Saucon Valley Wrestling Banquet Closes Book On Another Memorable Season

SVWC President Dave Spirk welcomes back 1972 SVHS state champion Dan Santoro as the event’s keynote speaker.

Sunday evening the Saucon Valley wrestling family got together one last time to reminisce and reflect on the 2016-2017 wrestling season.  About 400 family, friends and wrestlers broke bread at the Meadows before Dan Santoro, 1972 PIAA state champion from Saucon Valley High School, led the way in celebrating another memorable season.

Youth wrestler Hunter Hill making his family proud as being the Most Improved JV wrestler.

The Saucon Valley Youth wrestlers led by head coach Ben Chunko had a great season.  The youth varsity won the Northeast Division and finished second overall in the Valley Elementary Wrestling League.  The VEWL consists of 32 teams from all over and around the Lehigh Valley.  The Little Panthers crowned three champions and placed seven others in the end of the season tournament.

2017 VEWL Panther Place-winners

  • 1st Cole Hubert (61)
  • 1st Travis Riefenstahl (73)
  • 1st Jake Jones (120)
  • 2nd Aidan Grogg (67)
  • 2nd Tyler Pfizenmayer (95)
  • 3rd Mason Beckowski (105)
  • 4th Jared Blobe (160)
  • 6th Taylor Rohn  (46)
  • 6th Ronnie Werkheiser (90)
  • 7th Brady Rohn (54)

4th grader Aidan Grogg earned the Most Improved youth varsity wrestler award.

5th grader Cole Hubert and 6th grader Jake Jones were named the Most Outstanding Wrestlers.  Both youth wrestlers finished the 2017 season undefeated.

Junior High wrestling coach Andy Koch recognized Braydyn Lugardo, Cael Markle, Matt Moran and Nick Warnke.

The Saucon Valley Junior High also had reason to celebrate the 2016-2017 season.  The Panthers finished 9th overall in the PIAA District XI Junior High championships.  They finished in 2nd place among AA schools. Saucon Valley had three finalists and a champion.

2017 Panther District XI Junior High Place-winners

  • 1st Braydyn Lugardo (167)
  • 2nd Cael Markle (87)
  • 2nd Nick Warnke (252)

SVHS wrestling coach Chad Shirk recapping the 2016-2017 season.

Saucon Valley’s record-setting coach for wins, Chad Shirk and the Panthers had another fantastic season that was highlighted by a 5th consecutive Colonial League title and a repeat as District XI champions.  The Panthers qualified six to the PIAA State Championships in Hershey with sophomore Josh Jones finishing fifth and senior Devin Fontanez finishing third.

2017  PIAA State Qualifiers

  • 3rd Devin Fontanez (220)
  • 5th Josh Jones (120)
  • Paul Miller (126)
  • Angelo Mahaffey (138)
  • Jason Jones (145)
  • Dane Csencsits (152)

Freshman Dane Csencsits was Shirk’s Rookie of the Year.

Junior Angelo Mahaffey was the Panthers Most Improved Wrestler.

Sophomore Josh Jones was the team MVP.

Senior Devin Fontanez also earned MVP honors for the Panthers.

A final award that has become a Saucon wrestling tradition is known as the “Mom Wow” award.  This recognition is made in the honor of the late, great Lorraine Bowers. Better known to the Saucon Valley wrestling family as “Mom-Wow”, she was a Saucon Valley wrestling super-fan since 1966. PIAA state champion Brandon Palik was the first recipient of the coveted award in 2009.

On behalf of Mom-Wow, Cathy Leibensperger and Curt Bowers recognized Don Rohn for his contributions to SV wrestling.

Senior Stephen Good is the 2016-17 recipient of the “Mom-Wow” award for his effort, sportsmanship and mat-side manners.

Good was very humbled and thankful to be selected as a Mom-Wow award recipient.

It was a fun, lighthearted evening for the entire Saucon Valley wrestling family.  A good time was had by all.  Even though the annual banquet marks the end of the 2016-2017 season, the Panther coaching staff is clearly pointing the way to the future.  New challenges and renewed enthusiasm will surely keep the Panther wrestling program moving forward!

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