As the Bethlehem Catholic wrestling team was hammering Cumberland Valley 54-12 in a PIAA Class 3A preliminary matchup on Monday night, the Golden Hawks had to notice the Blue Eagles logos throughout Nazareth Area Middle School. 

It likely got the Golden Hawks thinking about their unpleasant Saturday night when Nazareth handed them their first loss to a District 11 team since 2011 in the district final.

After securing a spot in Hershey on Monday night, Bethlehem Catholic realizes that its three wins away from earning a spot in the state final and very possibly a rematch against the Blue Eagles.

“Oh definitely, no doubt. We want Nazareth in the finals,” Golden Hawks junior Jarred Papcsy said. “If they don’t make it to the finals, which they definitely should, it would be a little bit of a bummer because we really, really want that rematch in the state finals.”

“We’ll definitely be able to handle it. If you look at our room right now, you’d know. We’re hungry,” Bethlehem Catholic junior Zach Glenn said. “We’re really angry about that loss and we’re not going to let it happen again. I don’t care who we’re wrestling. We have a fire behind this team now and it’s not getting put out.”

“We want them. We want them again in the finals. That’s who we want. That’s who we want to beat in the state finals,” Glenn added.

Papcsy and Glenn each recorded technical falls against Cumberland Valley. Papcsy won 15-0 in 3:34 at 138 pounds and Glenn posted a 17-2 victory in 6:00 at 120.

Ryan Zeiner (2:22 at 170), Mikey Labriola (2:22 at 182), Andrew Balukas (3:22 at 195) and Ryan Anderson (2:51 at 126) all had pins for the Golden Hawks. Luca Frinzi (19-3 win in 5:41 at 145) added a technical fall for Bethlehem Catholic, which will wrestle District 6 champion Central Mountain in the first round at 8 p.m. Thursday at the Giant Center in Hershey.

“Even though our path is a little more difficult now. I guess we got Central Mountain, then we have to go through the District 7 champ Kiski Area and possibly North Allegheny or Boyertown. I’ve always loved a challenge. That’s why we do what we do. We love challenges,” Golden Hawks coach Jeff Karam said. “If we can finish this off, it’d be great to get another shot at Nazareth in the state finals. It would be great for us. But more importantly it would be great for our area, for District 11 wrestling to have two teams in the state finals. It would be a lot of fun to have that happen. The crowd we had this past week at districts. To have something similar to that at state finals would be awesome.”

The Golden Hawks’ wrestling room has gotten a new design since Saturday night, adding more motivation to an already hungry team.

“Oh yea. Our wrestling room is well-decorated right now with a lot of Nazareth memorabilia and we’re going to keep it there for a long time,” Karam said. “That’s in no disrespect to Nazareth. Nazareth is an awesome team. Great coaches there. They were 100 percent the better team this past weekend and deserved to be district champs.”

“We’re hungry right now. We’re definitely hungry,” Papcsy said. “Even in school today, I could see the kids walking around the hallways. They’re pumped. They’re ready to go. We’re not sweating it. Little different situation. We’re not used to losing this many matches, especially four in a season. But it humbles us a lot. So we’re going into the state tournament, we don’t want to lose. It’s better to lose at districts than in the state final. We’re going to do all we can to get it done at states.”

Josh Folck may be reached at Follow him on Twitter @JoshFolck. Find Lehigh Valley high school sports on Facebook.

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