Season preview: Top-ranked Popham leads young Unionville wresters for 2010-11

Indians may face challenging season with five freshmen on squad
By Mike McGann, Editor,

If you’re a Unionville wrestling fan, 2010-11 might be a bit of a rollercoaster ride.

Unionville senior wrestler Mason Popham. Courtesy, Unionville Wrestling.

On the one hand, you have senior Mason Popham leading the squad. Popham, a senior who has committed to attend the University of Virginia next year, is one of the top high school wrestlers in the state — ranked sixth in Pennsylvania and 17th in the nation. Popham will start the year wrestling at 140 and then likely slide down to 135 — as typically wrestlers drop a bit of weight as the season unfolds. Popham stands a chance to become the school’s all-time leader in wins — entering this season he was already fourth on the list.

You also have junior Scott Seidenberger, who qualified for districts last season (and also serves as the student representative to the school board) bringing experience and depth to the lineup. Joining them is senior Jon Talley, who missed all of last season with an injury but looks to be back in form.

Then, well, as head coach Chris Matz admits, it’s a bit of a question mark including having five freshmen wrestling varsity this season, something that bodes well for the longterm, but could mean some growing pains this season. Losing 2010 grads Joe Bonaduce and Zander Adams — both now onto successful wrestling careers in college— doesn’t help, either.

“We’re a little bit down right,” he admits. And because of the lack of experience on the squad, he notes “this is going to be my true definition of coaching.”

So the guys who are coming back with experience will be all that more important. Seniors Evan Brady, John Iliss  and Greg Stanscuk will be counted on to provide stability on a young squad, Matz said. Two other seniors — Brandon McKay and Lucas Cerami are looking to rebound from disappointment in 2009-10; McKay went winless while Cerami lost the season to a shoulder injury.

Still, even with the youth and inexperience, Matz says there are reasons to be excited. Freshman Mike Caldwell and sophomore Josh Hammaker could be very pleasant surprises, despite their youth.

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