Russell Abernethy and Matt Smith
Wrestling season is here and there is no one more excited than Coach Irv Miller.
“I cannot wait to get back on the mat and I believe the boys feel the same way,” he said.
Last year’s squad finished the season with a 10-4 record and took second in the district. The team also sent nine wrestlers to regionals and two won wrestlers won districts, brothers Igor and Max Lupisella.
The team also had four second place finishers and more third and fourth place finishers.
With the loss of only two wrestlers from last season, senior captains Mike Manns and Tobias Mintzmyer, this year’s team is still strong.
The team still has their captain and best wrestler, Igor Lupisella. The two new captains who will join Lupisella in leading the team are seniors Russell Abernethy and Brandon Smith. Smith is a four-year varsity wrestler for New Hope and Abernethy joined the team last year after transferring from Archbishop Wood.
These senior captains have all the characteristics to build this team and make it great. The team also has five new wrestlers including three freshman.
The team is hoping to make it to the state duals with wins in both the BAL tournament and the district tournament. The team has a lot of potential to be one of the best teams that has ever come out of New Hope’s history based on experience and size. Last year, the team took second in both tournaments and would love to have revenge on Lower Moreland who dealt both loses. The team is ready to work hard to get to their goal.
The team has had top four finishes in all five of the tournaments that they have wrestled in this year, including two first place finishes at the Church Farm and Delaware County Christian Invitationals. They also took second at the New Hope-Solebury Invitational, third at the Springside Chestnut Hill tournament, and fourth at the Harry S. Truman Penn-Jersey Duals. With a win over Church Farm on Feb. 3, the team is currently 4-0 in the BAL and 7-2 overall in dual meets. Also holding a commanding 1st place lead in the standings for the BAL.
The team is also ranked number one going into the District One Dual Meet tournament that will be held on Saturday Jan. 6. If the team wins first, they will continue into the state duals the following weekend. The team has never won the District Duals tournament and has never made it all the way to states. Following the state duals in consecutive weekends will be the individual BAL, district, regional, and state tournaments.
With the post-season approaching, the team hopes to finish the season as well as they started.