Betancourt shows fight to place 5th at States

By on March 13, 2019
In a State 120-pound first-round match last Thursday night, Manheim Central’s Will Betancourt (right) rides out Father Judge junior Eamonn Logue in a 4-2 win at the Giant Center in Hershey. Photo by Missi Mortimer

In a State 120-pound first-round match last Thursday night, Manheim Central’s Will Betancourt (right) rides out Father Judge junior Eamonn Logue in a 4-2 win at the Giant Center in Hershey. Photo by Missi Mortimer

Manheim Central boss Billy Chamberlain describes junior Will Betancourt as the “most low-maintenance” wrestler he’s ever coached.

As such, little was required to get Betancourt mentally back on track following a 4-1 loss to Council Rock North’s Luke Lucerne in last Friday’s State Triple-A 120-pound quarterfinals.

“I didn’t have to talk to him at all,” Chamberlain said. “Will’s a fighter.”

That competitive side of Betancourt was on display as he battled back to win three of his next four matches, eventually climbing the medal podium with a PIAA fifth-place finish Saturday night at the Giant Center in Hershey.

Facing Stroudsburg senior Cameron Enriquez in his final bout, Betancourt prevailed 2-1 in an ultimate tiebreaker rideout.

“(Will) looked amazing,” Chamberlain said. “It was his best match up here. Enriquez is really good. I thought he’d be in the finals.”

Wrestling in the finals, following a seventh-place finish at States last year, is where Betancourt (40-5) had hoped to be. Admittedly, though, he didn’t wrestle as offensively as he would’ve liked Friday.

“That affected me a lot,” he said. “The last three matches I wrestled offensively and I came out (ahead) in two of them. I’m pretty happy with how I wrestled today (Saturday).”

Credit conversations with his father, Will Sr., Chamberlain and Manheim Central’s coaches going back to the hotel Friday night with helping him to get in the right mindset.

“They told me I’ve been wrestling offensively all season and it’s been working for me,” Betancourt recalled. “Why change it at the State Tournament? That just really clicked with me.”

Actually, the final score against Enriquez in the fifth-place match didn’t reflect how much he attacked.

Following a scoreless first period, Betancourt escaped with :04 elapsed in the second, then the Mountaineer grappler answered with one of his own early in the third, tying it 1-all.

From there, Betancourt threatened with two quality shots in the final 1:17 of regulation, only to be denied by a stalemate both times.

“I got in on a deep shot and (Enriquez) is really long,” he said, “and I’m obviously small. He’s a scrambler and he wrestles good in those positions.”

“Even though he didn’t score a takedown, he was in on three great shots,” Chamberlain said. “He scrambled out of two shots by Enriquez. He was on his offense. He went after him from the get-go, and that is where he’s got to be.”

Late in the one-minute sudden-victory OT, the two wrestlers flurried, and Betancourt fought off a takedown attempt by Enriquez as time expired.

“I heard Coach say, ‘Short time, short time,’” Betancourt said, “and I’m really good in those positions anyway. When someone’s deep in on a shot, I can scramble out of it.”

Back-to-back 30-second tiebreak periods couldn’t determine a winner, so they proceeded to the ultimate tiebreaker, where Betancourt took top.

“I rode him out before and I just felt confident because I didn’t have any stall calls,” he said, “so I could give up a stall call and not give up a point. I’m really confident in my ability on top.”

The strategy worked and Betancourt prevailed.

Manheim Central junior 120-pounder Will Betancourt (right) poses with coach Billy Chamberlain after receiving his fifth-place medal at the PIAA State Triple-A Wrestling Tournament last Saturday night. Photo by Kirk Neidermyer

Manheim Central junior 120-pounder Will Betancourt (right) poses with coach Billy Chamberlain after receiving his fifth-place medal at the PIAA State Triple-A Wrestling Tournament last Saturday night. Photo by Kirk Neidermyer

“You always want to show improvement, and (placing fifth) is one of those things that shows he’s taking steps to become better,” Chamberlain remarked. “Also, this is the first time he’s gotten to wrestle (Saturday night at States). Last year, he took an injury default for seventh and eighth place. I want him used to wrestling at 7 p.m. because hopefully we’re wrestling for a better place next year and he looked good.”

Betancourt also looked good defeating Father Judge senior Eamonn Logue (44-6) by a 4-2 decision in the first-round, capitalizing on a first-period takedown.

In the quarterfinals, a second-period escape put Betancourt up 1-0 going to the third. There, however, Lucerne’s (35-10) reversal gave him the lead and then he added two back points to finish off a 4-1 victory.

“It’s just one of those things, (losing in the quarter-finals) stings in the moment,” Chamberlain said, “but it’s time to re-group, it’s time to come back and now we’ve just got to try to climb the ladder, right? Will’s never going to back down.”

“Right after the match, I ran out of the arena because I didn’t want to show any emotion,” Betancourt said. “I just sat down and it was pretty heartbreaking telling myself I wasn’t going to be a State champ this year. But for me, mentally saying that I can battle back and compete with the best kids in the country and in the State, just to see where I am, that’s how I got mentally back into it.”

Beating William Tennent junior T.J. England (35-7) was no easy task, however, In fact, the match was tied 1-1 until Betancourt got a single-leg takedown with :14 left to pull out a 3-1 victory.

It also assured him of a spot in the medal rounds.

“In a way, it is a relief,” Chamberlain said. “Now he understands, ‘I’m getting a medal no matter what. I can let it fly, I can have fun out there.’ But at the same time, he’s a true competitor and it’s not just about placing. It’s, ‘How high can I climb that ladder, and I’ve got to be ready to grind,’ because this is probably one of, if not the toughest brackets in the State right now.”

Betancourt climbed a little higher on the ladder thanks to a 3-1 victory over West Chester Henderson’s Killian Delaney (40-8) in the Round Four consolations.

His escape with 1:46 left in the third tied the Warrior junior 1-1 and ultimately forced OT. There, Betancourt secured a takedown with just :03 left to advance to the consi semi-finals.

“I opened up today,” Betancourt said. “The first match today, I literally wrestled my best friend. I scored offensively and he was a State runner-up. If I would have wrestled like that the whole tournament, I would’ve been in the finals.”

“Last year, he lost that match and it can be frustrating,” Chamberlain commented. “You lose at 9 o’clock in the morning and then you don’t wrestle until 7 p.m. He was able to not only wrestle at 9, then wrestled another match and it just showed that, ‘I can win on Saturday. I can continue to get better and I can continue to score.”

Standing between him and a berth to the bronze-medal match was Council Rock South senior Shane Hanson-Ashworth (43-9). In two earlier meetings this season, Betancourt won 1-0 at the Cumberland Valley Tourney and 2-1 at King of the Mountain.

This time, Hanson-Ashworth escaped with :08 elapsed in the third and then Betancourt broke loose off of bottom with 1:49 to go in the third. It then remained tied until Hanson-Ashworth scored a takedown with :41 remaining and earned a 3-1 win.

“I wrestled him three times this year,” Betancourt said, “and it’s hard to beat someone, especially that good, three times in a row.”

He didn’t have that same familiarity with his foe in the fifth-place match. In the end, however, his first encounter with Enriquez proved to be a positive one, as Betancourt capped his season with a 2-1 ultimate tiebreaker victory.

“(Will) even said when he came off the mat, ‘It only took three years, but I finally opened up on a good kid,’” Chamberlain said. “So that’s what I want him to realize. When he opens up, he’s right there.”

***

Senior Cade Zeamer also competed at States for Manheim Central in the 132-pound brackets.

In the pigtails, he trailed only 2-0 after one against Liberty’s Travis Brown (31-14), but then the Hurricanes’ senior added two more takedowns the rest of the way and won 8-1.

Moving on to the Round One consolations, Red Land junior Bryce Brennan (33-8) broke open a 6-2 match after one to earn a 20-8 victory.

Zeamer finished his season with a 37-9 record.

“Cade had a great season,” Chamberlain said. “Team-wise, we wouldn’t have had the success we did without him. He came up huge in matches in matches for us. He won an L-L title and he won a Section title, He set the tone. He and Will back-to-back in a lot of our matches really set the tone coming up through.”

 

PIAA CHAMPIONSHIPS

At Giant Center, Hershey

CLASS 3A

CHAMPIONSHIP FINALS

106 — Carter Dibert, Franklin Regional, d. Dylan Chappell, Seneca Valley, 7-2.

113 — Alejandro Herrera, Seneca Valley, d. Finn Soloman, Franklin Regional, 10-5.

120 — Sean Pierson, Nazareth, d. Kurtis Phipps, Norwin, 9-5.

126 — Darren Miller, Kiski Area, d. Colton Camacho, Franklin Regional, 6-5.

132 — Julian Chlebove, Northampton, d. Kenny Herrmann, Bethlehem Catholic, 6-2.

138 — Ed Scott, Dubois, p. Dashawn Farber, Nazareth, 3:25.

145 — Ryan Anderson, Bethlehem Catholic, d. Cameron Robinson, Council Rock North, 3-2.

152 — Daniel Mancini, Owen J. Roberts, m.d. Cam Connor, Kiski Area, 10-2.

160 — Trey Kibe, Mifflin County, d. Clayton Ulrey, Lower Dauphin, 6-2.

170 — Gerrit Nijenhuis, Canon-McMillan, d. Edmund Ruth, Susquehanna Township, 8-3.

182 — Carter Starocci, Cathedral Prep, d. Luke Stout, Mt. Lebanon, 7-1.

195 — Kyle Swartz, Northern York, d. Donovon Ball, Cedar Cliff, 7-5.

220 — Nate Schon, Selinsgrove, m.d. Andrew Balukas, Easton, 4-1.

285 — Kawaun Deboe, Cathedral Prep, d. Jake Slinger, Upper St. Clair, 3-1.

 

FIFTH-PLACE CONSOLATIONS

120 — Will Betancourt, Manheim Central, d. Cameron Enriquez, Stroudsburg, 2-1 UTB.

 

SEMIFINALS

106 — Carter Dibert, Frankin Regional, m.d. Mason Prinkey, Connellsville, 10-1; Dylan Chappell, Seneca Valley, d. Kyle Waterman, Council Rock South, 2-1 UTB.

113 — Alejandro Herrera, Seneca Valley, d. Karl Shindledecker, Chambersburg, 6-0; Finn Soloman, Franklin Regional, d. Kyle Burkholder, Hempfield Area, 3-2.

120 — Kurtis Phipps, Norwin, d. Shane Hanson-Ashworth, Council Rock South, 3-1; Sean Pierson, Nazareth, d. Luke Lucerne, Council Rock North, 3-1.

126 — Darren Miller, Kiski Area, m.d. Patrick Gould, East Stroudsburg South, 9-0; Colton Camacho, Franklin Regional, d. Kenny Hayman, Canon-McMillan, 4-1.

132 — Julian Chlebove, Northampton, d. Sam Hillegas, North Hills, 2-1; Kenny Herrmann, Bethlehem Catholic, d. Gabe Willochell, Greater Latrobe, 7-3.

138 — Dashawn Farber, Nazareth, d. Tyler Williams, Souderton, 2-0; Ed Scott, Dubois, d. Devon Britton, Northampton, 6-4.

145 — Ryan Anderson, Bethlehem Catholic, m.d. Tate Nichter, Chambersburg, 10-1; Cameron Robinson, Council Rock North, d. Paniro Johnson, Cathedral Prep, 10-6.

152 — Cam Connor, Kiski Area, d. Ethan Richner, Bellefonte, 9-3; Daniel Mancini, Owen J. Roberts, d. Cole Handlovic, Bethlehem Catholic, 2-1 UTB.

160 — Clayton Ulrey, Lower Dauphin, m.d. John Crawford, Strath Haven, 14-5; Trey Kibe, Mifflin County, d. Luca Frinzi, Bethlehem Catholic, 7-2.

170 — Edmond Ruth, Susquehanna Township, d. Lenny Pinto, Stroudsburg, 6-5; Gerrit Nijenhuis, Canon-McMillan, d. Maximus Hale, Downingtown West, 8-1.

182 — Carter Starocci, Cathedral Prep, p. Joey Milano, Spring-Ford, 4:44; Luke Stout, Mt. Lebanon, t.f. Tyler Mousaw, Unionville, 4:34, 19-4.

195 — Kyle Swartz, Northern York, d. Jameel Coles, Northeast, 8-7; Donovon Ball, Cedar Cliff, d. Camen Moyer, Liberty, 4-3.

220 — Andrew Balukas, Easton, p. Dorian Crosby, Cathedral Prep, :48; Nate Schon, Selinsgrove, m.d. Shane Noonan, Hazleton, 14-6.

285 — Jake Slinger, Upper St. Clair, d. Michael Wolfgram, Central York, 9-4; Kawaun Deboe, Cathedral Prep, p. Isaiah Vance, Hempfield Area, 3:16.

QUARTERFINALS

120 — Luke Lucerne, Council Rock North, d. Will Betancourt, Manheim Central, 4-1.

FIRST-ROUND

120 — Will Betancourt, Manheim Central, d. Eamonn Logue, Father Judge, 4-2.

PRELIMINARIES

132 — Travis Brown, Liberty, d. Cade Zeamer, Manheim Central, 8-1.

FIRST-ROUND CONSOLATIONS

132 — Bryce Brennan, Red Land, m.d. Cade Zeamer, Manheim Central, 20-8.

THIRD ROUND CONSOLATIONS

120 — Will Betancourt, Manheim Central, d. T.J. England, William Tennent, 3-1.

FOURTH ROUND CONSOLATIONS

120 — Will Betancourt, Manheim Central, d. Killian Delaney, West Chester Henderson, 3-1 SV.

CONSOLATION SEMIFINALS

120 — Shane Hanson-Ashworth, Council Rock South, d. Will Betancourt, Manheim Central, 3-1.

 

 

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