TOWAMENCIN >> Wrestling the opening match is not something North Penn's Alec Schrum is accustomed to doing.
"Not really used to that," he said. "Haven't done that since like my freshman year."
Schrum found himself in a early deficit to Pennridge's Eddie Oprindick in their 152-pound contest that began Wednesday night's SOL Continental dual meet. But the senior Knight quickly recovered to gain the lead then proceeded to get the pin 1:04 into the second period, starting North Penn off with six points.
"That takedown just snapped me right back," Schrum said. "Woke me up but I'm not real too happy with my performance."
The Knights added five more pins to its total and won eight of the 10 matches contested as they opened their conference schedule by rolling past the visiting Rams 66-11.
"I think we wrestled pretty well," North Penn coach Robert Shettsline said. "I mean, it's pretty early in the season and we still a lot more to work on."
Jarret Niedosik gave the Knights a 15-0 lead with his pin at 1:09 at 170 before Pennridge picked up its two victories on back-to-back pins by Adam Pollock at 182 and Logan Green at 195 to pull within 15-12. The Rams, however, had to forfeit the next four matches and North Penn's lead expanded to 39-12.
"Lot of football kids came out, didn't like the hard work we had to put in so they quit," said Green, a state qualifier last season. "It's not a sport for everyone, I understand. But I'm happy with our team, we're all working hard we're all putting the work in. Even though we're not getting the results we will."
Dylan Reinhard secured the North Penn victory by winning at 120 with a pin in 1:09.
"Our guys seemed pretty aggressive out there," Shettsline said.
North Penn capped the dual meet with three consecutive pins - Eddie Galang (132) at 3:37, Nophir Harrell (138) at 1:08 and Will Morrow (145) at 1:52.
"I think we did really good," Schrum said. "That's a good start to our dual season. Definitely have a lot to work on, some basic stuff we got drill in, get that down."
Along with their six pins, the Knights also rallied for a pair of decisions.
At 160, sophomore Nick Ray trailed Luke Wahlers 4-1 but came back to claim his first varsity win 6-4 with a takedown in the final seconds of the third.
"He got a couple reversals there and came back strong," said Shettsline of Ray.
"We said even if you're down in the beginning just keep battling back," Shettsline said. "And typically we make sure these guys are in shape."
Schrum Setting Sights on Hershey
As a junior, Schrum took fourth at 138 pounds at the District 1-AAA East Tournament to qualify for South East Regionals for the first time.
"My goal is to at least go to states, place is the goal-goal," he said. "We should have a couple kids go to states, multiple places.
Schrum lost by pin in the first match of the year at the Freedom's Battle of Bethlehem Duals but has since ran off five straight wins - four by pin.
"Just think about wrestling more technically," said Schrum on what he is working on during his senior year. "Every match, break it down and figure out what I'm doing wrong, what's working, what's not working and then just practice that, get it down."
Green Aiming for State Return
Green's pin at 195 was career victory No. 70 for the Pennridge senior, who should make a push towards 100 wins with a season similar to his junior campaign when he went 36-12 and qualified for states.
"I wasn't really expecting that at all, I kind of was confused what he was calling there with the pin," said Green of his win Wednesday. "I was just working my moves, trying to get my stamina up, working as fast as I can cause really the goal at the end of the year is getting on that state podium."
Green made PIAAs at 195 with a four-place finish at regionals. He won his opening match in Hershey - a 5-0 decision over Central Dauphin's Jackson Talbott - before dropping his next two.
"Definitely getting bigger and stronger," said Green on what's he looking to improve. "Even though I was at the weight there's kids that are bigger and stronger than me," Green said. "And just working on my overall quickness. Once you get in those upper weights, those kids the might be bigger and stronger but they're not as quick so that's something I also bring to the table."
Green went 4-2 at the Cumberland Valley Kickoff last weekend but did end up taking fifth at 195 - avenging a 5-4 quarterfinal loss to Harrisburg Bishop McDevitt's Riley Robell by besting Robell 1-0 in the fifth-place match.
"It's been a lot just coming back from football season so it's definitely not a proud performance of mine," Green said. "But just coming back, working on what I need to and improving throughout the season."
Pennridge heads up to Allentown Saturday for the Raptor Duals hosted by Executive Education Academy Charter School. North Penn visits West Chester East for a nonleague dual meet 7 p.m. Wednesday.