by Tom Utescher
Last Friday evening the host Patriots of Germantown Academy rolled to a 52-9 victory in an Inter-Ac League dual meet against Penn Charter, but given the nature of the traditional rivalry between the two schools, the event was more entertaining than the final score might suggest.
The outcome in four weight classes was determined by forfeit (including a mutual no-show at 285 lbs.), but out of the 10 matches on the mat there were six regular decisions and one major decision, and the intensity level remained at a high level even after the Patriots had built up an insurmountable lead.
GA raised its record to 3-0 within the Inter-Ac and 9-0 in dual meets overall, while PC departed with a 1-2 mark in the league and 6-5 against all regular dual meet rivals.
Before the competition began, Patriots head coach Solomon Fleckman gave an eloquent Senior Day sendoff to six graduating grapplers: Mike Roman, Patrick Salmon, Drew Sandifer, Ben Sawyer, George Schwartz and Brandon Seidman. The National Anthem was sung by freshman Sydney Hill, an offshoot of the Ciambella clan of Chestnut Hill.
Penn Charter picked up six of its nine total points at the outset, as freshman Nate Miner accepted a Germantown Academy forfeit in the 106 lb. category. GA’s 113 lb. standout, Chris Kim, led fellow sophomore Jess Anderson 5-0 at the end of the first period, then pinned his PC opponent with 34 seconds remaining in the second round.
The Patriots then went ahead for good in the team scoring as Charter offered no one to oppose Seidman at 120 lbs. The GA 126, sophomore Jibrael Moore, opened up with a takedown, then Quakers freshman Max Lentz tied the score with a reversal.
A reversal of his own put Moore back in the lead, and he increased his advantage with more reversals and several sets of back points. He was up by 10 points in the third period, and even after Lentz recorded a late reversal, Moore still came away with a 16-8 major decision.
Next, Germantown junior Mark Fasciocco accepted a PC forfeit at 132 lbs., the Patriots now led 22-6.
In contrast to the 126 lb. match, there wasn’t a lot of scoring at 138, where two takedowns and an escape resulted in a 5-0 decision for GA freshman Christian Colman over Quakers senior Jordan Steinhouse. The 145 for Charter, ninth-grader Antonio DeMarco, appeared to be cruising to at least a major decision as he built up a 10-0 lead over the first two periods.
However, a neutral start in the third round did not work out to his benefit. Patriots sophomore Deon Savage took DeMarco down right into a pinning combination and ended the match in GA’s favor with 1:37 remaining.
This was followed by a series of hard-fought decisions. GA’s Roman and visiting junior Sam Shemtov foiled each other’s attempts to score, and with one escape on each side their 152 lb. joust headed into a one-minute overtime with a 1-1 tally. That extra session and then a 30-second OT couldn’t resolve the issue, but in another 30-second stint Roman began on the bottom and scored an escape with seven seconds elapsed, winning 2-1.
At 160 lbs., Penn Charter acquired its last three points of the evening, but they weren’t easy to come by for senior Alex Koenig. In the opening period, Koenig took down Germantown Academy freshman Sami Cerebe right at the end, and he was still ahead by two points (5-3) for the start of the third round.
Starting down, Cerebe escaped to make it a one-point affair, then in the last minute Koenig reinforced his lead, earning two takedowns against the GA man’s two escapes for a 9-6 final.
Still, the Pats were far ahead in the meet score, which soon spread out to 37-9 with Sandifer’s 7-4 decision in the 170 lb. class. A fellow senior, the Quakers’ Dante DiStefano, was first on the board with a takedown. Sandifer reversed later in the first period, then went ahead for good with an escape and takedown early in the second frame.
After two periods at 182, the only two points on the board belonged to visiting junior Wayne Derkotch, who registered a reversal with 16 seconds left in round two. Harrison Levans, a freshman on the host team, scored in the same manner in the third period, and the low-scoring dual went to overtime with a 2-2 count. A takedown with 22 seconds elapsed won it for Levans, 4-2.
Sawyer, one of the GA seniors, was first on the scoreboard at 195 lbs. with a takedown, and the opening period ended at 2-1 after a late escape by PC 10th-grader Matt McGlinchey. Sawyer redoubled his efforts in the second segment, first escaping from the bottom and then recording a takedown and finally a pin with 58 seconds left in the period.
Originally, Charter had intended to forfeit at 220 lbs. and then have Germantown hand back the six points at 285, but with the meet outcome long since settled, the coaches matched up their two big men in the 220 lb. class. PC 12th-grader Luke Mattice is normally positioned at 220 lbs., anyway, and he faced the last of GA’s Senior Night honorees to take the matt, Salmon.
With a reversal at the start of the second period, Salmon was ahead 6-0 on points, and he ended the bout with a pin with 14 seconds gone. Both teams had decided to leave the 285 lb. class alone, so the meet ended with a 52-9 final score.