by Tom Utescher
Gaps in the wrestling roster continued to hamper the Tigers of Germantown Friends School last week, who wrapped up their pre-holiday agenda in a tri-meet at the Academy of the New Church last Wednesday afternoon.
GFS gave away a net total of 24 points in forfeits to both of its opponents at the Bryn Athyn affair, falling to host ANC, 54-24, and to the other visiting team, Hill School, 63-16. New Church is a member of the Friends Schools League along with GFS, so their head-to-head meeting served as the official league opener for both schools.
Previously, the Tigers had come up on the short end of three other dual meets, wrangling with Edison High School and Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, and losing by just two points to nearby rival Penn Charter.
Although their team has had to give up a significant number of points in every outing due to the holes in the line-up, individual GFS grapplers are doing well. Junior Matt Reed was the 138 lb. class champion at the SCH Invitational earlier this month, and at the same tournament senior heavyweight Khari Goosby came in third. Goosby and 152-pounder Hilyard Nichols are the only seniors on the young Germantown squad, which has five freshmen on its 11-man roster.
In Wednesday’s bouts at ANC, the Tigers had no entries at 106, 145, 182, 195, and 220 lbs. Against ANC itself there was a double forfeit at 106, and in the Hill School segment GFS got six forfeit points back when the Rams were unable to provide a 113 lb. opponent for freshman Nicholas Wells.
In his bout against Academy of the New Church, the Tigers ninth grader pinned his opponent in exactly one minute. The other GFS grappler who came out of the meet 2-0 was a junior in the 120 lb. class, Elliott Wattenbarger. He led 9-0 after two periods against ANC before pinning in the third round, and against Hill he did most of his scoring in the third period for a 9-1 major decision.
Junior Matt Reed registered a second-period pin against the 138-pounder from New Church, then was pinned himself by his Hill School opponent. Freshman Gabe Buyske-Friedberg went 1-1 at the tri-meet, as well. He logged the Tigers’ first win against ANC with a second-period pin at 170 lbs., then lost by fall in the second round of his match against the Rams.
Goosby, the Germantown heavyweight, lost twice by fall, despite leading his Hill School match 5-1 after the first period. The other senior on the GFS squad, Nichols, was tied with his ANC rival after the opening round, then was pinned in the second segment. He picked up some points late in his Hill School contest but still lost a decision, 6-9.
The Tigers had two different wrestlers see action in the 132 lb. class. Freshman Bix Komita Moussa took the mat against ANC and was pinned in the opening period, but sophomore Campbell Holder made out better in his performance against Hill, trailing 4-6 after two periods but then reversing and pinning in the third round.
At 160 lbs., Tigers 10th-grader Andrew Wilson was pinned right at the buzzer in the first round of his ANC contest, and he almost made it through the initial round against the Rams before suffering the same fate. Rob Wilf, a freshman and a first-year wrestler, also suffered pins in both of his matches.
Near the end of the month, several of Germantown Friends’ more experienced athletes will compete in the annual Ralph Wetzel Holiday Classic at Hatboro Horsham High School.