Wrestling: Wyoming Seminary Shines At X-Calibur
WILKES-BARRE – Admittedly, Darrien Roberts has set some pretty lofty expectations for the 2018-2019 season.
Based on his performance in the MyHouse X-Calibur Tournament, that’s a pretty fair statement made by the Wyoming Seminary senior.
Coming off a victory in the always-tough Walsh Ironman Tournament last weekend, Roberts followed it up by capturing the 182-pound title Sunday with a 3-1 victory over nationally-ranked Chris Foca of Bergen Catholic.
It was a good day for the Blue Knights, ranked No. 2 in the nation. Seminary crowned eight champs, and won the team title over Bergen Catholic, No. 3 in the country, by almost 100 points. In terms of Wyoming Valley Conference teams, Valley West finished eighth, highlighted by third-place finishes by David Krokowski and Cadden Kucek, while Coughlin cracked the top 10 with 76 points.
Wrestlers capturing championships for Seminary were Corey Morabito (120), Beau Bartlett (132), Connor Kievman (145), Benny Baker (152), Owen Davis (160), Jake Stefanowicz (170), Roberts (182) and Jake Kaminski (220).
“Looking at last year, I was near the top in every tournament. I knew if I put in the work during the offseason, I could have a great year. I just give it everything I have in every match,” Roberts said.
Roberts, an Oklahoma recruit ranked No. 8 in the nation at 182, has had quite the run in 2018.
After wins over nationally-ranked grapplers Trey Sizemore, Sam Fisher and Jackson Turley in consecutive matches at the Ironman, standing in the final Sunday was Bergen Catholic’s Chris Foca, ranked No. 7 in the country.
The bout went as expected.
Foca, a Cornell recruit, got his one point in the second. Roberts picked up his escape to start the third.
But it was a deep shot on a single leg near the edge of the circle that Roberts converted into the two-point takedown right at the buzzer that enabled the 3-1 win.
“I knew of him being ranked nationally, but if I got to my attacks, the openings would happen,” Roberts said. “I knew that I had to rush that corner real quick because I knew there was short time. I think it was two. I didn’t know about the time exactly, but I knew the position was two.”
Davis, a Hanover native, didn’t quite have the same path.
The 160-pounder entered as the No. 7 seed, and was just hoping to crack the medal stand.
But when teammate Cole Rees was upset Saturday, it opened the door for Davis – who rolled to the title with two falls and a major decision.
In the championship, Davis built a 3-0 lead after two periods en route to a 9-1 win over No. 1 seed Patrick O’Neill of North Penn.
“When I got into the final, I had the mindset that I was going to win,” Davis said. “My expectations coming in, honestly, weren’t that high. I was really hoping to place in the top 5. To stand on top, it’s amazing. I love to win.”
For Kievman, voted as the tournament’s Most Outstanding Wrestler, it was about revenge.
Last season, the Blue Knight was majored by Bergen Catholic’s Wade Unger in a dual meet. That all changed Sunday as Kievman broke a 6-6 tie with 12 seconds left.
“I wanted to stay the course and rely on my training,” Kievman said. “I just knew by the third period that I would be able to break him. Honestly, it was all confidence. Even coming into this tournament, I really didn’t have it. I wanted to get into a groove. Positivity is really big for me. It’s easy to get caught in negativity in wrestling because there are so many ups and downs.”
While Seminary was rolling on the championship mat, WVW’s David Krokowski was staring down state qualifier Bob Long of Lake-Lehman in his third-place bout.
Shaking off a tough loss to St Anthony’s Preston Maucere in the semifinals, Krokowski picked up his fourth win of the X-Calibur Tournament in an 8-4 win over Long.
“I really wanted to make it to the finals, so I took that semifinal loss pretty hard,” Krokowski said. “I realized that I couldn’t let it affect me because I want to get as many wins I can this year. Long is a tough wrestler that I have a lot of respect for. I knew that I would need to wrestle the best that I could so I could come away with a win.”
Other top 4 WVC finishers were Lehman’s Nick Zabowski (4th, 170) and Coughlin’s Conner Lee (4th, 220).
1. Wyoming Seminary, 347.5; 2. Bergen Catholic, 245.5; 3. Quakertown, 117; 4. West Morris Central, 113.5; 5. Princess Anne, 94; 5. St. Anthony’s, 94; 7. East Stroudsburg South, 85.5; 8. Valley West, 82; 9. Bound Brook, 77.5; 10. Coughlin, 76.
106 – Sheldon Seymour, Troy, dec. Jake Craig, Hill School, 9-2
113 – Nick Kayal, Bergen Catholic, dec. Gable Strickland, Benton, 5-0
120 – Corey Morabito, Seminary, maj dec. Corey Pope, Quakertown, 10-2
126 – Robert Howard, Bergen Catholic, dec. Drew Munch, Seminary, 12-5
132 – Beau Bartlett, Seminary, maj dec. Preston Maucere, St Anthony’s, 19-8
138 – Pat Gould, E.S. South, dec. Lincoln Heck, Seminary, 9-4
145 – Connor Kievman, Seminary, dec. Wade Unger, Bergen Catholic, 8-6
152 – Benny Baker, Seminary, dec. Joe Zargo, Bergen Catholic, 7-4
160 – Owen Davis, Seminary, maj dec. Patrick O’Neill, North Penn, 9-1
170 – Jake Stefanowicz, Seminary, maj dec. Darwin Hull, Seminary, 14-2
182 – Darrien Roberts, Seminary, dec. Chris Foca, Bergen Catholic, 3-1
195 – Jacob Cardenas, Bergen Catholic, tech fall over Mike Doggett, Seminary, 17-0, 4:28
220 – Jake Kaminski, Seminary, pinned Zach Poust, Benton, 1:13
285 – Jervey Sistrunk, Bound Brook, pinned Nate Miller, Seminary, 0:58