Bracero no longer overlooked
In recent years, Pedro Bracero was always getting
The Nanticoke senior was never in the same conversation with wrestlers
in his weight class because it always consisted of standouts such
as Coughlins Josh Popple (state runner-up), Lake-Lehmans
Shane Stark (state third-place), Crestwoods Mike Mirra and Pittston
Areas Jason Laboranti (both state qualifiers) and Dallas
Adam Goeringer (regional fourth).
But now, after taking lumps from those previously mentioned, Bracero
finally thinks he is making a name for himself. And that started Friday,
when he won the 195-pound championship at the Tunkhannock Kiwanis
Tournament. He ran his season record to 6-0 with a pin in the finals
over Cedar Crests Lukas Gerdes in 5:26 after locking him in
It finally feels great after being in everyones shadow
like Stark, Popple, Mirra, Goeringer, it just feels great, Bracero
said. I didnt even expect (the cradle). I just saw it
there and went for it and hoped for the best.
Bracero has used the matches against the other standouts as a learning
tool and motivation for this season. He did so with his first varsity
tournament championship -- and first overall since junior high --
and the first gold medal for the Trojans at the Kiwanis since 1985.
It feels fantastic. I feel like Im a part of history right
now, the Trojan said.
Overall in the tournament, he picked up three falls, including one
in the second round and the quarterfinals. In Friday mornings
semifinals, he picked up a 10-2 major decision over Warren Countys
Hes still not in the clear as far as stiff competition goes,
with a likely match up against another state qualifier next weekend
at the Wyoming Valley Conference Tournament in Hazleton Area senior
Chad Hoffman. But he knows the past matches could help him the next
I look forward to him, Bracero said about a possible matchup
with Hoffman. I got to make sure I dont wrestle with a
hot head and wrestle to my ability.
Coach: Joe Ebert, 7th year Last Year: 2-4 Division
II; 14-5 overall
Key Losses: James McMoore, Kyle Koviack
Key Wrestlers: Josh Allabaugh, Sr.; Rich Badowski,
Sr.; Josh Benscoter, Fr.; Giacomo Bova, So.; Pedro Bracero, Sr.; Joey
Brady, Jr.; Mike Colatosti, Jr.; Drew DiRocco, Jr.; Anthony Edwards,
So.; Kyle Gavrish, So.; Kyle Hamilton, Sr.; Jimmy Hauer, Sr.; Cory
Irish, Fr.; Klayton Kasprzyk, Sr.; Dylan Keller, Sr.; Ronnie Kotz,
Fr.; Thomas LAcomy, Jr.; Brian Maslowski, Sr.; Justin Phillips, Sr.;
Zack Stavetski, So.; Maurice Wood, Jr.
Outlook: This is the season coach Joe Ebert, his staff
and the team have been waiting for with a slew of grapplers back for
another go around and plenty of depth. The Trojans only lost a few seniors
from 2010-11 and could be a sleeper pick for the division championship.