Warwick vs. Manheim Twp. - L-L League wrestling

Manheim Twp.'s Kevin Olivarria, breaks down Warwick's David Woolley, in their 172 pound bout in an L-L League section one wrestling match at Manheim Twp. High School's South Gym Thursday Jan. 6, 2022.

Brennan Zayek was exhausted. It was the good exhaustion of a job well done and done well.

Manheim Township’s sophomore 145-pounder took the mat Thursday night his team up by nine, 34-25, with two bouts to go. With two victories, and bonus points, Warwick could return the Whisler-McDonald Dual Meet Trophy to Lititz.

In a Lancaster-Lebanon League Section One nail-biter, Zayek assured the rivalry symbol would remain in Neffsville for the third straight year, and the eighth time in 18 meetings, with an 11-4 victory over fellow soph Cohen Crosby that iced the Blue Streaks’ eventual 37-31 wrestling victory.

“I was really tired,” Zayek said. “I’ve been sick a little bit, so my conditioning wasn’t the best. I just went out there and won us the match.”

“He missed a lot of days,” Township coach John Clark said, “so his conditioning wasn’t where it needed to be. I told him, ‘This is where we need to be.’ It’s pretty cool, a young kid like that actually deciding the match.”

Zayek (4-4) took the lead with a pair of first-period takedowns and took command with a takedown late in the second, running an armbar for three back points as the period ran out. He flirted with a major decision, scoring his fourth takedown of the match with 25 seconds left, but Crosby escaped late to save a team point.

“I was struggling a little bit … because I was so tired,” Zayek said. “So I just cut him (loose) to take him down again.”

On a night where the Streaks (3-0 league, 6-0 overall) were ripe for the picking, missing three starters, the Warriors (2-1, 6-3) saw their five-match winning streak come to an end.

“We could’ve won, so that’s disappointing,” said the Warriors’ first-year head coach, Devin Schnupp. “Some of our guys didn’t know they were wrestling until today. We have some guys out with COVID, they have some guys out.

“Our guys gave it their best. I’m not disappointed with them,” Schnupp said. “They went out and wrestled well. There’s a few areas we could’ve capitalized on and come out with a win, but it was pretty close.”

“You hate to say, ‘What if? What if?’ but, what if?” said Clark, who was missing Kaedyn Williams (113) with an illness, and Kamdyn Williams (120) and Ali Alicea (138), still recovering from injuries incurred at the PowerAde Holiday Tournament. “The backups came through,” he said.

The night started, successfully for the Streaks, at 160 where Juan Colon picked up a forfeit. It was the first of five consecutive bonus-point victories as Kevin Olivarria (12-2) majored David Woolley (11-3) at 172, 13-2, followed by falls from Jose Duran (189), Michael O’Hara (215) and Tyrese Washington (285).

The tide turned for the Warriors as the lineup turned over with Marco Tocci (106) and Nico Tocci (113) scoring falls, Mario Hummel (120) getting a major decision and Tanner Breault (126) a tech fall.

Township’s Josh Hillard stemmed the tide momentarily with a fall at 132, but Bryn Hess’s major at 138 pulled Warwick to within nine. Despite taking the loss, Bella Caccio (126) and Anthony Cummons (138) each shaved a team point in defeat, Cummons fighting off a tech-triggering tilt the last ten seconds, giving Zayek the opportunity to be the hero.

Which he grabbed it with both hands.

“It was a good team win,” Clark said. “It wasn’t pretty, but we’ll take it."

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