District mat tourney next for Allentown


Taylor Maul looks for even better things for the weeks ahead after finishing out of a state place-winning position last season for Allentown High School’s wrestling team.Maul, a junior, is part of a young nucleus with high expectations in the District 25 tournament that runs Feb. 19-20 at Rancocas Valley in Mount Holly. As a sophomore, he ended his season in Atlantic City and was just off the top 12.

Although he had to skip the county tournament at Trenton Central High School because of a nagging illness, Maul at 15-2 figures to go far at 130 pounds again this year, along with juniors Ross Scheuermnan, who is 20-1 at 160 pounds, and Sam Shonk, who is 17-4 at 140 pounds.

Maul and Scheuerman, both captains, have been weight-class champions at the county tournament.

“It’s better that he [Maul] heals now,” said coach Larry Kimport. “He’s a real technician, real dedicated.”

Scheuerman, a district champion, just missed advancing to the state championships by a decision in the third-place consolation in the region.

“I like almost everything about him. He’s quiet and a well-mannered student,” said the coach.

But in the athletic arena, Scheuerman makes a lot of noise. He rushed for 1,700 yards as a running back on the football team, no easy feat considering the squad struggled in a 4-6 season.

Scheuerman likewise provides leadership to the young squad that has only four seniors, two of them starters.

Shonk, on the other hand, takes a more relaxed approach, said the coach.

“He takes almost a cavalier attitude,” said Kimport. “He has a lot of fun out there. He was fourth in the district last year and can do much better this year.”

Juniors Justin Duffy at 119 pounds and Lenny Gigantino at 125 pounds were Allentown’s other place-winners in the county meet, both finishing in fifth place. Gigantino also competes at 119 pounds when needed.

“We have a very thin team and entered 10 kids in the county meet out of the 14 weight classes and we still had four of them get medals so I’m happy with that,” said Kimport. “We were hoping for a .500 season, but when kids get hurt and there are no solid backups off the junior varsity, it’s tough to compete.”

Despite the struggles, Kimport sees promise.

“This team has guys who like each other, which speaks well for the many kids we have coming back for next year,” he said.

Two young prospects who fit in well are freshmen Frank Juba, who has come on strong from a slow start to win five of his last seven bouts, and Justin Miller, who has a .500 record in spot action at 119 and 125 pounds.

Kimport said Miller “has been a surprise.” Juba played as a running back and middle linebacker on the unbeaten freshman football team that had its first winning season in many years.

Kimport said the freshmen may measure up to some surprise performances in the district tournament, depending on the strides they make over the next few weeks.