody stepped up and did the job tonight. That was the motto going in; do your job, focus on what you had to do and they did it, so it was good.”

Merkel pinned Jon Conti in 39 seconds, while Trainer did the same to Thomas Schneck in 51 seconds.

The victory by Trainer in particular was impressive.

“He was physical,” Petersen said of Trainer. “He’s been on the wrong end of some of those battles this year, and finally broke through the ice here today.

“Hopefully, it means going forward we’re going to see more of these wins.”

Northwestern had several bright spots, winning four of the six contested bouts.

“Our effort was good for the guys that wrestled,” Northwestern head coach Jim Moll said. “Eli Dellicker worked hard the whole time to get that fall. Nate Peters wrestled real well for six minutes ... so pretty happy.”

Dellicker faced off against Palmerton’s Westin Horn and posted an 18-3 technical fall, while Peters outlasted Jeremy Mooney 7-1 in the second-to-last match of the night.

The Tigers also got victories from Noah Schlofer, a pin of Colyn Mertz at 215, and Elijah Johri, a decision over Matt Garey-Hendricks at 285.

“It’s rough; numbers are low,” Moll said about his Tigers. “We have our ups-and-downs like any team. The goal is always at the end of the season to get ready for districts.

“Today’s another day closer to that. We’re putting in a lot of effort into our matches. We’re being competitive and ready to wrestle.”

RECORDS ... Palmerton improves to 5-6 on the season. It was the third straight loss for Northwestern, which drops to 2-4.


... Petersen also talked about the upcoming matches. “We have some winnable matches,” he said. “They’re going to be tough, but they’re winnable. In the past, there’s a lot of matches we would end up going into knowing there’s no way we can win because of forfeits and things like that. This year, we have a chance. We just have to win the toss-ups, and keep battling.”

Palmerton 42, Northwestern 29

106 - Kellen Trotter (P) won by forfeit; 113 - Josephine Wehr (NW) won by forfeit; 120 - Aidan Ortiz (P) won by forfeit; 126 - Josh Merkel (P) pinned Jon Conti in; 39; 132 - Dillion Lombardi (P) won by forfeit; 138 - Elijah Dellicker (NW) tech. fall Westin Horn, 18-3 (5:03); 145 - Jameson Trainer (P) pinned Thomas Schneck in: 51; 152 - Caleb Gaffney (P) won by forfeit; 160 - Dennis Lombardi (P) won by forfeit; 172 - Lucas Miller (NW) won by forfeit; 189 - Nathan Peters (NW) dec. Jeremy Mooney, 7-1; 215 - Noah Schlofer (NW) pinned Colyn Mertz in 2:42; 285

- Elijah Johri (NW) dec. Matt Garey-Hendricks, 7-1.

Palmerton's Jameson Trainer (top) has control of Northwestern's Thomas Schneck on his way to a first-period pin. MIKE FEIFEL/TIMES NEWS