2010 Wrestling Notebook (Vol. 4)

To reach PW senior John Michael Staudenmayer’s latest journal entry, click on the following link: http://www.suburbanonesports.com/content/life-mat-with-pws-john-michael-staudenmayer-0 

Check out the Photo Gallery for photos of the Wetzel Holiday Tournament.

By Alex Frazier
Meet…Anthony Prisco
Was it good luck that Bensalem senior Anthony Prisco broke his finger at the Southeastern Pennsylvania Classic?
Prisco has been wrestling at Bensalem for four years, and every year an injury has cut his season short.
As a freshman he suffered a rotated vertebrae and finished his year at just 8-8. In his sophomore season, a hand injury curtailed his season, which finished at 7-6. Last year he only missed a tournament with an ankle injury he suffered in football season and finished at 27-10.
So, it wasn’t surprising when the injury bug bit him again this year. In the first tournament of the season (SEPA), he broke his index finger in the third match, but he wrestled on until his last bout when he was forced to default to Perk Valley’s Nick Giangiulio.
However, Prisco is hoping that he has gotten his annual injury out of the way early and will be able to achieve his goal of qualifying for states.
“That’s the only one I want,” he said.
Despite the pain, he taped two fingers together and battled through the Abington Duals, going 5-0.
“It helps a little bit,” he said. “I’m going to try and make every match I can. I don’t think I’m going to miss any matches.”
On Thursday, he finished second at the Wetzel Holiday Classic to boost his season record to 12-4.
Last year, Prisco missed out on a trip to states when he finished sixth at districts. In the consolation semifinals, he lost to Upper Perkiomen’s Dan Rodenberger, whom he had beaten 1-0 in the preliminaries. In the match for fifth and a trip to regionals, he lost to North Penn’s Tyler Romano, 10-3.
“I wrestled really bad in my last match and the match before. I lost to a kid that I had already beat in the tournament,” he said. “If I had won that match, I would have went to regionals.”
Though he’s been wrestling since the age of eight, Prisco has been playing football longer having started at five. This year he was the starting quarterback for the Owls.
Prisco tried to bulk up for football but only managed to get to 142. At 5-7, he isn’t one of the biggest quarterbacks around, yet he managed to escape serious injury.
“I didn’t get hit too much,” he said.
For much of his youth football career, he played running back as well. In high school, he discovered that Bensalem’s spread offense was quite complex.
“It’s pretty complicated,” he said. “The offense is pretty tough to run. There are a lot of reads.”
The Owls went 4-7.
“We lost a lot of tough games,” he said. “Our team played bad in the first half and then the second half our team turned it on, but it was too late by then.”
The two sports have been complementary for Prisco.
“Wrestling helps with agility on the football field,” he said. “Football helps with strength to do power moves.”
Prisco said that his strength is riding on top and defending in the neutral position.
“I’m pretty good on my feet,” he said. “I’m more of a defense guy.”
“He is a very tough wrestler who has the ability to hit big moves on anyone he wrestles,” said Bensalem coach Eric Knoblouch.
Prisco isn’t sure whether he will continue wrestling next year.
He’s looking at York, West Chester and Kutztown, all schools where he could probably compete, but as he said, “Cutting weight is tough now.”
Not surprisingly, he plans on majoring in physical therapy.
“I’m fascinated by what trainers can do,” he said.
And in that regard, he has a lot of experience.
100-win Club – Just before Joe Stolfi’s first match at the West Chester East Invitational on Dec. 18, he saw his 10-year old brother Bruno walk into the gym carrying an armful of posters and a T-shirt.
He was all prepared to celebrate Joe’s 100th Souderton win.
“My little brother was more excited than I was,” said Stolfi.
And his older brother didn’t disappoint.
In fact, it was a good thing Bruno arrived when he did or he may have missed the match, as it took Joe just 31 seconds to dispatch Roman Catholic’s Bill Dever.
“It was definitely one of my goals,” said Stolfi, who has his sights set on breaking the Souderton career wins mark of 135. “It’s very possible to do. It will be close by the end of the year. We’re getting more matches this year, so it could end up working out.”
Naturally that goal takes second fiddle to his main thrust to become Souderton’s second wrestler to win a state championship.
Should he do so, he will be following in Mike Salone’s footsteps as Souderton’s first state champion. Like Salone, Stolfi will also be attending Bucknell next year.
“It was a nice feeling to be signed already,” said Stolfi. “I didn’t know (about Salone) until after I signed.”
Stolfi, who finished fourth at states last year and first in Junior Nationals over the summer, is not taking anything for granted.
Only three of the eight place winners at 215 return this year, Zachary Nye of East Pennsboro (second), Brandan Clark of Methacton (seventh) and Stolfi (fourth).
So far he is 13-0 and pleased with where he is this season.
“I’m feeling quicker, I’m feeling real strong, I’m getting in good workouts,” said Stolfi, who has been concentrating on two main areas—conditioning and takedowns.
“I’m working on setups and the ones I’ve been doing,” he said. “I feel that if I can take people down, I won’t have too many problems.”
Wetzel Tournament notes – Of the 22 teams in the tournament, nine represented the Suburban One League. Bensalem led the group with a third place finish behind No. 1 Malvern Prep and No. 2 Methacton. The Owls pushed four to the championship finals with Tommy Stokes (103) and Nick Lippincott (140) winning titles. Shane Hughes, who was competing for the first time this year, and Anthony Prisco had to settle for second. Eric Gray also finished third at 160.
Of 28 finalists, 16 were from the SOL, and of those 16, seven won championships.
Two freshmen phenoms lost their first bouts of the season. Pennridge’s Scott Parker and Stokes were both undefeated at 103, but Stokes pulled out an ultimate rideout to tag Parker with his first loss.
Wissahickon’s Pat Fennell came into the finals with a perfect 15-0 mark only to see his first blemish when Malvern Prep’s Jimmy Stowell defeated him 6-2.
“I want to win every match, but that’s a pretty lofty goal to set for yourself,” said Fennell. “I try to wrestle hard every time.”
This time he ran into a wrestler who outgunned him on his feet.
“He was really fast,” said Fennell. “He took some quick shots. He’s a real good wrestler so it gives me a standing point where I am right now. I wrestled a lot of tough kids in this tournament, which shows me I can beat the good guys, but there are better guys. We’re going to work on it when we get back in the room.”
Pennridge’s Dylan Moore not only upset the top seed, but also pinned him in the process. Downingtown East’s Scott Engle was 11-0 when he stepped on the mat against Moore, who was only 6-1, in the semifinals. Moore caught him at the 3:47 mark.
“I kind of wrestled more aggressively, and it paid off in that match,” said Moore. “I tried to change my style up a little bit and be a bit more offensive.”
In the finals, however, Malvern Prep’s Connor Burns basically beat him on his feet in a 10-6 win.
“He was strong and he wrestled his offense more than I could,” he said. “He controlled it more than I could.”
Holiday Tournaments – Souderton claimed five champions at the Jim Thorpe Holiday Tournament on Tuesday. Pat Freed went 3-0, Greg Donley and Joe McNamara were 4-0 and Peter Jenne and Joe Stolfi were both 5-0.
Council Rock South’s Matt Martoccio won the 145-pound title at the Bethlehem Holiday Classic. Connor Moore finished second and Billy Rappo (103), Trey Balasco (112) and Matt Rappo (135) all garnered third places. As a team, the Golden Hawks finished fourth. In the same tournament North Penn’s Tyler Romano (130) finished third along with Quakertown’s Briar Malischewski (140) and Jake Swearingen (285). The Panthers’ Scott Wolfinger came in fourth, injury defaulting to Rock’s Matt Rappo.
Plymouth Whitemarsh’s Justin Staudenmayer won the 125-pound championship at the Governor Mifflin Holiday Tournament majoring Nate Soto of Daniel Boone, 10-2. The Colonials finished seventh.
Top Five SOL
1.   Council Rock South
2.   Norristown
3.   Quakertown
4.   Souderton
5.   Council Rock North
Top Guns
103—Tommy Stokes, Bensalem
112—Trey Balasco, Council Rock South
119—Adam Slezak, Council Rock North
125—Matt Harkins, Hatboro-Horsham
130—John Dutrow, Council Rock North
135—Matt Rappo, Council Rock South
140—Lucas Wisniewski, Plymouth Whitemarsh
145—Matt Martoccio, Council Rock South
152—Brandon Parker, Norristown
160—Brett Harner, Norristown
171—John Staudenmayer, Plymouth Whitemarsh
189—John Bolich, Upper Moreland
215—Joe Stolfi, Souderton
285—Zak Mysza, Central Bucks East