SOL Wrestling: PW Holds Off Hatboro-Horsham

Plymouth-Whitemarsh Holds Off Hatboro-Horsham 36-30
by Glenn Kaiser

Plymouth Meeting, PA-Just like the old days, the Hatboro-Horsham Wrestling Warriors traveled a couple of turnpike exits west over to Plymouth-Whitemarsh H.S. to do battle with the Colonials in the SOL Liberty Division.  As always, these two teams – which have a storied history - went at it toe-to-toe, leaving everything on the mat.  It has been a fierce rivalry since Ralph Wetzel (former H-H Hall of Fame coach) and Bob Lorence (former P-W Hall of Fame coach) first clashed in the 70’s. 

P-W’s new gymnasium (at least for H-H, as it was their first time wrestling in the West Gym) was rocking with passionate fans and distinguished P-W guests, as P-W honored their wrestling alumni prior to the match, and all were treated to an outstanding dual.

P-W’s former state champions Justin Giovinco (2x) and JM Staudenmayer, along with many former wrestlers and coaches were in attendance for some outstanding grappling Wednesday night.  It was truly a barn-burner as both squads seemed to be at their best for their Liberty conference opener in 2023.

P-W recorded the necessary seven wins (both teams presented a forfeit) to capture the dual meet victory 36-30 improving their record to 7-1 overall/1-0 SOL Liberty.  Four of the seven matches resulted in falls for the Colonials which powered them to victory.  Ashton Wittenberg’s impressive pin at 139-pounds over H-H’s Orion Newell put the Colonials in the lead 12-9 after H-H got off to a hot start.  Wittenberg improved to 11-1 on the season.  H-H frosh Benny Staub put the Warriors on top to start the dual with a fall of his own in 1:20 of the first period in his 121-pound match, and fellow freshman David Jensen followed with a 9-5 decision over the Colonials Sean Odom to keep the momentum going for H-H.  After a H-H forfeit to P-W’s Joe Bussell at 133 and Wittenberg’s pin-fall, the momentum shifted over to the Colonial side, only to be stalled by H-H’s Chris Staub’s tech fall over Mohammed Charabi, who was stalled out of the 145-pound match which resulted in the 19-4 victory for Staub.

In the middle of the bout, the Colonials forged ahead with three straight wins, two by fall powered by Ty Borkowski (152) and Justin Bainbridge (172).  The turning point for the Colonials was at 160-pounds where Isaiah Bainbridge overcame a near fall by Warrior Nasir Samuel to come back and win in sudden victory overtime with a quick double-leg takedown, winning 12-10 in an exciting bout.  The Colonials extended their lead to 27-14 heading to 189-pounds.

H-H countered by bumping-up Joey Palmeri, who overpowered P-W’s Deaglan Budd, garnering a fall in the second period and making the team score 27-20 in favor of P-W.  Michael Sudell took care of business at 215-pounds with a pin extending the Colonials lead to 33-20 with three matches to be wrestled.  P-W knew they had to make a stand, as they were forfeiting at 107-pounds, and H-H lightweight standout Ryan Allgeier was waiting to close out the dual at 114-pounds.  Thus, it was up to the big men at 285-pounds for both teams, who have a lot of respect for each other, despite their intense competitiveness with one another.

Donald Kunf sealed the deal for P-W (36-30) holding off an undersized Andy Alameda-Guzman, who moved up from 215, winning 2-1 to wrap up a splendid night of wrestling. 

H-H dropped to 0-2 overall/0-1 league.  P-W heads to the Battle of the Bridge in Bethesda, MD, this coming weekend, and H-H will rest up and have a busy week ahead versus Wissahickon and the Coal Cracker Invitational at Lehighton HS.