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District 1 High School Wrestling

North Penn aims for SOL Continental four-peat

by Mike Cabrey, Lansdale Reporter

Posted on December 6, 2018

Article originally appeared here:
http://papreplive.com/wrestling/2018/12/06/2018-2019-reporter-times-herald-wrestling-north-penn-aims-for-sol-continental-four-peat/

The North Penn wrestling team has ruled the Suburban One League Continental Conference the past three seasons. But this year's SOL realignment will make a four-peat an even tougher task for the Knights as two-time defending SOL American champ Quakertown is back in the Continental.

"A team goal every year is to win our league championship," North Penn coach Robert Shettsline said. "This won't be easy especially with Quakertown now back in our league. We also want to compete at district duals and qualify multiple wrestlers for the state championship tournament."

North Penn has not dropped a conference dual meet the past three seasons - a run of 19 straight wins - while Quakertown, who re has racked up 19 straight dual victories since losing a Continental matchup with Pennridge in 2016. NP and the Panthers meet Jan. 16 at Quakertown.

The Knights have a new group of heavyweights but are strong in the light and middle weights, returning Bloomsburg commit Patrick O'Neill, the senior taking seventh at 160 pound in his first trip to the PIAA Championships last season.

Souderton and Pennridge will see if they can push into the SOL Continental title race. The Indians return a pair of state qualifiers in seniors Tyler Williams - sixth-place in 132 at Hershey - and Bruno Stolfi. The Rams graduated PIAA champ Josh Stillings but does have state qualifier Evan Widing back in its lineup.

"Our league is always tough especially with Quakertown back in the Continental but we should be in the mix with everyone this season," Souderton coach Tristan Boyd said.

With Quakertown in the Continental, the American is left with a void at the top with Hatboro-Horsham and Plymouth Whitemarsh - which finished second and third, respectively, in the conference last season - along with Wissahickon all have an eye on claiming the conference title.

In the always tough Pioneer Athletic Conference, Methacton will try to contend in the Liberty Division with a three wrestlers that reaches states last year - Tonee Ellis, Kibwe McNair and Roman Moser.

Germantown Academy is set on building off taking 12th place at the 2018 Prep Nationals that included a fourth-place finish by junior Christopher Kim at 106.

In the Philadelphia Catholic League, Archbishop Wood has a solid returning group while also asking a few freshman to make an immediate impact as the Vikings look to repeat last year's success after claiming the league duals crown and took first in the team standings both the PCL and District 12 Championships.

La Salle won just twice last season but a deep Explorers side is looking to bounce back under first-year coach Benjamin. Courtney.

District 1 Postseason Changes

The the path to Hershey is a bit shorter as league tournaments are no longer the first step in the District 1 postseason. Instead, there will be four district Class 3A tournaments - North at Pottstown, East at Quakertown, South at Interboro, West at West Chester Rustin - with the top four from each advancing to the South East Regional at Souderton.

The East field will consist of 16 Suburban One teams. Souderton will be in the North tournament along with the 11 3A PAC programs. Cheltenham, PW, Upper and Wissahickon will compete in the South field.

The SOL will still hold conference championship meets, all three taking place Jan. 26 - the American at Wissahickon, Continental at Central Bucks South and National at Truman.

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