Wrestlers take fourth at tourney
The Northwestern Lehigh Tigers ask for no quarter and give none. That fighting spirit was on display Jan. 4 at the Zephyr Mat Club Invitational, held at Whitehall High School.
The Tigers finished with 105.5 points, good for fourth place in the eight-team field.
The black and gold had four second-place finishers. Ben Griffith at 132 pounds won three of four matches to raise his season record to 9-4. Harrison Bernhard won two of three matches, raising his record to 17-6. Tough-guy Tyler Watson, wrestling at 160, made life miserable for two opponents and raised his record to 10-6. Finally, Ryan Haverkamp took second place at 195.
Watson started with a nice win over Southern Lehigh’s Jake Fauzio in a fall. The Tiger then mauled Bangor’s Jared Reto in a decision. The winning streak ended when Watson could not handle Whitehall’s Kai Clark. After the match, Watson discussed what did him in.
“He said that on bottom I was focusing too much on trying to get the legs out,” said Watson. “I was focusing too much on defending the legs so he wouldn’t turn me, but I wasn’t escaping.”
Watson said the sport of wrestling requires determination and dedication.
“It’s a hard sport. I kind of have a love-hate relationship with it,” he said. “I think everyone kind of has that. There’s a lot of work, but there are also big rewards. I’ve been doing it for 12 years.”
Coach Jim Moll and his staff provide Watson with sage tutoring.
“I know the basics of wrestling, but every year it takes a little bit to get back into the swing of things,” Watson said. “They’ve been helping me by looking at what I do and seeing what I do wrong or where I make mistakes and helping me fix that. That’s been really helpful.”
Four Tigers - Eli Dellicker at 120, Anthony Russo at 138, 145-pounder Lucas Miller and the 285-pound Jake Serulneck - took fourth place.