by Tom Utescher
In its final home meet of the season, the Germantown Friends School wrestling team bid farewell to its two seniors, middleweight Hilyard Nichols and heavyweight Khari Goosby.
Due to an injury, Nichols was unable to wrestle in last Friday’s contest against visiting Martin Luther King High School, but Goosby closed out the event by chalking up a second-period pin in his swansong at GFS.
The Tigers did not fare so well in the meet overall, falling prey to the MLK Cougars, 57-24. The visitors forfeited at one weight class, but Germantown Friends had vacancies at six other weights, coughing up a net total of 30 points to the Cougars in the final team tally. A limited roster has hampered the Tigers throughout the season, and they were unable to qualify for a berth in the Friends Schools League tournament.
Martin Luther King, coached by Chestnut Hill Academy alum Dominic Castelli, finished second in Division B of the Philadelphia Public League, and owned a 12-5 dual meet record following Friday’s victory.
The recent meet began with mutual forfeits, with GFS yielding at 106 lbs. to Cougars freshman Jordan Smith, while Tigers ninth-grader Nick Wells accepted an MLK forfeit at 113.
Germantown enjoyed its only lead of the afternoon thanks to 120 lb. junior Elliott Wattenbarger, who pinned visiting sophomore Brian Collins with 47 seconds remaining in the opening round. King quickly reclaimed those points at 126 lbs., where junior Tyrone Woods secured a first-period pin against Tigers sophomore Campbell Holder, tying the meet score at 12-12.
Derrick Sutton, a sophomore wrestling at 132 lbs. for the Cougars, built up a 7-0 lead in points over GFS freshman Bix Komita Moussa by the middle of the second period. Sutton then got a pin with 32 ticks to go in that round, and after that, the host team forfeited the 138 lb. class to King sophomore Andrew Lee.
Bumping up one spot from his usual weight, GFS junior Matt Reed got the home side of the scoreboard moving again. He picked up a takedown and some back points in the early seconds of the 145 lb. match, then he pinned Cougars freshman Malik Crawford with 21 seconds left in the first frame.
That closed the gap in the team score to six points at 24-18, but the visitors immediately went back up by a dozen as junior Nicko Bryant went unopposed in the 152 lb. class.
The 160 lb. bout was the only one where the outcome was not determined by either pin or forfeit. With a reversal at the start of the second period, GFS freshman Dash Buyske-Friedberg was only trailing 4-2, but MLK’s DeAndre Maxwell, another ninth grader, engineered an escape and a takedown, then picked up two back-points to end the period with a 9-2 advantage. Maxwell continued on to an 11-4 decision as the meet score rose to 33-18.
Buyske-Friedberg’s twin brother, Gabe, saw his stay on the mat end considerably sooner, as he was pinned in the first period by the 170 lb. entry for the Cougars, senior Khaleel Stewart.
MLK’s margin just kept on growing as the Tigers forfeited the next three matches. Collecting the points for the visitors were senior Darnell Moore (182 lbs.), sophomore Derick Morton (195), and senior Jophany Raphael (220).
Things ended on a brighter note for the home fans with Goosby’s victory at 285 lbs. Facing junior Ken Allen, the Tigers upperclassman went up 4-0 in the first period, then finished out with a pin 42 seconds into the second round.