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Nazareth, Notre Dame-GP lead Lehigh Valley list in PA Power Wrestling preseason freshman rankings

Allentown Morning Call logo Allentown Morning Call 12/2/2020 Tom Housenick, The Morning Call

By District 11 standards, it is not stellar representation.

But rankings are just that. Four years from now, we will look back to evaluate PA Power Wrestling’s 2020 version of the state’s top incoming freshmen.

There are 11 area wrestlers who are part of annual rankings including two each from Nazareth, Notre Dame-Green Pond and Pennridge.

By contrast, there are 32 from District 7 (WPIAL) and 21 for District 3 (Harrisburg-York-Reading-Lancaster-Lebanon), which was down the last couple of years.

District 11 has dominated the PIAA Class 3A team tournament the last five years, winning five gold medals and two silver medals in that span. However, District 7, which has more schools, has walked away from the state’s individual tournament with many more medals in recent seasons.

With the COVID-19 pandemic wreaking havoc the last eight months, here’s hoping we are having more debates come February and March.

Here’s a look at the locals who made PA Power’s list:

No. 17. Sean Kinney, Nazareth (285): He was the 2020 Pennsylvania Junior Wrestling state champ at 252 pounds and 2019 runner-up.

No. 29. Joey LaPenna, Notre Dame-Green Pond (152): He will jump into the Crusaders lineup after being a third-place finisher at PJWs last season at 147.

No. 41. Dan Haubert, Palisades (189): The biggest and latest Haubert to don the Pirates purple. He will get one varsity season with his brother, Ben, who was a District 11 and Southeast Regional Class 2A champion last season. Dan was a PJW runner-up last season at 187.

No. 51. Parish McFarland, Pottsville (113): He was third at last year’s District 11 junior high tournament and sixth at PJWs.

No. 53. Ryan Gallagher, Pennridge (160): The first of two Rams on the list, which will help rebuild a program that struggled the last two seasons. He was third, fourth and seventh the last three years at PJWs.

No. 58. Cole Coffin, Pennridge (106): He was eighth two years ago and sixth last season at PJWs at 82 and 92 pounds, respectively.

No. 69. Mason Ziegler, Quakertown (106): He will move right into a lineup that took a few graduation hits after last year’s successful run to the PIAA 3A team tournament. He was a 2019 MAWA Eastern Nationals champion at 90 pounds and a sixth-place finisher at 2019 PJWs at 87.

No. 72. Ayden Smith, Notre Dame-GP (106): He was a two-time District 11 junior high champion and a 2020 PJW champion at 77 pounds while in the Dieruff program. He will fit right in where the Crusaders need someone.

Honorable mention Ben Fanelli, Pleasant Valley (106): He was a 2019 King of the Jungle junior high runner-up at 92 pounds.

Honorable mention Scotty Raymond, Pocono Mountain East (106): He was a District 11 junior high third-place finisher at 77 pounds in 2019 and fifth at 87 in 2020.

Honorable mention Dominic Rizzotto, Nazareth (106): He was fourth the last two seasons at the District 11 junior high tournament at 77 and 80 pounds, respectively.

Morning Call reporter Tom Housenick can be reached at 610-820-6651 or at thousenick@mcall.com

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©2020 The Morning Call (Allentown, Pa.)

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