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Kuhns Dominant for Upper Perkiomen Wrestling
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer

            Jared Kuhns opened his senior season last weekend by winning a gold medal the Sam Lovello Memorial Wrestling Tournament. The Upper Perkiomen senior

dominated the 120-pound weight class by posting two technical falls and a pin.

            "Jared was really impressive," head coach Steve Adam said. "He was completely relaxed and smooth on his feet, always attacking and in complete control."

            Kuhns and Jarek Swanson (132) each captured gold medals for the Indians, who opened the 2017-18 season by finishing fifth out of 12 teams on Saturday at Brandywine High School. Six of their nine entries finished in the top five stand. Gavin Marks (113) finished second, while Zach Rozanski (138) earned a bronze medal. Joey Carpenter (106) ended up in fourth place, while DJ McIlvanie (160) finished fifth.

            Sophomore Austin DiDomenico (145) and freshmen Keaton Durning (126) and Daniel Hawkins (152) also competed for the Tribe.

            "Overall, I thought our guys were in good condition," said Adam, the team's first-year head coach. "They controlled the pace of each match, which is what I command as a coach."

According to Adam, Kuhns displayed a hunger in his three bouts. The wrester said he is motivated to reach the PIAA championship tournament after falling one win short of qualifying as a junior.

            "I wanted to get better and achieve my goal this year," Kuhns said.

            The No. 1 seed at 120 points, he opened the tournament with a six minute technical fall victory over Tyler Schaller, from Central York. In the semifinal round, Kuhns pinned Kutztown's Jake Sharadin early in third quarter. He clinched the title with a third-period, technical fall victory over Matt Carroll, a sophomore from Palmyra.

            "I don't know if I surprised myself," Kuhns said. "I just wrestled aggressively and tried to score as many points as I could."

            Besides improving his positioning and developing a consistent single leg takedown, Kuhns has embraced a more free-wheeling style. He said the tenseness of last year's entire post season forced him to wrestle tentatively.  "I was too worried about losing," he said. "I just tensed up, and didn't do what I needed to do. Now I am wrestling to have fun."

            Swanson, who opened his tournament with a major decision and a first-period fall, trailed 6-1 after one period to Mason Myers, the top seed from Central York.  "Jarek was getting beat on his feet," Adam said.

            Midway through the second period, after Myers shot in for a takedown, Swanson grabbed his opponent's free leg and hooked the back side of his neck and leaned back. A few seconds later, Swanson clinched the title on a fall with a move known as a Flying Cement Job.

            "It was thrilling to watch," Adam said. "Jarek had it perfectly cinched. That's the beauty of wrestling, there are moves that can be a match changer."

            At 113 pounds, Marks reached the title bout with a pair of first-period falls. But he fell 6-5 to Josh Groff, the No. 1 seed from Garden Spot.

            Upper Perkiomen didn't enter a wrestler in the tournament over 160 pounds. According to Adam, that trend will continue into the dual match season, which kicks off Dec. 22 against Archbishop Wood, since his roster does not include a performer over 160 pounds. The team could surrender 30 team points in each competition.

            We may be giving up a bunch of team points," Kuhns said. "But we've got kids who can go out and get bonus points and tighten up the score."





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