First Posted: 3/7/2012
Lackawanna Trail Jr./Sr. High School senior wrestler Eric Laytos earned his third straight gold medal at the Class AA Northeast Regional Tournament while Abington Heights junior wrestler Michael Carr finished third in the Class AAA tournament March 3.
Their efforts earned them berths in their respective state tournaments.
"You've got to wrestle with heart and make everything on the mat happen," Laytos said. "You've got to put everything else aside and just go after it."
Laytos pinned Nathan Stettler of North Penn in the championship semifinal round before pinning Eric McCracken of Central Columbia 49 seconds into the championship round to earn his third straight gold medal.
"Eric is a kid that you can always count on to go out and give 150 percent ," Lackawanna Trail Head Coach Jeff Stauffer said. "He'll wrestle three periods and he'll wrestle them as hard as he can until the third period is over."
Lackawanna Trail senior Ben Lehman lost in the consolation quarterfinal round in the 285-pound weight division. Marvess Rosiak and Caleb Darling also wrestled for Lackawanna Trail in the tournament.
"At regionals, those two (Rosiak and Darling) wrestled the best I'd ever seen in the four years I've coached them," Stauffer said.
Darling lost a close bout in the 182-pound weight division in the consolation quarterfinal. Rosiak also went down in his final match of the tournament by one point in the consolation semifinal in the 170-pound weight division.
"It was kind of sad seeing them not get a berth into the state tournament," Stauffer said. "They had the capability. They just fell short in close matches and it was pretty heartbreaking."
Laytos won the Class AA State Championship during his sophomore season. Despite his past success, Laytos never looks past any opponent.
"We take every match one at a time because every kid down at states is good enough to beat anybody," Stauffer said. "It just depends on how up they are for the match and how well prepared they are. We just have to make sure we're prepared and we're ready to go too."
"I'm just doing the same things in practice," Laytos added. "I've just got to get the right mindset now. That's all there is to it."
In the Class AAA Northeast Regional Tournament, Carr lost to Jake Young of Freedom High School in the second round. Despite the loss, Carr fought back in the consolation bracket, winning four matches Saturday and earned a third place finish.
"His concentration going into the second day was to open up his offense and to keep taking shots," Calder said. "That's when he's at his best, when he's looking to continue to score."
Carr defeated Shane McTiernan of Scranton High School 7-6 and Jordan Gray of Nazareth High School 5-4. He then took down Matt Hammerstone of Crestwood, who defeated him in the district finals, in an 11-1 major decision. In the third place match, Carr avenged his loss against Young earlier in the tournament with a 4-2 victory.
"We talked to the guys all year about how at some point in time we're going to have to beat guys that have beaten us," Calder said. "Michael did it twice this weekend."
Sophomore Greg Pascale also wrestled for the Comets in the 106-pound weight division, but lost in the first-round consolations.
"He wrestled a physical tournament," Calder said. "He kind of broke loose a little bit and I think he kind of sees where the game plan needs to be going into next year."
Senior Dylan Berardelli advanced to the consolation quarterfinals before losing to Tyler Peerson of Freedom.
"Here's a kid that was 0-5 as a sophomore, and then he qualified for regionals two years in the row," Calder said. "He's come a long way in his career and we're very proud at what he's done."
Carr and Calder will look to stick with what was so successful at regionals heading into the Class AAA State Tournament.
"It's the postseason, so you survive and advance," Calder said. "We're going to keep that attacking style."