Quaker Valley wrestling enjoys sweet finish to season with 4 medals in Hershey

Sunday, March 20, 2022 | 10:58 AM

Quaker Valley wrapped up the best wrestling season in school history with four individual medalists at the PIAA Class 2A championships March 12 at Giant Center in Hershey.

“We qualified five kids to compete in arguably the toughest wrestling tournament in the country,” QV coach Mike Heinl said. “We won four state medals. I believe we had more medalists than any other team from the Southwest region. I was very happy with our performance. It is fair to say that this was our most productive season yet.”

Senior Patrick Cutchember led the way with a fourth-place finish at 189 pounds.

Justin Richey was sixth at 152, Logan Richey eighth at 120 and Jack Kazalas eighth at 113.

Cutchember finished first in the district and region, racking up a 44-6 record, and was 141-31 in his career. He owns the team record for career pins (87) and also holds the records for pins in a season (26) and career victories.

He started 2021-22 with seven consecutive wins, including six falls, and was 13-1 through 14 matches. Cutchember kicked off the new year with eight pins in a row, then won 19 consecutive times down the season’s home stretch.

He was 30-6 as a freshman, 40-11 as a sophomore when he placed seventh in the state and 27-8 last year.

Cutchember won two section titles, two district titles, finished as a district runner-up twice and was a section runner-up once in his career.

“Patrick has accomplished a lot,” Heinl said. “He is one of the most exciting wrestlers to watch. He can pin his opponent from any position. He is not afraid to take chances.

“Patrick was disappointed in not winning the state championship, but he has to be proud of his career. He has set a lot of records in our brief (team) history.”

The 5-foot-11 Cutchember is a three-sport star, excelling in wrestling, football and lacrosse, and a Clarion wrestling recruit. He was a four-year letterman in football and wrestling and will be playing lacrosse for a fourth year this spring.

Justin Richey, also a QV senior, registered a 38-11 record this season after posting 29-15, 20-6 and 20-9 records the past three years. For his career, Richey, a Gettysburg recruit, ended up 107-41 with 55 falls.

He also reeled in one district title and two section crowns and had one runner-up finish in the section and at districts.

“Justin had an incredible season,” Heinl said. “He achieved 100 wins, was a WPIAL champion and state qualifier and was a state medalist. He also pinned the Burrell wrestler to allow us to win our first WPIAL team title.”

Logan Richey, a junior, finished 38-14. He was 21-11 as a freshman and 19-10 last year, giving him a 78-35 career mark with one section title.

“Logan, at 120 pounds, which is arguably the toughest weight class, secured his spot on the (PIAA) podium by scoring a late takedown in the blood round against a highly ranked wrestler,” Heinl said, referring to the round where wrestlers must win to collect a state medal. “Logan talked to us minutes before his match and said he was going to win it in the third period.

“Logan is mentally and physically one of our strongest wrestlers. He put in the work during the offseason and it paid off.”

The junior grappler started out 11-1 with seven pins and won 13 of 15 decisions with 10 pins at the start of the new year. He later won eight in a row with four falls.

Kazalas enjoyed a banner sophomore season, posting a 40-8 record with 20 pins to his credit. He was 28-8 as a freshman and will take a 68-16 career record into next season.

Kazalas owns one section title, one runner-up showing in the district and twice has placed third regionally.

“Jack refused to lose in the blood round,” Heinl said. “He was down 4-0 late in the third period and head-locked his opponent to his back to win 5-4. I know Jack wanted to finish higher on the podium, but he has two more years to become a state champion.”

Quaker Valley also was represented by 172-pound senior Mason Diemert at the PIAA tournament.

Diemert enjoyed his best season by far in 2021-22, logging a 34-11 record with 22 falls. He was 71-39 in his career with one second-place finish in the district.

“Mason had an incredible senior year,” Heinl said. “We wanted him to get on the podium, but we fell a little short of that goal.”

Diemert anticipates wrestling at the next level and scheduled visits to colleges in North Carolina with that thought in mind.

Quaker Valley captured the WPIAL Class 2A team championship this season and finished 17-5 overall. The Quakers also earned a section title with a 5-0 record.

Along with Logan Richey and Kazalas, several other top wrestlers will be back next season, including juniors Brandon Krul (35-11, 19 falls) at 126 and Michael Carmody (21-13, 10 falls) at 132, sophomore Isaac Maccaglia (26-11, 16 falls) at 106, freshman Jack Diemert (18-18, 11 falls) at 145 and sophomore Nicholas Allan, who earned 12 wins at 138.

Also expected to return in 2022-23 is another Richey brother, Marcus, a 126-pound freshman who had a winning record this winter.

Senior Will Campbell (160) also won 12 times for the Quakers this season. Campbell plans to attend West Point following graduation.

“Next year looks very promising for our team,” Heinl, QV’s fifth-year coach, said. “I can’t believe I am saying that after losing four seniors in Will Campbell, Justin Richey, Mason Diemert and Patrick Cutchember.

“We have some incoming junior high wrestlers that will be ready to make an immediate impact. The rest of our team has already committed to wrestling in the offseason which will determine how successful we will be in the (2022-23) season.”

The Quakers appear to be as busy in the offseason as they are during the regular season.

“All of the QV coaches are committed to working year-round with our wrestlers,” Heinl said. “The majority of the team wants to wrestle in the spring and summer. We are planning to wrestle in Florida and Virginia. We have some upcoming clinics and a strength and conditioning program for the team.

“If you want to be successful in this sport, you have to put in the extra work. You can’t just sit around and talk about it. We will be ready in November.”


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