The entire Lake-Lehman wrestling program enjoyed a successful season.
While the varsity Black Knights were returning to the top at the District 2 Class AA Dual Meet Championships under second-year head coach J.J. Konigus, the school’s junior high program was well on its way to a championship season under another familiar face.
Former state champion Rocky Bonomo, who went from Lake-Lehman to a career as a Division I All-American at Bloomsburg University and a Division I assistant coach in successful programs at Bucknell and Lock Haven, returned to the program as junior high head coach this season.
With assistance from Brian Meehan, who coached many of the wrestlers through their youth years, Bonomo led Lake-Lehman to an unbeaten finish in the Wyoming Valley Conference.
Since retiring from college coaching, Bonomo has worked with younger wrestlers in recent years both at Wyoming Seminary and with his Rock Solid Wrestling Club. This was the first time, however, that he led a junior high-aged team through its season schedule.
“Being part of my alma mater again was special,” Bonomo said. “I want to thank coach Konigus and coach (Will) Weber for recruiting me.
“I like the coaching staff. A big part of the reason I came back was I believe in the vision of the high school program.”
With Meehan’s help, Bonomo had some promising wrestlers with which to work while getting them ready for their future high school careers.
Lake-Lehman suffered just one dual loss, against Bellefonte in a season-opening dual meet tournament. It followed up the WVC regular-season title with the championship of the WVC Tournament, which doubled as the Area 12 qualifier for the Pennsylvania Junior Wrestling Tournament.
The top three wrestlers in each weight class earned spots at the PJWT March 5-6 in Johnstown.
Lake-Lehman had six finalists on the local level. Jack Dillon (75 pounds), Zach Stuart (85) and Hunter Burke (100) won league/area titles, while Matthew Galasso (122), Terrance Meehan (155) and Josh Durling (250) finished second. Nick Zaboski reached the state tournament by finishing third at 130.
The Black Knights did not have a top-eight finisher in the state event.
Meehan won four times before suffering his second loss and being eliminated. Galasso won two state bouts while Durling, Burke and Stuart won one each.
Dallas and Tunkhannock also had junior high wrestlers make the state event.
Liam Farrell and Len Kelley were second in the area for Dallas while John Betzko was third to earn the right to join them in the state tournament. Nick Solinsky and Matt Maransky finished fourth.
Jason Prokopchak coaches the Dallas team with assistance from Kris Roccograndi.
Kelley posted a state win at 140 pounds.
Tunkhannock’s Ethan Munley, at 92 pounds, and Gavin D’Amato, at 112 pounds, each won a pair of state tournament bouts.
David Evans also wrestled in the state tournament at 92 pounds.
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