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Tamaqua upper weights deliver

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    Tamaqua’s Bronson Strouse (top) tries to turn Lehighton’s Michael Yeakel during their 285 pound bout. Strouse pinned Yeakel in 1:20. RON GOWER/SPECIAL TO THE TIMES NEWS

Published December 12. 2019 11:08AM


The dual meet season couldn’t have started any better for the Tamaqua wrestling team.

After falling behind early, the Blue Raiders relied on the meat of their lineup to post a 39-30 Schuylkill League victory over Lehighton on Wednesday.

Tamaqua coach Jim McCabe could sense his team was in for a battle the way the match started as the Indians captured the first two bouts.

But, Tamaqua did what it needed to do in the upper weights and eventually used a pin from Cole Eberts — just 1:08 into the 152-pound bout — to assure the team victory.

With Tamaqua leading 33-30, the onus was on the shoulders of Eberts to be sure. And without hesitation he found a way to neutralize Jon Ahner.

“Cole did a great job; he was aggressive and made sure he would take control,” said McCabe. “Good wrestlers and wrestling teams find a way to get it done, and we were able to do so at the end. Cole is one of our funkiest wrestlers … he is so much fun to watch. He has that great hip action and when he gets it going, he is very tough.”

The Indians did take a quick 10-0 lead with a pin at 160 by Jon Ahner and Richard Fronheisher’s 11-3 major decision.

But things started to swing back to Tamaqua with momentum building after a forfeit win to the Raiders at 182, followed by Nate Wiedersham’s 5-0 decision over Alex Zigenfuss.

The tables started to lean heavily in favor of the Raiders at that point as they piled on 18 team points in the next few bouts.

Jerome Balliet pinned Brett Gasker at 220 in just 54 seconds, and Bronson Strouse came out smoking and recorded a 1:20 pin over Michael Yeakel at 285. After a double forfeit at 106, the Raiders received a forfeit victory at 113 to give them a 27-10 lead.

“Balliet came up big,” said McCabe. “We bumped him up (to a higher weight class) so we were giving up a lot of weight, but he really came through.”

The Indians weren’t finished yet, however, and started to reverse the tables on a pin by Lukas Ferguson just 28 seconds into the 120-pound bout. Another pin, this one at 126 by Nicholas Zeigenfuss, and a Steven Fritzinger technical fall at 132 pounds tied the match at 27-27.

A Randy Steigerwalt fall at 138 returned the lead to the Raiders.

Lehighton’s Lucas Sangiuliano came within a hair of pinning a determined Aaron Coccio and tying the match once again, but Coccio staved off what looked like a sure pin and made Sangiuliano settle for a decision.

Eberts then sealed the match with his pin.

“We were in good position to maybe win there at the end,” said Lehighton’s Floyd Brown. “But things didn’t go our way. On paper, coming into this, I had it really close and that’s the way it played out. We just came up short in the end.”

TUSSLE AND TUSSLE … Coccio’s determination not to get pinned was a huge lift for the Raiders. At one point it seemed as if Sangiuliano had Coccio pinned, but he kept arching his back and wiggled out of the doomed look.

RALLYING POINT … After the Raiders went down early, they went six straight bouts without losing again.


Tamaqua 39, Lehighton 30

160 - Jon Ahner (L) pinned Dax Weller in 3:02

170 - Richard Fronheiser (L) maj. dec. Carson Krell, 11-2

182 - John Buday (T) won by forfeit

195 - Nate Wickersham (T) dec. Alex Zigenfuss, 5-0

220: Jerome Balliet (T) pinned Brett Gasker in :54

285 - Bronson Strouse (T) pinned Michael Yeakel in 1:20

106 - Double Forfeit

113 - Austin Oncay (T) won by forfeit

120 - Lukas Ferguson (L) pinned Alexia Williams in :28

126 - Nicholas Zeigenfuss (L) pinned Jacob Schlier in 5:50

132 - Steven Fritzinger (L) tech. fall Devin Schlier, 15-0 in 2:00

138 - Randy Steigerwalt (T) pinned Cody Engle in 2:30

145 - Lucas Sangiuliano (L) dec. Aaron Coccio, 10-6

152 - Cole Eberts (T) pinned Michael Rodriguez in 1:08


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