Coughlin Gets 5 Quick Pins, Rolls Over Short Handed Nanticoke Area
WILKES-BARRE — Nanticoke Area may have been on the bus longer than it was on the mat.
The Trojans traveled to Coughlin already shorthanded due to several wrestlers out with an illness. Forfeits wiped out six bouts Saturday, and the remaining matchups all ended in pins.
A turnstile of wrestlers checking in and walking toward the center of the mat started with Coughlin’s Jamie Pahler having his hand raised with a forfeited victory at 152 pounds. Teammate Darren Clarke’s own forfeited win at 145 ended the afternoon’s dual meet less than a half hour later.
In between, Nanticoke Area found a few bright spots before Coughlin got on a roll, and won, 54-24, maintaining its top spot in the Wyoming Valley Conference Division 1 standings.
“We’re still a little young. Our lineup isn’t full because we have some injuries,” Coughlin coach Dave Parsnik said. “So we’re trying to get better every time we go out.”
Connor Lee (220 pounds), Josh Warman (106), Jayden Pahler (126), Nino Cinti (132) and Sa’id Collins (138) all won by fall for Coughlin. No pin took more than three minutes to earn, four came in the first period, and Cinti had the quickest day with a 37-second bout.
Their strong performances meant Coughlin (3-0) remains one of two undefeated teams left in Division 1 play along with Hazleton Area (2-0). Perhaps more significantly, the Crusaders moved two wins away from their 700th all-time.
Though Coughlin matched Nanticoke Area’s 24 points on forfeits alone and won five of eight contested bouts, the Trojans (1-2 Division 1) jumped out to an early lead.
Jacob Gall filled in at 160 pounds due to injury and battled Warren Faust in the longest matchup of the day.
The two went back-and-forth, each scoring back points before the third period, when Faust had to try for multiple takedowns to erase a deficit. Gall countered a shot for a pin in 5:20.
More of the Trojans’ upper weights followed Gall’s lead, with Adam Eckhart (170) and Isaiah Johnson (182) earning pins and Zack Pelton (195) taking a forfeit for an early 24-6 lead.
It didn’t hold for long. Lee’s pin was the first of eight consecutive Coughlin wins to close meet.
“We’re strong up top in our lineup. Our top of our lineup’s been pulling through big,” Nanticoke Area coach Harold Shotwell said. “I figured we were going to come in here and it was going to be a close one if we had a full lineup. Unfortunately, the bug hit.”
Despite losing a talented senior class last season, the Crusaders are off to a solid start to their final season as a program. They’ve doubled all their Division 1 opponents’ scores so far, took third at a season-opening tournament in Athens and placed 10th at Wyoming Seminary’s tough X-Calibur competition.
“The kids learned from (those tournaments),” Parsnick said. “They know that every time they go out, they’ve got to wrestle hard. So those matches were very good for us.”
The road to win No. 700 only gets tougher, though, with fellow Division 1 contenders Hazleton Area, Valley West (1-1) and Dallas (1-1) all waiting in the first two weeks of January.
“We’re going to find out how good we are,” Parsnik said.
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