Germantown Friends’ 145-pounder, senior Luke Furukawa (left), tries for a stand-up escape against SCH junior George Kunkel. (Photo by Tom Utescher)

by Tom Utescher

Wrestling tri-meets can be time-consuming affairs, but numerous forfeits shortened the three-team gathering at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy last Tuesday afternoon.

The host Blue Devils raised their record to 3-0 by picking up a pair of wins, shading the GFS Tigers, 30-24, and defeating Phil-Mont Christian Academy, 42-15. Phil-Mont, which had only six members of its regular nine-man roster available for duty, also fell to Germantown (1-3), 36-21.

For the SCH-GFS bout, the starting-weight roulette wheel happened to land on the lightweight match, and SCH accepted forfeits at 106 and 113 lbs. At 120, Blue Devils freshman Jackson Bistrong opened up with a takedown, but he didn’t score any more points against visitor Elliot Wattenbarger. An SCH takedown attempt just at the verge of the ring shook up Wattenbarger late in the third period, but he finished out the match to secure a 7-2 decision.

Neither team had a 126 lb. entry, and at 132 an SCH forfeit to Tigers senior Andy Reed got Germantown back within three points in the team score. GFS tied it at 12-12 with a 6-5 decision at 138 lbs. Late in the third the Devils’ Anthony Liddy picked up some points to make it close, but the sophomore couldn’t overcome the early lead built up by Tigers senior Nick Davis.

Neither 145-pounder gave up points easily, and late in the contest SCH junior George Kunkel held a slim 4-2 advantage. GFS senior Luke Furukawa almost took Kunkel down onto his back in the final 10 seconds, but he didn’t demonstrate enough control to score and Kunkel kept his 4-2 lead for the win.

Germantown took the lead in the meet score for the first time (18-15) thanks to senior Shimpei Kurokawa’s third-period pin at 152. After a scoreless opening period, Kurokawa rolled up a 9-1 lead in the second, then pinned Devils senior Matt Klauder early in the final frame.

The 160 lb. encounter was the last weight class decided on the mat, with GFS junior Hillyard Nichols facing a new SCH wrestler, junior Mike Moriarty. The Devils’ novice gave up some penalty points through his inexperience, but he came through the first two frames with a 6-4 edge. He went on to win a 10-7 decision, tying the meet score at 18-all.

In the next four weight categories, there were two double forfeits, and in the other two positions the Tigers didn’t have anyone ready to go. This gave the host school a 30-18 lead, and even though GFS heavyweight Khari Goosby (a junior who was class champion at the SCH Invitational the previous weekend) acquired forfeit points at the end, the Devils came out six points ahead in the final tally.

Short-staffed Phil-Mont could only fill six of the 14 weight classes, which was a shame because the wrestlers the Falcons did have generally gave a good account of themselves. First facing GFS, Phil-Mont had 132 lb. sophomore Richie Cerebe post a 25-second pin against Reed, and at 152

senior Jake Sorkness used a 5-0 first period as a springboard to a 9-4 decision over Furukawa of the Tigers.

Two lanky juniors squared off at 160, and Germantown’s Nichols (who had problems with ill-fitting headgear in both his matches) built up a 9-3 lead before pinning the Falcons’ Ryan Dietz early in the third round. Another Phil-Mont junior, Chris Wojcik, qualified to wrestle at 220 lbs. during the pre-match weigh-in, but he bumped up to tackle the Tigers’ Goosby at heavyweight. Goosby got a takedown in the first stanza, then reversed from the bottom position and pinned Wojcik in the middle of the second period.

At all the other weight categories either one or both of the two teams forfeited, and the more numerous Tigers took the meet, 36-21.

Phil-Mont went right into its confrontation with Springside Chestnut Hill, and Cerebe stepped up to 138 lbs. for his second pin of the day, which came against the Blue Devils’ Liddy. The Falcons’ Sorkness used numerous takedowns to built up a 10-1 lead through the first two frames at 152, and went on to top Klauder of SCH, 12-5.

In the other three weight classes where actual wrestling occurred, SCH picked up pins each time. At 160, Moriarty closed out Dietz in the middle of the first period, and at 182 SCH sophomore Ben Rubin won with 57 seconds remaining in his match against Phil-Mont senior Nick Hunter, who will normally wrestle in the 170 lb. class this season. At 220 the Blue Devils’ freshman prodigy, Desmond Johnson, needed only 35 seconds to finish off the visitors’ Wojcik.

In an exhibition match at 126 lbs., Falcons junior Justin Cummings defeated SCH freshman Jackson Bistrong.