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On Saturday high school wrestlers’ dreams crept closer to a reality. The Suburban One Continental Conference championships at Central Bucks South moved four from each weight class into districts this week at Hatboro-Horsham.
For some, it was a chance WR PDNH WKHLU fiUVW-HYHU dLVtrict appearance, for others LW wDV WKH fiUVW RI PDny SLFtures on the podium with the bracket in hand and a medal around the neck.
For Pennridge’s Ben Ross and North Penn’s Alex Price it was a second chance at Hershey and the state tournament.
Ross could have been VDWLVfiHd SULRU WR KLV FKDP- pionship bout against Souderton’s Kolton Veit. No matter the outcome of the 120-pound match they were both moving on. But the Rams’ Ross was out to prove something. He was out show the 33-1 record he brought into the tournament was far IURP D fluNH.
“, nHHdHd WR JHW fiUVW DW this tournament,” Ross said. “That is going to help me in the next tournament. Not only it is going to get into Kolton’s head, but it is getting into my head, knowing I can do it and I can get out to states.”
9HLW — D VWDWH TuDOLfiHU from a season ago — held the early advantage, but a Ross reversal forced overtime and a take down in the extra period made it back-toback wins over his longtime rival. Veit has only lost twice this season and they are both to the new Continental Conference champ.
“We have been seeing HDFK RWKHU IRU WKH SDVW fiYH RU six years and I beat him the past two times we wrestled,” Ross said. “They are the only two times I beat him, so I know I am getting better. Today I wrestled tough, I did not wrestle my best, but in the end I still came out on top.
Ross and 113-pounder Scott Parker both took home fiUVW SODFH KRnRUV Dnd WKH Rams sent nine wrestlers off to districts. The two junior captains led the Rams to a share of the regular season title and now they are leading nearly their entire starting lineup into next week. WKLOH 3DUNHU finLVKHd IRuUWK at states last season, Ross fell one win away from a trip to Hershey.
“Scott has gotten all the thunder in the past and now it is my turn to step up,” Ross said. “I lost last year the match before states. I came off the mat and I knew I had to train hard all offseason. My coaches have been drilling me and it is paying off.”
North Penn’s junior Alex 3ULFH wDV YHUy FRnfidHnW KH was on his way to Hershey this time last year. However the dream was dashed after he strained his hamstring against Central Bucks South’s Dylan Swan in districts. The moment he could use that hamstring again he got back to work.
“I honestly think I would have made it to states last year and I hope to come
home with some hardware this year,” Price said. “It was against one of my good friends and once I got hurt, Dylan was very respectful. I went to the right people and they got me back running in three weeks. I feel like my hamstring is the strongest part of my body now.”
Price was one of three .NLJKWS WR SLFN uS fiUSW SODFH honors (195-pound George Shipp and 152-pound Jeffrey Reimel) and with the new sectional format, he can say he is league champion at 182 pounds. Midway through the second round the match was stopped with the score reading 15-0 and a tech fall was awarded. Price’s record now stands at 22-2 and he feels he gets better every time he takes the mat.
“All the coaches have been working hard with us and I feel like I am just starting to peak,” Price said. “Everything is piecing together at the right time.”
The wrestlers realize they will need to have their hand raised by the referee several more times in order to reach the big dream of the state tournament. So that is why when asked if qualifying for districts prior to the championship match on Saturday was enough, they all disagreed and wanted to win. Price, Ross and the other TuDOLfiHUS NHvHU ZDNW WR ORSH and that is what makes these wrestlers playoff contenders.
“Honestly I have to take it one match at a time,” Price said. “Once I start looking at the big picture. I real- ize I have 10 more matches before I even get there. If you break it down match by PDWFK LW SWDUWS flRZLNJ. “