William Tennent, North Penn and Upper Dublin are featured in the season's first notebook, which includes the SOL's Big Guns. To view photos of the CR North/CR South match, please visit the Photo Gallery.
By Andrew Marcus
Many Suburban One League wrestlers have used their time in the offseason wisely. Everyone is looking to take their mat-work to the next level this season. If they qualified for Sectionals last year, they want to qualify for Regionals this time around. If they were on the cusp of an appearance at the state tournament and missed out, you best believe every rep in the weight room was motivation to make it to Hershey this season. However it will not be easy. New this winter, only three will advance in each round, rather than the top four finishers.
There are a handful of returning state qualifiers that came home with a resonating scent of chocolate, yet no medal to show for a successful season. Those returnees will not settle for anything less than a spot on the podium this season.
One way to not dwell over the near miss of placing at states is by keeping busy. William Tennent’s heavyweight Andrew Van Buskirk had no issue with that.
“He was involved with a couple national teams and he plays football too,” Panthers’ coach Joe Rigous said. “He went to camps and stayed involved. I tell the kids all the time - the work they are doing now is practice for the postseason.”
Van Buskirk, who will wrestle at Bloomsburg, is also playing the role of captain this season to a very young team, and the plan is to lead by action. The 285-pounder finished second at sectionals and regionals on his road to states last year, and he will look to grab some sort of gold in his senior year.
“Right now I am trying to develop the 12 freshmen that came in this year,” Rigous said. “Everybody wrestled at the Wilson Duals last week, and everybody got a lot of matches. It will be a learning experience for us this season, but I do have junior Richard Strain and Andrew to help lead the way.”
Around the National Conference
Abington 43, Bensalem 31
Council Rock South 32, Council Rock North 27
William Tennent 40, Harry S Truman 33
Shipp looking toward Hershey - It was much to George Shipp’s dismay when his football season ended with no playoffs, this just a year removed from North Penn’s state championship appearance. However, the uncharacteristic subpar season this fall did give the senior more time than ever to prepare for wrestling this winter.
A returning state qualifier, Shipp does not want to settle for just another trip back to Hershey. Shipp wants to medal this season.
“It was unfortunate football ended a little early this year, but it has given me more time to work on different things,” Shipp said. “Hershey is always a great experience, football or wrestling. As long as I keep wrestling the way I wrestle, it will work out. I can still taste the chocolate.”
The North Penn wrestling team is two wins away from the program’s 500th win after beating Pennridge 46-30 on Wednesday in the first dual meet of the season. Based on the Knights’ performance in the first week, which included a second place team finish in the SEPA Wrestling Classic, it should not be long before the group notches the prestigious milestone.
Coach Robert Shettsline would not be the least bit surprised if Shipp is joined by one or more men at the state level this season.
“Our guys have been really working hard,” the Knights’ coach said. “Joey O’Brien, Jeffrey Reimel, Richie Liberio, Alex Price, and Shipp all look good. O’Brien, Price and Shipp all took first place in the SEPA Wrestling Classic.”
Around the Continental Conference
CB East 41, CB South 30
Hatboro-Horsham def. Central Bucks West
North Penn 46, Pennridge 30
Quakertown 37, Souderton 37
Veteran Cardinals hoping to fly - I am sure if you talked to someone who has not sniffed Hershey chocolate, they would take a spot at states without a medal around the neck.
A trio of Upper Dublin wrestlers qualified for districts last season, but that was the end of the road. Seniors Jacob Haney (152), Sam Jacobsen (182) and Reed Rapine (195) have been working harder than ever to go as far as possible this season. They not only want to get through Districts and Regionals, but also represent the Flying Cardinals in the state tournament.
“I do not have the luxury of returning state qualifiers,” Cardinals’ coach David Jones said. “I am working with district level kids, but most of them, my son (Derek Jones) included, have wrestled year-round. They are in shape and ready to go. We are focused on the kids wrestling to their potential and not making mistakes.”
The Cardinals started off the season in dominating fashion with a team first place finish at the New-Hope Tournament last week. The trio of returning district qualifiers all reached the championship match with Jacobsen coming out victorious at 182 pounds.
Though Rapine and Haney had to settle for second place, Jones (160), Kyle Carson (170), and Yaroslav Tochinski (220) all took home first place. The Cardinals’ roster consists of 15 seniors who are excited to see what they can do as a unit and see how many wrestlers can reach districts and beyond.
“We have now won the New-Hope tournament three years in a row,” coach Jones said. “My son and his best friends have been wrestling together for a while now and we are pretty tough. It should be an exciting year.”
Around the American Conference
Norristown 66, Cheltenham 18
P-W 60, Springfield 10
Upper Dublin 66, Upper Merion 11
Upper Moreland 58, Wissahickon 14
Once in a blue moon – Using a tiebreaker to determine the winner of a match might not be all that uncommon, but going all the way to Criteria H in the tiebreaker system is rare indeed. But that’s exactly what happened in Wednesday’s Souderton/Quakertown match that ended in a 37-37 tie.
“Both of us were quite surprised it ended the way it did,” Quakertown coach Kurt Handel said. “All the years I have been around wrestling it never went down to Criteria H.”
The unexpected ending came about after some surprise moves by both coaches, most notably Souderton taking a forfeit at heavyweight, and under Criteria H, which determines a winner based on first points scored in the individual matches, the Panthers held a 10-8 advantage and earned the 38-37 win.
“I thought the heavyweight match was going to decide it, and Tristan (Boyd) forfeited that to us,” Handel said. “It took us probably 15 minutes after the match to determine who the winner was.”
The tiebreakers that could not determine a winner included least number of points deducted for flagrant or unsportsmanlike conduct, matches won, falls or forfeits, technical falls and major decisions.
Coming up big for the Panthers was Lucas Garges, who won a 7-6 decision over Souderton’s Philip Stolfi at 160.
“We jumped him from 152 to 160, and he’s actually a 145-pounder who’s weighing in at 152 and he got a decision for us,” Handel said. “That was big.
“Another big one was Tanner Sieslove at 120 only getting major decisioned by Kolton (Veit). That was huge for us there that he didn’t get pinned.
“Our freshman at 170 pounds (Bobby Boyd) went out and took their guy down, but then the guy (Souderton’s Deandre Richards-Beard) came back and pinned him, but if he didn’t get that first takedown we’re not going to win by Criteria H.”
106 – Scott Parker (Pennridge)
113- Zach Fuentes (Norristown)
120- Dan Martoccio (Council Rock South)
126 – Jason Bing (Pennsbury)
132 – Tommy Stokes (Bensalem)
138 – Anthony DiEmidio (Pennsbury)
145 – John Dutrow (Council Rock North)
152 – Riley Barth (Central Bucks West)
160 – Alden Shea (Abington)
170 – Dominic Rigous (Central Bucks South)
182 – Brett Harner (Norristown)
195 – Kody Lupfer (Neshaminy)
220- P.J. Steinmetz (Council Rock South)
285 - Andrew Van Buskirk SR (William Tennent)