Glenn Kaiser previews the upcoming district tournament and lists the top SOL wrestlers in each weight class.
DISTRICT TOURNAMENTS HAVE NEW LOOK AS POST-SEASON GETS UNDER WAY
By Glenn Kaiser
The 2019 individual wrestling post-season gets underway this weekend on Friday and Saturday at four sites, each hosting a “Super District” or “Super Section” consisting of up to 16 teams in which all wrestlers for each team will compete to advance to the Southeast Region. The District One East section is the largest (16 teams) and most traditional, as all teams hail from the Suburban One, including the traditional powers of the old Bux-Mont and power-10 of the original SOL.
Noticeably absent from D1 East, is Souderton, which will host the Southeast Regional Tournament on March 1 and 2, 2019. Souderton has been shuttled up to the North section at Pottstown (14 teams) and will compete against primarily Pioneer Athletic Conference teams, with powers such as Spring-Ford, Owen J Roberts and Boyertown. While Cheltenham, Plymouth-Whitmarsh, Upper Dublin and Wissahickon head to D1 South in Interboro (16 teams) to compete with the Central and Del Val leagues. The West section is essentially the Ches-Mont league (15 teams).
The change of the postseason format is simple, no more league qualifiers to Districts, Districts allow all 14-weight classes’ wrestlers from each team to compete (Top-4 advance to SE Region) and the SE Region is a 16-man bracket with the top five wrestlers advancing to Chocolate Town, USA in the 2019 PIAA Individual Wrestling Championships. This new format allows teams to get a week or two’s rest prior to the grind to Hershey, starting a week later and condensing the road to Hershey to two tournaments. This allows for healing, re-conditioning and much needed rest for teams that advanced deep in the dual championships. But most importantly it lessens the burden on quality wrestlers from doing battle against one another for three straight weeks leading up to the state finals.
Speaking of those 2019 PIAA Team Championships, Council Rock South placed fourth in Hershey in the 2019 AAA competition. The Council Rock South Golden Hawks (16-2) achieved their pre-season goal to medal at the 2019 PIAA AAA Team Championships. With seven returning individual state qualifiers back this season, the Golden Hawks were poised, at the start of the season, to have both tournament and dual meet success. Coach Brad Silimperi challenged his team to medal in the state dual championships as one of their goals early on in the pre-season. Additionally, Coach Silimperi also raised the bar for individual success by making another team goal to have his wrestlers increase their medal count (they only had one medalist in 2018) in the upcoming 2019 PIAA Individual Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey, PA. this coming March.
It was no surprise that the CR South team essentially cruised through the District One Team Championships, as they won their third straight D1 Dual title, downing Spring-Ford 42-25 in the championship tilt. The Golden Hawks were barely challenged on their way to Hershey, as they dispatched Great Valley, Neshaminy, Boyertown and Spring-Ford by a combined total of 218-56.
Council Rock South, no stranger to the PIAA Team Championships, traveled to Hershey, PA with one goal in mind, reach the podium and medal as a team. The Golden Hawks did just that, taking fourth place after finishing 3-2 over the three-day event. Although CR South lost the consolation final to Kiski Area 34-20, the team accomplished their goal, and along with it gained valuable experience to draw on come March back on these same mats of the Giant Center.
CRS got off to hot starts in all of their wins, as the weight class draws went their way Thursday and Friday, as their best wrestlers started and ended the dual meets. Kyle Waterman (106), Max Mendez (113), Shane Hanson-Ashworth (120) and Branden Ricchini (126/132) were stellar throughout the tournament. Freshman 160-pounder Matt Colajezzi went 3-0 in CR South’s three victories, earning a fall, major decision and decision win. The Golden Hawks handled Hazleton Area (D2-1) 39-15 in round one action, advancing to the quarterfinals against Dallastown (D3-1). The Golden Hawks reeled off eight straight wins against the Wildcats to easily advance to the semis against the heralded BECAHI team from District 11.
Bethlehem Catholic was too much to handle, as CRS dropped 41-15 decision. However, South was spectacular in their consolation semifinal match with Cedar Cliff, the District Three Champions. The Golden Hawks outwrestled an extremely talented Cedar Cliff team, winning 31-23. There were some fireworks at the end of the match in the 152-pound match. In that match, it was Cole Flanagan for the Golden Hawks and Danny Zigue for the Colts to decide the outcome.
CRS held a 28-23 lead here, and Cedar Cliff needed a fall to capture the dual win.
Both guys let it fly for the full six minutes, but it was Flanagan winning the throw-down. Flanagan used a headlock and a modified chin-whip to amass eight points in the match, but it almost did not stand, as Zigue was nearly counted out after a slam near the end of the third period. With Flanagan in complete control and both wrestlers neutral, Zigue attempted a headlock of his own on the edge. Flanagan countered with a huge bear-hug toss straight to Zigue’s back, but the official called the illegal slam and awarded the penalty point to Zigue. The medical staff on the Giant Center mats was ready to declare Zigue unable to continue, when suddenly Zigue popped up and went to the line at the middle of the circle.
It was great sportsmanship by Zigue and Cedar Cliff, not wanting the match to end on a penalty, to finish the match. And as a true wrestler would, he went out trying to win, attempting one more throw. Flanagan posted the 8-3 decision, and CR South was on their way to the third-place showdown with Kiski Area, to end this thriller at 31-23 over Cedar Cliff.
CR South Coach Brad Silimperi commented after the match that “they (Cedar Cliff) are a classy group and you have to give them a lot of credit. We talked (to Cedar Cliff coaches) after the match and they told me they didn’t want to win that way. They said that we had beaten them on the mat and had wrestled better. And to their kid’s (Zigue) credit, he got up and wrestled tough the rest of the match.”
The Golden Hawks dropped a hard fought consi-final to Kiski Area (D7-1) 34-20 to garner fourth place. CR South with a powerful line-up from 103 to 182-pounds could not overcome their lack of experience in the upper weights, where they suffered five straight defeats in this dual that started at 170lbs. Nonetheless, the Golden Hawks downed three District champs and lost to the top two teams in Pennsylvania in BECAHI and Kiski, respectively.
Look out for these CR South wrestlers in the individual post-season: Waterman (106), Mendez (113), Hanson-Ashworth (120), Ricchini (126), L.J. Kahn (138), Eric Woloshyn (145), Flanagan (152), Colajezzi (160), senior leader Nik Korbich (170) and Giani Gilch (182). CR South, along with their SOL National title and D1 title, have also won the King of the Mountain team title this season and will be the favorites to win both the D1-East and SE Region titles in 2019.
Here is a look at the top Wrestlers in D1 East and other SOL wrestlers dispersed throughout D1:
District One East
1-Kyle Hauserman, So. (CRN) 30-5
2-Kyle Waterman, Jr. (CRS) 31-7
3-Ethan Bean, Fr. (CBE) 19-8
4-Shawn Marion, So. (Neshaminy) 18-13
1-Max Mendez, Sr. (CRS) 30-6
2-Kyle Miller, Jr. (Quakertown) 26-7
3-Chris Cleland, So. (CBW) 21-8
4-Mason Grodzki, Fr. (Pennsbury) 19-12
1-Shane Hanson-Ashworth, Sr. (CRS) 32-8
2-T.J. England, Jr. (Tennent) 28-2
3-Luke Luncern, Jr. (CRN) 24-6
4-Corey Cope, Sr. (Quakertown) 29-7
1-Colton Jordan, Sr. (Neshaminy) 30-4
2-Branden Ricchini, Sr. (CRS) 30-13
3-Jake Rose, So. (Abington) 23-9
4-Zach Lewis, Jr. (Quakertown) 25-11
1-Gunnar Fuss, Sr. (Truman) 28-3
2-Zach Martin, So. (Neshaminy) 29-7
3-Anthony Colella, Sr. (Tennent) 24-6
4-L.J. Kahn, Sr. (CRS) 28-12
5-Dom DeFalco, So. (Quakertown) 27-9
1-Dominic Stoughton, Jr. (CBS) 28-5
2-Chris Walker, Jr. (Upper Moreland) 22-8
3-Patrick McCoy, So. (Quakertown) 2-5
4-A.J. Stephenson, So. (Pennsbury) 16-12
1-Cam Robinson, Jr. (CRN) 26-4
2-A.J. Tamburrino, Jr. (Tennent) 27-2
3-Evan Widing, Sr. (Pennridge) 16-2
4-Eric Woloshyn, Sr. (CRS) 28-10
5-Davis Wheeler, Sr. (H-H) 28-5
1-Jackson Erb, Sr. (Neshaminy) 31-6
2-Dillon Sheehy, Jr. (CRS) 28-8
3-Cole Flanagan, Jr. (CRS) 28-10
4-Corey Showaker, So. (CBS) 25-6
1-Patrick O’Neill, Sr. (North Penn) 28-5
2-Matt Colajezzi, Fr. (CRS) 32-9
3-Joseph Goldey, 27-8 (Truman) 27-8
4-Rory Rienzi, Sr, (Neshaminy) 21-15
5-Kyle Goodwin, Jr. (Quakertown) 19-11
1-Nik Korbich, Sr. (CRS) 33-11
2-Gunnar Spani, Jr. (Neshaminy)25-10
3-Jarret Neidosik, Jr. (NP) 26-7
4-Patrick Chapman, Jr. (H-H) 26-10
5-Austin Zubyk, Sr. (UM) 24-9
1-Giani Gilch, Jr. (CRS) 22-18
2-Shamil Aladinov, Sr. (Tennent) 20-4
3-Frank Regalis, Jr. (Truman) 23-8
4-Christian Perrine, Sr. (Pennridge) 19-6
5-C.J. Greer, Jr. (H-H) 22-8
1-Logan Green, Jr. (Pennridge) 28-8
2-Max Russell, Sr. (Quakertown ) 21-8
3-Patrick Chappell, Sr. (Pennsubury) 16-13
4-Peter Eklund, Sr. (CRS) 11-10
1-Logan Flynn, Jr. (H-H) 29-4
2-Davis Lee, Jr. (Pennsbury) 25-4
3-Ryan Heiber, Sr. (CBW) 23-4
4-Ralph Martin, Jr. (Quakertown) 23-11
5-Zach Magdelinskas, Jr. (Neshaminy) 21-11
1-John Klewin, Jr. (Bensalem) 30-0
2-Elijah Slaughter, Jr. (Pennsbury) 17-6
3-Maliq Strother, Jr. (Abington) 21-8
4-Amir Pickens, Sr. (NP) 21-11
Souderton: Tyler Williams, Sr. 29-2 (138), Connor Trowbridge, Sr. 26-8 (145), Bruno Stolfi, Sr. 17-6 (195)
Cheltenham: Isaiahn Stehman, Jr. 25-2 (170)
Plymouth-Whitmarsh: Dylan Moore, Sr, 20-4 (103), Issac Avelino, Sr. 23-8 (145), Paolo DiSanto, Jr. 22-4 (220)
Upper Dublin: Colin Higgins, Fr. 28-3 (106), Brett Rama, So. 22-12, Mason Novak, Sr. 31-0 (182)
Wissahickon: Matt Fritz, So.26-5 (126), Charlie Brammer, Sr. 21-11 (132), Peter Sweeney, Sr. 19-13 (138), Kevin Salmon, Jr. 20-7 (160), Dan Keller, Jr. 27-10 (182), Brian Fennel, Sr, 24-4 (195), Mark Thompson, Sr. 27-5 (285)