WRESTLING: Pennridge grapplers having summer success

June 21, 2014 Posted by admin

Maybe Fargo, North Dakota is not your ideal summer vacation, but a handful of Pennridge wrestlers are looking forward to the chance to compete in one of the biggest tournaments in the country this July.

The mats were never rolled up after the winter season. Pennridge varsity assistant coach R.P. Norley has been running optional practices and the wrestling room has been jammed packed.

The Rams are ready to keep their name in the conversation for the top dual team in the state. They had four individuals qualify for The Fargo National Wrestling Championships.

Joe Kracz, Andrew Reinhold and Kyle Gentile will be joined by Matt Parker in the Fargodome. If they thought Hershey and the PIAA championships were intense, they are in store for a show in the Roughrider State. In Hershey they have eight mats going at once. In Fargo there are 46 mats with more than 150 of the best high schools wrestlers in each weight class.

Parker knows he can compete for a National Championship in July. The rising sophomore just finished wrestling for Team Pennsylvania in Dayton Beach, Florida. He went 15-0 and made the All-American Tournament Team. He helped the Keystone State pick up a bronze medal in Greco and a silver medal in Freestyle wrestling.

I feel I did pretty well down there, but I have a lot to work on, Parker said. It was a good tune up for Fargo. Fargo is a different story with more competition than the Cadet Pool. There are little things to fix.

Parker watched his brother, Lehigh wrestler Scott Parker, win a National Championship in Fargo two years ago and knows how hard it is to end up on the podium. He is hoping the year-round training with Norley and the Rams will help him realize his goal of gold. The same can be said for Kracz, Reinhold, and Gentile.

I need to open up more and use different attacks, Parker said. I cannot stick with the same thing over and over again. I know I can do what I set out to do.

Watching Matt Parker and the Pennridge quartet will be Josh Stillings. The incoming freshmen is too young to compete in Fargo, but is eager for the future chance. Meanwhile he is just dominating the Schoolboy scene, helping Team Pennsylvania win the first place in the Freestyle competition in Indianapolis. Stillings went 5-0 and made the All-American Tournament Team.

I did it last year, so I had a little experience, Stillings said. There is a lot of stuff going on. Last year I split matches with someone and this year I feel did well. I had some tough, close matches, but I came out on top.

Stillings will be one of the youngest to compete in the Disney Duals (AAU Scholastic) in the upcoming weeks. The hard work is all in preparation for the first year on the varsity scene. Luckily he has had the Parkers amongst many other wrestlers fill him in to what it takes to accomplish his lofty high school goals.

Josh and I were on the same elementary school teams and we have grown up together, Parker said. We are different sizes now, but we still scrap. In high school Josh needs to stay confident in himself and take one match at a time. First year is a learning experience.

This is all preparation for high school, Stillings said. I know high school is more to handle physically and mentally. Im focusing on my conditioning. I am doing CrossFit, power lifting, and I am running outside.

Scott Parker and Ben Ross brought in five state medal to the Pennridge programs during their high school career. Now at Lehigh and Pittsburgh respectively they will be missed, but led by Matt Parker, Kordell Rush, Gentile, and a strong incoming freshman class, the Rams should be one of the top dual teams in the area. And for some reason they are not, it will not be from a lack of year-round, hard work.

It is going to be a pretty exciting summer, Parker said. The coaches are stressing wrestling all year, especially freestyle because that is what colleges want to see. Our high school team should be solid next year up and down the lineup.

Article source: http://www.thereporteronline.com/general-news/20140621/wrestling-pennridge-grapplers-having-summer-success

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