Freshmen make up nearly half the lineup, but that should not be taken as a sign of weakness for the Lake-Lehman wrestling team.
The Black Knights are regarded as the favorite in Division 2 of the Wyoming Valley Conference heading into their conference opener Wednesday at home against Wyoming Area.
Lake-Lehman and other potential contenders had the chance to test themselves this weekend in the WVC Tournament prior to the start of divisional duals.
Meyers is the defending divisional champion, but Berwick, under new coach Ron Swingle, knocked off defending District 2 Class 2A Dual Meet Tournament champion Hanover Area in the only Division 2 match so far to also establish itself as a contender.
“Everybody’s good,” Lake-Lehman coach J.J. Konigus said. “I think we’re all pretty evenly matched.”
The Black Knights combine wrestlers moving up from a highly successful junior high program with junior Bobby Long and the senior upperweight group of Mike Slivinski, Chuck Harry and Kaleb Konigus.
Long, a junior, joins Tunkhannock’s Tommy Traver and Hanover Area’s D.J. Erickson as the only returning state qualifiers in the WVC.
The freshmen include Nick Zaboski and Hunter Burke, who were fourth- and fifth-place finishers in the Pennsylvania Junior Wrestling Championships last year. It was the third time Burke medaled in the event.
After going 4-1 in the division and 6-7 overall last season, Lake-Lehman will take a 2-0 dual record into the WVC opener. Long, at 126 pounds, and Kaleb Konigus, at 285 pounds, have matched each other for the team’s best finishes in two tournaments prior to the New Year.
Long was 12-3 to lead the team in wins while Konigus was 10-3 going into the conference tournament.
Senior Garrett Kolb and Burke follow Long in the lineup and were both 9-4.
Freshman Jake Trumbower (145) also had nine wins while junior T.J. Meehan (195) and freshman Zack Stuart (120) had eight each.