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Warwick has many new faces following big graduation losses
BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor email@example.com
, Staff Writer
Last Thursday marked a big occasion for six Warwick wrestlers.
Tanner King, Alex Tshudy, Peter Harris, Tyler Melhorn, Andrew Flory and Brock Lieberman all made their varsity debut for the Warriors in their season-opening 68-12 drubbing of Lancaster Catholic.
The opportunity for them to break into the starting lineup came due to the graduation of nine seniors from last year’s squad which finished 17-6 and lost to Manheim Township 43-32 in the opening-round of the District Three Triple-A Team Duals. Among those who moved on included heavyweight Tom Devenney (42-5), a PIAA State fifth-place medalist, District qualifier Steve Woolley (33-8), and Tyler Esbenshade (12-15), Ryan Gray (26-12), Matt Mousetis (14-16), Ethan Quinn (9-14), Zach Sayevski (1-1) and Colin Schnupp (21-14).
"We lost everything from 126 to 170, plus Tommy at heavyweight," Warwick coach Ned Bushong said. "We lost a lot."
The cupboard, however, is not bare. While the Warriors will certainly be young in the middle weights, they bring back solid experience at the top and bottom of their lineup. Devin Schnupp, who went 40-6 and qualified for States as a freshman, Josh Charles (District qualifier, 37-7), Marcus Tout (12-20), and Logan Stroh (25-15) lead the list of returnees from 106 to 132.
"They’re good solid wrestlers for us," Bushong said.
So, too, are Carson Snavely, David Brubaker and Austin Maguire, who will handle the 195, 220 and 285-pound weights. A year ago, Brubaker was 10-22 at 182, Snavely finished 21-13 at 195 and Maguire had a 20-13 record and qualified for Districts at 220.
What the Warriors do not have, though, is a lot of depth. Overall, they have just 28 wrestlers on the roster. And with several newcomers getting their feet wet on the varsity mat this winter, Warwick’s balance will be tested in a Section One race led by favorites Solanco and Manheim Township.
"We’re hoping that they just generally improve," Bushong remarked.
The good news for Warwick is that Schnupp has improved from what was a tremendous freshman season. After suffering an injury in the spring, he took some time off recuperating before returning to workouts in October.
"I don’t think (the time away) hurt him," Bushong said. "He’s fresh, he’s eager to go and working hard. He’s a little bit bigger, he’s gotten a lot stronger and he’s getting better."
Brock Lieberman, a sophomore, wrestled at 106 last Thursday, but Schnupp will slide into that spot when wrestlers get a two-pound allowance after Christmas.
"(Devin) will be (at 106) for the big tournaments," Bushong said.
Charles and Stroh, meanwhile, could be headed for standout seasons at 126 and 132, respectively. Charles could move to 120 in time for the L-L League Tournament.
"Charles is considerably stronger than last year," Bushong said, "so we’re feeling good about that, and the same with Stroh. (Logan)’s stronger than last year, he’s looking good."
King gets the nod at 138, followed by Tshudy at 145, Harris at 152, Melhorn at 160, Andrew Flury at 170 and Avery Quinn at 182. Although Kameron Kline (170) and Addison Good (160) were unavailable for the match against Lancaster Catholic, those two are expected to contribute this winter as well.
"I have some injuries right now that once they get straightened out, we’ll be in a little bit better shape," Bushong said.
Warwick will need to be at its best to compete against the top teams in the league. Getting some breaks wouldn’t hurt, either.
"We’re going to have to get bonus points every place we can and not give up extras," Bushong said. "We’re going to be tested (Thursday) with Hempfield. They’re strong where we’re strong, and it matches up pretty much. I’m kinda counting on my last three to get me points, but against them, we have Tommy Bennett, Jordan Ortiz and Joey Goodhart and they’re good."
Looking at the Section One race, Bushong believes at this point that the Section One title will go through Solanco and Township.
"(After them), then it’s going to be tight," he said. "I think the rest of us are pretty even. We’re going to go week-to-week and hope that we improve each week. I mean, I might have five kids that are capable of qualifying for Districts and I would like to think that I have two or three, if everything goes right, that could qualify for States."
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