SOL Wrestling Notebook: SOL Conference Titles Decided (1-31-19)

Glenn Kaiser recaps the SOL conference title races in all three conferences and highlights Abington’s win over Hatboro-Horsham.

By Glenn Kaiser

SOL CONFERENCE TITLES DECIDED

The Suburban One League Conference titles have been wrapped up in all three divisions, and there were no surprises in the SOL Individual Championships.  Wissahickon (American), Quakertown (Continental) and Council Rock South (National) all captured their respective tournament crowns, which in turn negated a need to use points earned in these tournaments to determine the league titles.  All three teams were essentially guaranteed team titles prior to the league tourneys due to their dual meet success in league action.  Wissahickon closed out their SOL dual season perfectly, dismantling Upper Dublin last night in the Fireside Cup, 57-15 to improve to 13-5 overall and 7-0 in the American Conference.

Wissahickon, seeded 11th, was unable to advance in the first round of the District One Duals a week ago, as they dropped a 45-24 decision to Garnet Valley (#6).  Quakertown took a similar path this season as Wissahickon, as they too will most likely run the table in their Continental duals, and suffered a 32-27 first-round loss to Neshaminy in round one of the 2019 D1 Team Championships.  Despite having three remaining league matches, the Panthers are the overwhelming favorites in those matches.

Neshaminy, the #8 seed coming in to the D1 Duals, had to overcome a critical forfeit at 285-pounds to Quakertown, the #9 seed, to advance to the Elite 8 at Upper Dublin.  With the match essentially 29-27 in Neshaminy’s favor after the Panthers’ Max Russell’s 7-4 decision over Jack Troy (Neshaminy) at 195-pounds and the forfeit in their pocket, it came down to the ‘Skins Zack Magdelinskas and the Panthers’ Ralph Martin to decide the outcome of the match at 220lbs.  In the final contested bout, it was no surprise that the match went in to overtime, indicating just how close this dual was.  Martin managed to get into overtime with an escape, and Magdelinskas won it in the second overtime period with an escape to capture the win for Neshaminy.

Neshaminy will now battle #1 Council Rock South in the D1 Dual quarterfinals Friday evening at Upper Dublin at 6:00pm.  CR South and Neshaminy are the only two remaining SOL teams with an opportunity to advance to the 2019 PIAA (AAA) Team Championships that commence with wrestle-in bouts Monday (2/4/19).  South will be the outright winner of the National Conference, as they have defeated Neshaminy (64-10), CR North (51-23) and Pennsbury (66-12) already this season.

The Golden Hawks, the clear-cut favorite to win their third straight D1 Team Title, will need to continue wrestling at a high level to accomplish this task.  They will see either West Chester Henderson (#4) or Boyertown (#5) in the semifinals and either Spring-Ford (#2) or Owen J Roberts (#3) in the finals.  CR South has already defeated Spring-Ford this season 45-15.  The Golden Hawks are currently the #7 ranked dual meet team in Pennsylvania AAA class in the PA Power Rankings.

The league tournaments, no longer a district qualifier, were lackluster in general, but did feature some key bouts sprinkled throughout the separate events.  In the National, CR North’s Kyle Hauserman bumped up to 113 for leagues, and he captured the individual title over CR South’s Mas Mendez 3-1.  Mendez made the drop to 113 from 120 possibly indicating where he will be in the postseason.  Golden Hawk Shane Hanson-Ashworth avenged an earlier loss to Neshaminy’s Colton Jordan 5-1, to win the title at 120-pounds.  Dillon Sheehy (CRN) returned the favor on Matt Colajezzi (CRS) winning 2-1 in the 160-pound title tilt, Colajezzi had previously defeated Sheehy in their league dual.  Gunnar Fuss (Truman) won the 132-pound weight class 9-3 over Neshaminy’s Zachary Martin, Both were state qualifiers a year ago with Fuss bringing an eighth place medal home from Hershey.

In the Continental, the final at 132-pounds featured North Penn freshman phenom William Morrow squaring off with Quakertown’s Dominic DeFalco.  DeFalco, a state qualifier last season, squeaked out a 1-0 decision for title.  Pennridge, despite a poor dual meet showing this season, crowned three champions with Evan Widing (152), Christian Perrine (182) and Logan Green (195).  Quakertown had four champions as their trio of light-weights Kyle Miller (113), Corey Cope (120) and Zack Lewis (126) joined DeFalco atop the podium.

The American Conference finals were dominated by Wissahickon, as the Trojans had nine finalists.  They crowned four champs in Dexter Adriaanse (113), Matt Fritz (126), Brian Fennel (195) and Mark Thompson (285).  Fritz took down Abington sophomore Jake Rose 2-1 to win his final.  Hatboro-Horsham, who finished second in the team scoring, crowned three champs as Grayson Smith (120), Davis Wheeler (145) and Logan Flynn (220) reigned king at their respective weight classes.  Upper Dublin’s Mason Novak defeated Wissahickon’s Dan Keller in the 182-pound final 8-2 in what was the feature bout of these championship finals.  Colin Higgins, the Flying Cardinals 106-pounder, bested Plymouth-Whitmarsh’s rugged Dylan Moore in overtime 2-1 to join Novak as a league champ.

ABINGTON DOWNS H-H

HORSHAM-In a battle for runner-up in the SOL American team race, Abington won an exciting dual meet over Hatboro-Horsham in a pin-fest 43-36.  The Ghosts avenged their 40-32 loss to the Hatters at the Ghost Duals back in December 2018 to ruin the Hatters Senior Night.  A trio of Ghosts at the start of this dual meet, which began at 126-pounds, set the tone early with three straight falls to ignite Abington to the win.  After pins by Jake Rose (126), Shane Kibler (132) and Nick Castorina (138), the Ghosts never looked back, winning the dual with five pins, a major decision and a forfeit. 

The 15-5 major decision earned by Naseer Mason over H-H’s Riley Flaville at 160-pounds was the catalyst to Abington spring boarding back after the Hatter’s reeled off two straight falls of their own at 138 and 145.  Nate Cotter, stepping in at 138-pounds for the Hatters, secured a late first period fall at 1:56 over the Ghosts Bill Hendrie, and H-H senior Davis Wheeler followed with a decking of Dan Brett in just 49 seconds.  The Hatters, who had five pin-falls of their own, did not have enough to come back, however, as after back-to-back forfeits, the match came down to the 120-pound match between the Ghosts’ Adam Andrews and the Hatters’ Grayson Smith.

Smith came into the match owning two wins over Andrews, one coming as early as last weekend at the SOL American tourney.  Smith would need a major decision or better to capture the dual meet for H-H, but Andrews had other intentions.  Andrews wrestled a clean match to defeat Smith 8-6 to nail down the dual victory for Abington (10-11 Overall/6-1 SOL).  It should be noted that the Hatters forfeit at 106-pounds was critical as they won that weight class by fall in the first match-up of these two teams.  Shubham Raikar, the Hatters (12-8/4-2) 106-pounder, was out of the lineup due to injury.

2019 District One Team Championship Predictions (All matches at Upper Dublin):

Friday 2/1/19 @ 6:00pm Quarterfinals:  #1 CRS over #8 Neshaminy, #4 WC Henderson over # 5 Boyertown, #3 OJR over #6 Garnet Valley and #2 S-F over #7 Downingtown West

Friday 2/1/19 @ 7:30pm Semi-Finals:  CRS over WC Henderson & S-F over OJR (S-F avenges PAC dual loss to OJR). Consolation quarter-finals at 7:30pm.

Saturday 2/2/19 @ 3:00pm Finals:  CRS over S-F

3rd place Match:  Difficult to call due to the wrestle-back cross-over matches, but nonetheless, it will be OJR over WC Henderson.  Don’t count out two dangerous teams in Boyertown and Downingtown West to get a mild upset in this tourney to earn a berth to PIAA Team Championships.  Consolation semifinals Sat. 2/2/19 @ 1:00pm.

SOL Team Rankings (1/31/19):

  • CR South (Overall 9-0/SOL 6-0)
  • Neshaminy (14-5/4-1)
  • Quakertown (9-6/4-0)
  • Wissahickon (13-5/7-0)
  • CR North (8-8/3-2)