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Saturday, February 6, 1999

Hornets, Invaders Again Meet In Key

Wrestling Match

BY CHRIS IMPERIALE THE SCRANTON TIMES

...Over the last seven years, Honesdale and West Scranton have combined to split six Lackawanna League wrestling championships. Recently, the Hornets have had the edge with two straight titles. Its not surprising that the team standing between the Hornets and a third straight crown is none other than he Invaders.Honesdale (5-0) can take a major step toward winning the Lackawanna Division I championship with a victory over West Scranton (5-0) tonight at Honesdale at 7. In turn, the Invaders will almost certainly end the Hornets reign if they get a win on their rivals home mat. It is always something special when we go against West with first place on the line, Honesdale coach Rich Chulada said. You know they are going to be there and that they are not going to quit. I am just expecting a knock-down, drag-out fight. Chulada is also expecting a packed house in the gymnasium where he picked up his 300th career win Jan. 27 against Abington Heights. I hope it is loud. I hope it is packed, Chulada said, and I hope it is as it has been so many times in the past a real showcase for the sport. The Invaders enter the match fresh off Wednesdays 57-9 pummeling of Lackawanna Trail. The kids are really anxious to get this going, West Scranton coach John Richter said. I think it will be a great match. We dont have the depth that Honesdale does, but we do have quality. The Invaders also have something that the Hornets do not. In the only other time the two teams have competed against each other this season the Trail Lions Tournament in December West Scranton won the team title, 202-187, over the second-place Hornets. That was when Chulada began to figure that tonights match would ultimately hold the fate of the division in its outcome. I knew at that point that this would probably come down to play a very important role in the league championship if everything went well, Chulada said. Chulada and Richter expect each other to make some adjustments to their lineups in order to find any edge possible. Chulada traditionally has gone with a set lineup for most of the season. However, he did not rule out the possibility of moving some people around to gain an advantage. We are certainly capable of doing some maneuvering to try and maximize our point output, Chulada said. You will probably see a lot of maneuvering between the two teams in regards to who they are going to put out against who, so far as matchups. Richter and his Invaders are ready for anything. I look at the head-to-head matches and see them favored in four or five, but so are we, Richter said. The one thing I do know is to never underestimate the ability of a Rich Chulada-coached team. They dont give up, and they have a lot of pride. Pride is what Chulada hopes drives his squad to its third straight league title. Theyre ready, Chulada said. I see a lot of pride in our kids. When we mention that we are the two-time defending league champs, that is something that means a lot to them to defend that title.