By Alex Frazier
This will be my last notebook for the 2009 season. I would like to thank all the wrestlers, coaches and parents for their cooperation. I am always looking for ideas to improve the notebook and would appreciate any input. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I hope everyone has a great off-season. Keep up the good work and I’ll see you all next year.
Wrestlers of the Year
Zac Bush, William Tennent
All good things come to an end. Unfortunately for William Tennent’s Zac Bush, that end came a bit sooner than he expected.
Bush was 33-0 heading into the Southeast Regional Tournament and in everybody’s mind was a shoo-in to advance to states.
But when you get to the post-season, there are no sure things.
Bush won his first two regional bouts before losing to Penncrest’s Will Resnick, 2-0 in the semifinals. Then, in the wrestlebacks, he faced an old foe in LaSalle’s Joey Mazzi, whom he had lost to several times in the past. Mazzi ended his season with a 5-3 win.
“I used to lose by a lot,” he said, “but this time it was just two points. It could have gone either way. I was in on a bunch of shots. I just wasn’t finishing them. That was the key.”
In the match for fifth, he forfeited to Frankford’s Anthony White.
“I wrestled good overall,” he said. “I just didn’t come out with the win I needed to move on. Two points separated me from states. I can’t be too down on myself for that.”
“I had no doubt he would go to states,” said Tennent coach Joe Rigous. “It was the way the cards fell. Myself, I’m very proud of what he did.”
Bush finished the year at 35-3.
“His season went well,” said Rigous. “He was disappointed in regionals, but that happens.
Certainly, Bush has nothing to be ashamed about. He achieved his goal of winning 100 matches, won sectional and district titles, and was named the conference’s MVP.
“Before the season I had it all calculated out that I needed 26 wins to get my 100th, and looking at my schedule, I saw I was only going to have 26 matches in the regular season,” he said. “I was banking on the fact that I would probably have to make it to regionals and win a match or two in order to get it.”
What he hadn’t calculated, however, was going undefeated during the regular season, which meant he earned his 100th when he received a forfeit from Bensalem in the final dual meet of the year.
“I never would have predicted getting my 100th during the regular season,” he said.
Bush had some very high-quality competition for MVP, including Council Rock North’s Jamie Callender and Abington’s David Osei, who both placed second at states.
“Getting first team all-league was the first time I had done that as well as just getting the league MVP is a big accomplishment,” he said. “I was really surprised. There are some quality kids in our league. It’s a great honor.”
Bush is still trying to decide where he will wrestle next year. His choices are York, a Division Three college, or Millersville, which is Division One. He plans to major in business.
“I hope he goes to Millersville,” said Rigous. “That would be a good fit for him. It’s a nice little program. He’s going to have a good career in college. He might have a hard time breaking the lineup the first year, but eventually he will.”
“He worked hard,” said Rigous. “He did well this year. I wish I had him a couple of more years. He got this far this year because of what he did in the summer.”
Bush had always wrestled in past summers, but the last one was different.
“(Last) summer I was on the Southeast Pa. team and I did a couple of more tournaments than I normally would have,” he said. “I did a lot more (last) summer than years past. The tournaments I did go to I wrestled more advanced wrestlers. That helped me most of all.”
“It’s all what you put into it,” said Rigous. “Before, they weren’t putting anything into it.”
Colin McConnell, Pennridge
McConnell finished his Pennridge career with an impressive 121 wins against 40 losses. Wrestling in three different weight classes this year from 145-160, he was 33-7 and undefeated in the Continental Conference. In the post season he won Section Two, District One North and the Southeast Regional tournament.
But the big goal escaped him. A three-time state qualifier, McConnell, nevertheless, found the spotlight in Hershey this year a bit daunting even with his past experience, as he went 1-2.
“Overall I had a pretty good season,” he said. “I am disappointed about states, but it was a good year. I placed sixth at the Beast (of the East) and I didn’t have that many losses.”
The 145-pound weight class at Hershey was loaded, with Central Mountain’s Dylan Alton and defending champion Joey Napoli of Cumberland Valley, who lost to Alton in the finals, to name just two.
“It was a tough weight class,” he said, “but I choked. I was up in both of the matches I lost. It’s different out there. Everybody was saying there’s no excuse for choking, but once you get out there, no matter how many times you’ve been there, you have to be in the right state of mind.”
McConnell defeated Shane Alterio in the first round 6-1, but then lost to once-beaten Jake O’Hara of Crestwood in the quarters. Ironically, Alterio went on to place seventh.
In his first wrestleback, McConnell lost 9-8 to Lower Dauphin’s Mike English. At one point he led English 6-1, but the Lower Dauphin senior rallied to take McConnell down with 20 seconds left to eke out the win.
“I started to freeze up, and he took advantage of that,” said McConnell.
Apparently, McConnell wore the luck out of the yellow plaid shorts he wore while claiming section, district and regional titles, although he claims it might have been the shoes.
“I think what it was is I switched my shoes,” he said. “I’m blaming the shoes.”
McConnell will continue his wrestling career next year at Kutztown University. He was recruited by Kutztown’s assistant coach, who coached him at the Steel Mat Club in Reading.
“I always wanted to go there,” said McConnell. “The assistant coach got me locked in there right away.”
He plans on majoring in secondary education and eventually coaching wrestling.
After taking a week or two off after states, McConnell was back in the room on March 23.
“Now I just have to start training to be a national champ,” he said.
McConnell will wrestle in some spring tournaments like the War at the Shore and possibly go to the Disney Duals this summer.
“Colin is a great kid and I think he will do a great job at the next level as well as in life when he gets out of college,” said Pennridge coach Derek Sola. “I am sorry to see him go. It was great working with him for the past two years.”
John Staudenmayer, Plymouth Whitemarsh
To be voted the conference’s outstanding wrestler as a sophomore is quite an honor.
And one that Staudenmayer certainly deserves.
He finished the regular season undefeated and suffered his first loss in the regional finals to Council Rock South’s Ed Shupe.
With just one loss heading into the Giant Center, it was kind of expected that he would take home a place in the state meet.
However, he lost his first match to DuBois’ Billy Morrison in a 4-3 tiebreaker. In his first wrestleback, he nipped Bethel Park’s Nick Bonaccorsi, 2-1 in a tiebreaker.
His final match came against Northampton’s James Sheptock, who eventually placed third. Sheptock beat him 7-1.
“I have some regrets the way I wrestled at states,” said Staudenmayer. “I wrestled conservative. I didn’t wrestle my style. I wrestled the way my opponent wanted me to. It was a learning experience.”
Wrestling in the Giant Center is certainly a learning experience for first timers.
“I didn’t feel intimidated as much as I was awed,” he said. “Inexperience is a good word. I may have gotten a little too content with what I did. I needed to set the tone better.”
PW coach Nate Wachter cited several other factors that may have contributed to an earlier-than-expected exit.
“The schedule for the last couple of years under coach Lorence was somewhat soft,” he said. “I feel like the reason JM didn't do as well as he should have at states was because he wasn't as ‘battle tested’ as he could have been. One of his toughest matches up until regional finals was against a Virginia state placewinner from Stonewall Jackson. JM threw this kid twice to his back and the kid didn't want to finish the match. JM won by injury default.
“At states this year, he was a little timid and a little taken back by being on the Giant Center floor for the first time. Throw in a knee filled with so much water you could float a rubber ducky on it, and you have the reasons why he was not a state place winner.”
Wachter has already been working on beefing up next year’s schedule having added the Southeast Classic, the Cumberland Duals and the GA Duals.
Over the summer, Staudenmayer will be working on football and wrestling with an emphasis on the latter.
He plans on going to Fargo again and hopefully making the junior freestyle and Greco-Roman team.
“I’m going to continue to get better and pursue and work for a state championship, hopefully next year,” he said.
The good news is that Staudenmayer has two more years to step onto the podium at Hershey.
“John Michael AKA ‘J.M.’ AKA ‘Buzz’ Staudenmayer had a great sophomore run this year,” said Wachter. “I believe his overall record is now 84-8. This in itself is amazing. He will break every record here at PW. I am almost sure of it. He is on pace for 160+ wins. The record here at PW is 146 by Eric Powell and 144 by Justin Giovinco.”
Wrestler of the Year - Zac Bush, William Tennent
1. Billy Rappo, Council Rock South
2. Steve Evens, Harry S Truman
3. Micah Haynes, Council Rock North
HM. Colby Lederer, Neshaminy
1. James Bak, Harry S. Truman
2. Shane Longstreth, Council Rock North
3. Jeff Lieb, Pennsbury
HM. Ross Pizzi, Bensalem
1. Sean Edmonson, Harry S Truman
2. Nick Russell, Neshaminy
3. Wes Moran, Council Rock South
1. Zac Haynes, Council Rock North
2. Matt Funk, Pennsbury
3. Anthony Monochelli, Harry S Truman
HM. Eric Hanson, Neshaminy
1. Matt Rappo, Council Rock South
2. Matt Marks, Harry S Truman
3. Zack Wolf, William Tennent
HM. Brian Kahil, Pennsbury
1. Matt Martoccio, Council Rock South
2. Brandon Brickner, Bensalem
3. Matt Mandel, Abington
1. Zac Bush, William Tennent
2. Ken Maicher, Bensalem
3. Connor Moore, Council Rock South
HM. Justin Evens, Harry S Truman
1. Mark Nicholson, Pennsbury
2. Greg Lanctot, Council Rock North
3. Tim Riley, Council Rock South
HM. John Lindquist, Neshaminy
1. Marc Helfrich, Council Rock South
2. Cody Carrigan, Abington
3, Tom Burke, Neshaminy
HM. Tom Kaufmann, Harry S Truman
1. Jim Vollrath, Council Rock South
2. Max Barsky, Abington
3. Steve Stemme, Neshaminy
HM. Shane Marchesani, Harry S Truman
1. Ed Shupe, Council Rock South
2. Matt Johnson, Pennsbury
3. Andrew Scholer, William Tennent
4. Tom Clark, Council Rock North
1. Jamie Callender, Council Rock North
2. Bobby Lavelle, Council Rock South
3. Ryan Rozniakowski, Abington
HM. Brendan Shirley, William Tennent
1. Dan Clemenson, Williamm Tennent
2. John Kaschak, Council Rock North
3. Jordan Carsterphen, Harry S Truman
HM. Garrett Simpson, Neshaminy
1. Dave Osei, Abington
2. Ricky Dracup, William Tennent
3. Josh Mitchell, Pennsbury
HM. Tyler Stabilito, Neshaminy
Wrestler of the Year - Colin McConmnell, Pennridge
Sportsmanship Award – North Penn
1. Scott Wolfinger, Quakertown
2. Evan Conti, North Penn
3. Nick Haegele, Central Bucks South
HM. Dan Adelsberger, Hatboro-Horsham
1. Matt Harkins, Hatboro-Horsham
2. Mike Mathis, Central Bucks South
3. Tyler Romano, North Penn
HM. John Lewis, Souderton
1. Chris McGinley, Central Bucks West
2. Nick Dau, Central Bucks East
3. Nick Ronzano, Quakertown
1. Colin Bynum, Quakertown
2. Steve Ferrara, Central Bucks West
3. Josh Konz, Pennridge
HM. Drew Felice, Hatboro-Horsham
1. Seth Ehlo, Central Bucks West
2. Dino Vitale, Hatboro-Horsham
3. John Collins, Quakertown
HM. Andrew Ray, Pennridge
1. Matt Rust, Quakertown
2. Rich Jasinski, Pennridge
3. James McLaughlin, Hatboro-Horsham
1. Jon Brodzik, Central Bucks East
2. Eric Koch, Quakertown
3. Rick Seytbolt, Central Bucks South
HM. Bryan Wu, Hatboro-Horsham
1. Briar Malischewski, Quakertown
2. Jarrett Sanders, Central Bucks East
3. Dominic Colangelo, North Penn
HM. Chris Jastrzebski, Central Bucks West
1. Colin McConnell, Pennridge
2. Nick Lynch, Hatboro-Horsham
3. Randal Haun, North Penn
HM. David Malischewski, Quakertown
1. Nick Lubenetski, Quakertown
2. Brad Herrmann, Pennridge
3. Andrew Foltyn, Central Bucks East
HM. Peter Jenne, Souderton
1. Devon Passman, Central Bucks East
2. Dave Smith, Hatboro-Horsham
3. Tyler Wolfe, Quakertown
HM. Sidney Outlaw, Souderton
1. Ted Conrad, Central Bucks West
2. Joe Stolfi, Souderton
3. Rabert Basile, Quakertown
HM. Julian Gulbinski, Central Bucks South
1. Joe Burke, Central Bucks East
2. Robert Smothers, Souderton
3. Nate Seidle, Central Bucks West
HM. Randy Jorgensen, Quakertown
1. Alex Myers, Hatboro-Horsham
2. Joe Winters, Pennridge
3. Gregg Walker, Quakertown
HM. Matt McMurdo, Central Bucks West
Wrestler of the Year - John Staudenmayer, Plymouth Whitemarsh
Sportsmanship Award - Springfield
1. Dave Yannes, Wissahickon
2. Gino Stone, Cheltenham
3. Zach Lyall, Upper Moreland
1. Ryan Gambino, Cheltenham
2. Tyree Gardner, Norristown
3. Joe DePalma, Plymouth Whitemarsh
HM. Brennan Weiss, Wissahickon
1. Jake Ellis, Upper Moreland
2. David Irwin, Norristown
3. Nick DiMuzio, Upper Dublin
HM. Rob Galdo, Springfield
1. Tim Santry, Upper Moreland
2. Matt Gusick, Upper Dublin
3. Charles McLean, Norristown
HM. Dylan Peay, Plymouth Whitemarsh
1. Luke Wisniewski, Plymouth Whitemarsh
2. Ben Lowery, Norristown
3. Sean Saunders, Wissahickon
HM. Steve Volovar, Upper Dublin
1. Will Dill, Upper Moreland
2. Ramil Gamble, Plymouth Whitemarsh
3. Ricky Santiago, Norristown
HM. Dave Tucker, Upper Dublin
1. Brandon Parker, Norristown
2. Pat Reilly, Upper Dublin
3. Nick Vuotto, Upper Merion
HM. Michael Honeywell, Springfield
1. Stephen Parker, Norristown
2. Mark Poderis, Upper Moreland
3. Dom Visco, Upper Dublin
1. Joe Kent, Norristown
2. Alex Vuotto, Upper Merion
3. Max Agasar, Upper Moreland
HM. Paul Choi, Upper Dublin
1. John Staudenmayer, Plymouth Whitemarsh
2. Joe Pierce, Norristown
2. Andre Watkins, Wissahickon
HM. Dan Bolich, Upper Moreland
1. Taylor Franko, Wissahickon
2. John Bolich, Upper Moreland
3. Larry Gordon, Norristown
HM. Dylan Freedman, Upper Dublin
1. James Nicholson, Upper Moreland
2. Sam Morison, Plymouth Whitemarsh
3. Sean Carson, Upper Dublin
HM. Chris Campbell, Wissahickon
1. Brian Corliss, Wissahickon
2. John O’Malley, Plymouth Whitemarsh
3. Jake Johanson, Upper Dublin
HM. Matt Grill, Norristown
1. Marcus Robbins, Norristown
2. Terron Gay, Cheltenham
3. Greg Greenaway, Upper Merion
Spring wrestling – From Norristown coach Mark Harner: Our room is pretty much open one night a week on a year-round basis with the exception of the month of August. All middle school and high school age wrestlers (not just Norristown wrestlers) are welcome. I am looking to put a team together for some upcoming dual tournaments. At these events, wrestlers typically get five bouts in one day. Let me know if you’re interested.
NAHS Team Link: http://www.nhscasportsnetwork.com/wrestling/highschool/pa/teams/norristown/schedule.htm