PERKASIE - When you have two rebuilding teams meeting in an early-season match, you usually get what happened on Wednesday night.
A lot of pins.
And plenty of hope.
"We have a young team and you want to see everybody giving their all all of the time," Pennridge first-year coach J.T. Lewis said. "That's all you can ask. These guys are working hard each day in practice and they'll get there."
Veteran North Penn coach Rob Shettsline, whose team won the Suburban One League Continental Conference opener for both teams by a 57-21 margin, concurred.
"We only have two seniors on the team, but there are 14 freshmen," Shettsline said. "And that's good to see. They'll get better. There's a long way to go."
The Knights, who picked up falls from Ed Galang (120 pounds), Will Morrow (132), Alec Schrum (138), Nolan Roberts (145), Pat O'Neill (160) and Jarrett Niedosik (170), are looking to win their fourth straight SOL Continental Conference championship.
"It would be great to be able to do that," said NP senior standout O'Neill. "We have a really young team, but they're all doing the best they can and working really hard.
"We lost (senior) Erik Laughlin, who went to (Southeast) regionals last year because he got hurt playing football. That was a shame because I know he would have made it to states. But we'll be ready for every match. Quakertown is really tough and we don't look past anybody."
Last season, O'Neill, was seventh at the PIAA state tournament as a junior 160-pounder. A Bloomsburg University commit, said making it to Hershey was his goal, but, before he knew it, he found himself in the medal round and standing on the podium on the final day of the tournament. At 11-1 already this season, he's off to a good start.
"That was a great feeling," said O'Neill. "I was really happy to make it to states and just tried to wrestle as well as I could. Getting a medal was great and I want to get back to Hershey and do well again.
"I feel really good at 160. I can eat, I feel strong and ready to go. I broke my ankle over the summer practicing, and was in a cast and a walking boot for a while, but I feel fine now and I'm ready for my senior season."
The Rams received pins from Christian Perrine (182) and Logan Green (195). Senior standout Evan Widing (152) won by forfeit. Widing made it to Hershey last season while Green was a Southeast Regional qualifier.
"Both of those guys are looking good," Lewis said. "Evan made it to states last year and is looking to get on the podium for sure and it's the same thing for Logan. We're excited about both of them."
Josh Stillings, who won a PIAA Class AAA state title for Pennridge as a senior last March at 182, was honored before the match and presented with a banner that will hang in the gym. Stillings, who will soon begin his freshman wrestling season at Drexel University after recovering from an injury, is only the second state champ in Pennridge history. The other was former head coach Dan Goetter, who won a state championship in 2005.