Wrestlers recognized by Quakertown Council

Quakertown Community High School’s state champions and state finalist, along with their coaches, were honored by Quakertown Borough Council for their “outstanding achievements.”
Posted on 05/04/2023
Quakertown wrestlers and coach hold their certificates given to them by Councilman Douglas Propst.By Gary Weckselblatt

Quakertown Borough Council honored the Quakertown Community High School wrestling program for its “great success” during the 2022-23 season at its May 3rd meeting.

Councilman Douglas Propst read Resolution 51-23, which passed unanimously, and congratulated the Panthers for “outstanding achievements placing them in the annals of Quakertown athletics.”

State champions Collin Gaj and Caroline Hattala were recognized along with silver medalist Mason Ziegler. The resolution included Coach Kurt Handel and assistants Dan Ziegler and Eric Rosencranz for their “mentoring and training.” It also cited the team’s “academic achievements.”

“It’s an honor to be recognized by borough council,” said Tisha Ziegler, Mason’s mom. The family has lived in the borough for 15 years. “We’re proud of all three wrestlers. They have all worked very hard.”

“They’ve been at it for a long time,” Coach Ziegler said.

Bryan Gaj, Collin’s dad, said “The best part of Quakertown is that everyone pulls together. Tonight is an example of that.”

Councilman Propst noted the rarity of winning a state title as Collin and Caroline are only the fourth and fifth Panthers to capture a crown, following John Rittenhouse (1987), John Hangey (1988), and Pat Flynn (2006).

Collin finished his sophomore campaign with a perfect 49-0 record while Caroline, only a freshman, plowed through the girls’ tournament with four pins. Mason, a junior, “greatly distinguished himself,” the resolution states, as he earned his 100th victory and third consecutive district championship during the season, in which the team reached the state tournament.

Coach Handel continued to give families credit for the success. “It’s the kids sacrificing and missing events to wrestle and it’s their families giving up their weekends, loading up the car and driving to tournaments,” he said.

That was the case last weekend as Collin competed in the Under 17 US Open Wrestling Championships in Las Vegas against the nation’s best. He and Mason will again be traveling this summer to national tournaments as far as Fargo, ND.

Caroline, who has only been wrestling for about a year, has been selected for the 2023 Women’s Junior National Team, which will compete at Junior National Duals in Tulsa, OK.

“This is an awesome feat,” said Chrissy Hattala, Caroline’s mom. “As we work to promote the sport and get more girls involved it really highlights the amazing opportunities wrestling offers women and with hard work you can get started at any time.”

Gary Weckselblatt, QCSD Director of Communications, writes about the people and the programs that impact the Quakertown Community School District. He can be reached at 215-529-2028 or [email protected].
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