When Lucas Lawler came out and pinned his opponent in the first minute of the first match in the District 3 Class 2A Team Wrestling championship at Cumberland Valley High School, the Bishop McDevitt junior stud definitely set the tone for the rest of the match against Berks Catholic on February 3.
“This is a great team,” Lawler said after leading his team to a convincing 40-21 win over the Saints. “Ever since last year, whenever we lost we have had a chip on our shoulders just to be better and get it this year. I think this team can definitely win states.”
The PIAA state tournament begins on Thursday at Giant Center in Hershey, and the Crusaders (16-0) are not upperclassman blessed. Their line-up is heavy on freshmen and sophomores after losing the core nucleus from last year’s team, which had a state champion on their roster. The wrestling tradition seemingly continues to build on each success at Bishop McDevitt in recent years.
“We have a new philosophy at practice,” head coach Mike Nauman said. “We have a college practice. We just go, go, go. We got a lot of 9th and 10th graders so we changed up a lot of stuff. They have bought into it and things are going great.”
The Crusaders returned only one senior to this year’s undefeated squad, which defies the wrestling formula that experience equals success. Freshman Greyson Music won a key match, 5-1, at 121 and sophomore Camden Baum (32-season match winner) also helped propel the Crusaders over the Saints with relative ease.
(Photos by Chris Heisey, The Catholic Witness.)
By Chris Heisey, The Catholic Witness