BUSY WEEK FOR SOL WRESTLING
By Glenn Kaiser
It was a busy week for SOL Wrestling Teams throughout the state and beyond this past week. On Sunday Jan. 6, 2019, both Wissahickon and Pennridge competed at the Matsplosion Duals at Franklin & Marshall College. Wissahickon had a successful trip, acquiring a trio of wins over Executive Education Academy 69-6, Pennridge 64-18 and Coatesville 46-30. The Trojans went 3-2 on the day and bumped their record up to 10-4 after Wednesday’s dismantling of Springfield Twp. 66-12. Wissahickon gained valuable dual meet experience wrestling Owen J Roberts and Malvern Prep at Matsplosion despite dropping both matches to these wrestling powers.
Wissahickon withdrew from the Big Red Duals at Souderton this past weekend and will hopefully return to the mats this coming week to continue its quest for a SOL American Conference title against Cheltenham Wednesday. The Trojans will grapple Strath Haven in a non-league match Saturday prior to Sunday’s all-important District One Seeding Meeting for the 2019 D1 Team Championships.
Staying in the American Conference, Hatboro-Horsham won the Battle of the Border over Upper Moreland 48-21 this past Wednesday. The H-H Wrestling Warriors’ Logan Flynn bumped up from 220-pounds to 285, as he decked the Golden Bears Sean Fagan to up his record to 16-2 with 10 falls. H-H traveled to York, PA, this past Saturday to compete in the always tough Dallastown Duals, which featured two top-20 dual teams as ranked by PA Power Rankings in Cumberland Valley (#15) and Central Mountain (#16). H-H downed Susquehannock 41-27 in first round action to face off with an undefeated Dallastown in the semis. Dallastown knocked H-H down into the consolation finals, winning 56-6. The Warriors lost a hard-fought battle to Cumberland Valley 45-33 and stand with a record of 10-6 overall/2-1 in the SOL American.
The Continental Conference race is headed towards a battle of supremacy between North Penn (3x defending champs) and Quakertown. North Penn had a fine showing at the Big Red Duals as the Knights downed Downingtown East (ranked #10 in D1 by PA-Wrestling.com) 45-29 and Methacton (HM in D1) 53-18. The Knights, who also are recognized as an Honorable Mention team in D1, lost to powerful SOL National foe, Neshaminy (#6 D1) 38-27 in the consolation finals at Souderton. North Penn is led by the #2 ranked wrestler in Pennsylvania by PA Power Rankings, Patrick O’Neill, at 160-pounds. O’Neill is 21-4 on the season, despite two losses at the Big Red Duals. He is complemented by teammates Jarret Niedosik, 19-7 at 170 lbs., freshman William Morrow down at 132 lbs. with a record of 16-9 and big man Amir Pickens, 14-10 at 285. North Penn will challenge the Panthers at Quakertown Wednesday with some lightweights as well with Eddie Galang (12-8 at 120) and junior Jabez Chae at 126.
Quakertown (#7 D1) hosted its own extremely competitive duals this past weekend with West Chester Henderson (D1 #4) and team champion Father Judge from District 12-Philadelphia Catholic League. The Panthers dropped matches to both, losing to WC Henderson 40-24 and Judge 38-34, but were victorious over Lower Merion 61-13 and Archbishop Wood 59-18. This tough competition, has prepared Quakertown (6-5) for the championship showdown with North Penn (6-6), as they regroup for Wednesday’s battle.
Souderton also got back to winning, as they upset #10 Downingtown East 47-33 to post a 3-1 dual record Saturday to even their overall record to 6-6. The Big Red’s Tyler Williams (ranked #3 in the state by PA Power) remained on fire, posting a 15-0 shutout tech fall over the Cougars highly regarded Lucas Richie at 138-pounds. Williams is now 23-2 on the season. Souderton’s 145-pounder Connor Trowbridge (20-7) lost to Avon Grove’s Nick Barnhart (D1 #3 at 152, who just dropped to 145) 4-0 in the Indians 47-22 victory over the Red Devils. Trowbridge continues to wrestle well, along with Williams and big man Bruno Stolfi. Stolfi (D1 #3 at 195) is 16-5 on the season.
Council Rock South, ranked #6 in the state dual rankings by PA Power Rankings, continued its winning ways this week with a convincing win over the #2 team in D1, Spring-Ford, downing the Rams 45-15 Thursday. South then traveled Friday night to North Jersey, to compete against Raritan (NJ), prior to the Wisconsin/Rutgers NCAA Division I collegiate match, and they came away victorious 45-21.
But stealing the show in the National is Neshaminy’s Colton Jordon who has climbed the PA Power Rankings to #7 last week. Jordan, wrestling at 126-pounds, is now 16-1 on the season with his one loss coming at the hands of Manheim Central’s Will Betancourt (#4 at 126 by PA Power). Colton said it was “crazy…I just went out there and wrestled my hardest and looked for what I wanted, got what I wanted, overall just amazing” in regards to his recent success over two of the state’s best wrestlers in his weight class, both whom dwell in the SOL National. Jordan pinned CR South’s Shane Hanson-Ashworth over a week ago and downed CR North’s Luke Lucerne after a funk scramble in the third period that ended with a tight cradle and a 6-2 victory.
Not to be outdone by his Neshaminy teammate, Jackson Erb has posted some huge wins of his own this past week as well. Erb bumped up from his normal 152-spot in the dual with North Penn to take on Patrick O’Neill at 160 and came away victorious 7-2. Erb, who knocked off Tennent’s A.J. Tamburrino and CR North’s Sammy Hayes last weekend, is now ranked #6 at 152-pounds in the PA Power Rankings.
Neshaminy looks to enter the 2019 D1 Team Championships on a roll with a record of 11-5 as they have downed three ranked D1 teams this season, and will grapple CR North again this Wednesday. The ‘Skins downed North 40-30 earlier this season at the Rock Yard Duals.
Pennsbury is also making some noise with an 11-7 dual meet record. The Falcons posted three wins at the Big Red Duals with a surprising lopsided victory over Downingtown East 49-26. Pennsbury, had a slow start to the season, but if they enter the D1 Duals, should get in with a decent seed, as they have now downed H-H, Wissahickon, and Downingtown East, all of who most likely will be in contention for a spot in the district duals.
SOL Overall Top-10 Teams (as of 1/13/19):
1-CR South 5-0 (PA Power Ranking #6/PA-Wrestling D1 #1)
2-Neshaminy 11-5 (PA-Wrestling D1 #6)
3-Quakertown 6-5 (PA-Wrestling D1 #7)
4-CR North 7-6 (PA-Wrestling D1 #9)
5-North Penn 6-6 (PA-Wrestling HM)
7-Wissahickon 10-4 (PA-Wrestling HM)
10-Harry S Truman 5-6