HS WRESTLING: Delaware Valley Claims District Crown
YATESVILLE — Jose Falcon wasn’t even a member of Delaware Valley wrestling when the team fell short of a District 2 duals championship in 2017.
On Saturday, the junior was one of the key wrestlers who turned the tide and sent the Warriors back to states.
With Falcon’s pin at 220 pounds all but ensuring a team title, Delaware Valley won the last six bouts to rally past Coughlin, 40-22, in the finals of the District 2 Class 3A Team Championships at Pittston Area.
After falling in the 2015 and 2017 finals, the Warriors are back on top and heading to the PIAA tournament for the first time since 2013.
It all became possible because of Delaware Valley’s heavier weights. The Lackawanna League’s top seed trailed, 22-12, heading into the last six bouts, but it raced past the Crusaders on pins from Jason Henderson (170), Falcon (220) and Joe Porco (106), a major decision from Shane Fagan (195) and decisions by Andrew Kidd (182) and John McCarthy (285).
“Delaware Valley’s tough; they’re balanced,” Coughlin coach Dave Parsnik said. “That was their strength right there at the end, so they were in the best position to close that match out.”
Warriors coach Lou DeLauro said he told his team it’d be in “great shape” if Coughlin’s lead topped out at 10-15 points by the time those heavy weights stepped to the mat.
“They’re experienced. They’re upperclassmen. They’ve been in big matches before, and that’s why we have the schedule that we have,” DeLauro said.
It’s a slightly different story for Falcon, though.
The Warriors junior wrestled through middle school before deciding he wanted to take a year off and get stronger. His freshman and sophomore years then came and went without any varsity wrestling experience.
Falcon said he knew he’d eventually return to the mat, and this became the year once he saw an open spot for him in Delaware Valley’s lineup. It was perfect timing; the Warriors needed him to put away a district title.
Delaware Valley led, 25-22, when it was Falcon’s turn to wrestle, with just three bouts remaining. He looked to have a pin in the bag until it was whistled off for a potentially dangerous hold.
Falcon kept the pressure on Connor Lee and got him to his back again soon after, earning a pin and sending his bench jumping in the air in celebration.
“It’s great,” Falcon said. “You just hop up and you know that you added six on that board, and you just got your team that much closer to winning.”
His fall gave Delaware Valley a 31-22 lead and meant McCarthy simply needed a victory to put away the championship. DeLauro said he’s confident in McCarthy, a district champion, but knew he’s also banged up.
“(Falcon’s pin) kept the momentum going our way,” DeLauro said. “It’s nice to take the pressure off of John, just needing to win and not a pin.”
With McCarthy’s 3-1 decision — won in the final minute — this Warriors group was officially headed to Hershey for their first team states experience. Their fans let them know afterward by tossing a few handfuls of Hershey Kisses to the mat.
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Delaware Valley 40, Coughlin 22
113: Preston Machado (DV) pinned Tino Morrow, 3:07. 120: Darren Clarke (COU) pinned Joe Casella, 0:39. 126: Machias Magill (DV) dec. Patrick Clarke, 6-3. 132: Mike McKinney (DV) dec. Jake Brown, 3-0. 138: Joshua Brown (COU) pinned Zane Yankalunas, 0:21. 145: Joey Pahler (COU) dec. Jack Dardia, 3-2. 152: Tashawn Qualls (COU) major dec. Damien Lobello, 13-2. 160: Tanner Smith (COU) dec. Gavin Brazanskas, 5-2. 170: Jason Henderson (DV) pinned Joe Davis, 0:39. 182: Andrew Kid (DV) dec. Jake Cole, 7-3. 195: Shane Fagan (DV) major dec. Aaron Warnagiris, 10-2. 220: Jose Falcon (DV) pinned Connor Lee, 3:24. 285: John McCarthy (DV) dec. Corey Harrison, 3-1. 106: Joe Porco (DV) pinned Nino Cinti, 5:39.
Tunkhannock 42, Scranton 33
106: David Evans (TUN) pinned Dwight Abram, 0:22. 113: Matt Rosentel (TUN) won by forfeit. 120: David Gavek (TUN) pinned Breydan Smith, 1:10. 126: Bobby Zelinski (SCR) won by forfeit. 132: Michael Tuffy (SCR) dec. Ethan Munley, 6-2. 138: Gavin D’Amato (TUN) won by forfeit. 145: Jeremiah Oakes (SCR) dec. Tommy Traver, 3-1. 152: William Evanitsky (SCR) pinned Kurtis Christ, 0:56. 160: Jacob Burgette (SCR) pinned Brian Christ, 1:16. 170: Hayden D’Angelo (SCR) dec. Shane Sherwood, 6-2. 182: Connor Munley (TUN) pinned Jehovany Gbedan, 1:59. 195: Brandon Crusen (SCR) won by forfeit. 220: Jake Stephens (TUN) won by forfeit. 285: Sam Rice (TUN) pinned Roy Gonzalez, 0:41.
Scranton 37, Hazleton Area 34
285: Michael Fuchick (HAZ) pinned Roy Gonzalez, 0:39. 106: Johnny Corra (HAZ) major dec. Dwight Abram, 16-2. 113: Beck Hutchinson (HAZ) won by forfeit. 120: Bobby Zelinski (SCR) major dec. Christian Kislan, 10-0. 126: Osman Bakradze (SCR) won by forfeit. 132: Charles Everdale (HAZ) won by forfeit. 138: Michael Tuffy (SCR) dec. Stephen Martisofski, 8-5. 145: Jeremiah Oakes (SCR) pinned Dante Matarella, 4:28. 152: William Evanitski (SCR) pinned Jayson Brielmeier, 1:47. 160: Jacob Burgette (SCR) pinned Luke Billig, 1:10. 170: Jake Marnell (HAZ) pinned Hayden D’Angelo, 2:31. 182: Jehovany Gbedan (SCR) pinned Seth Hunsinger, 2:26. 195: Shane Noonan (HAZ) pinned Brandon Crusen, 2:15. 220: No contest.
Tunkhannock 45, West Scranton 30
285: Sam Rice (TUN) pinned Noah Worsnick, 1:08. 106: David Evans (TUN) pinned Austin Fashouer, 4:33. 113: Anthony Caramanno (WS) pinned Matt Rosentel, 2:57. 120: David Gavek (TUN) pinned Solon Cast, 0:32. 126: Ethan Munley (TUN) dec. Randy Bonitz, 6-0. 132: Garrett Walsh (WS) won by forfeit. 138: Gavin D’Amato (TUN) pinned Devon Curyk, 0:30. 145: Tommy Traver (TUN) won by forfeit. 152: Tyler Connor (WS) dec. Kurtis Christ, 5-0. 160: Cameron Butka (WS) major dec. Brian Christ, 10-2. 170: Jake Butka (WS) pinned Carl Anthony, 2:50. 182: Jeremy Seymour (WS) pinned Shane Sherwood, 2:38. 195: Connor Munley (TUN) pinned Julian Rivera, 2:12. 220: Jake Stephens (TUN) pinned Rondell McCullough, 0:37.