by Tom Utescher
Launching the 2013 portion of the wrestling season with a home meet last Thursday, the Blue Devils of Springside Chestnut Hill Academy secured three pins and a major decision, but that was not enough to overcome Roman Catholic High School.
The visiting Cahillites were outscored 22-19 by the Devils in matches decided on the mat, but they acquired 36 team points in forfeits from SCH, enough to take a 55-22 victory back to Broad and Vine. The setback lowered Springside Chestnut Hill’s record in dual meets to 2-7.
Shorthanded SCH has had to forfeit roughly four individual matches per dual meet all season long, but last week the situation became more dire as juniors Anthony Liddy and Jeff Mikalonis-Lieberman were sidelined for medical reasons.
At the starting weight of 138 lbs. in Tuesday’s meet, neither SCH freshman Bakari Porter nor Roman Catholic sophomore Jerry Gaydosh scored at all in the first two periods, but in the third round a reversal and a pair of near falls added up to an 8-0 major decision for Gaydosh.
Next, Blue Devils 145 George Kunkel gained a 4-0 lead in points before pinning fellow senior Kurt Konrad with nine seconds left in the second period. That moved the hosts ahead 6-4 in the team score, but it would be the only lead they enjoyed all afternoon. At 152 pounds, Roman regained the advantage when junior John Pozza pinned SCH freshman Kevin O’Donnell late in the opening round.
Senior Kevin Leyland, the 160-pounder for the Cahillites, was on the verge of a technical decision with a series of takedowns and near-falls, but after piling up a 16-3 lead he pinned Blue Devils ninth-grader Nick Franz in the second stanza.
An SCH forfeit at 170 lbs. spread the score to 22-6, but the home side of the scoreboard got moving again thanks to junior 182 Ben Rubin. He built an 8-0 lead during the first two periods, then started the third in the superior position, controlling Roman junior Atticus Robinson all the way until the buzzer to maintain the margin needed for a major decision.
After the 195 lb. bout, the Devils were actually back within six points of the leaders, at 22-16. Here, sophomore Desmond Johnson pinned up visiting senior Teron Griffith with 17 ticks to go in the opening frame.
Roman’s lead ballooned again thanks to forfeits the Cahillites collected at 220, 285, and 106 pounds.
Springside Chestnut Hill reached its final total for the day in the 113 lb. bout. This one was over quickly, as senior Jordan Wang needed just 17 seconds to flatten the shoulders of freshman guest Jim Pham. However, the Devils gave those six points right back again with a forfeit at 120 lbs.
The only match that ended with a routine decision came when sophomores squared off at 126 lbs. and Tyler Ricco outscored SCH’s Jackson Bistrong, 8-4. A final SCH forfeit, at 132 lbs., ended the encounter.