GFS junior Elliott Wattenbarger (top) tries to keep his Girard College opponent from escaping off the edge of the mat during last Thursday’s tri-meet. (Photo by Tom Utescher)

by Tom Utescher

Coming away with a split in a home tri-meet last Thursday, Germantown Friends School picked up its first head-to-head win of the 2012-2013 wrestling season, defeating non-league opponent Girard College, 45-18.

Unfortunately, the Tigers lost 42-30 in their other appearance at this “Three G’s” event, succumbing in an official Friends Schools League bout with the Cougars of George School.

Against George, GFS (1-7 overall, 0-2 FSL) was handicapped by forfeits, a chronic problem this winter. In seven of the 14 weight classes, no actual wrestling occurred.

Neither team had an entry at 106 or 220 lbs. The Tigers’ senior heavyweight, Khari Goosby, went unopposed and acquired six quick points for his team because of the Cougars’ no-show, but Germantown, in turn, had no one to wrestle at 145, 152, 182, and 195 lbs.

That net loss of 18 points did in the Tigers, even though they outscored the Cougars 24-18 in the seven bouts that took place.

The meet was the league opener for George School (6-1 overall), and the action started off at 138 lbs. Here, GFS junior Matt Reed registered a pin midway through the first period. After two Germantown forfeits, freshman Dash Buyske-Friedberg leveled the meet score at 12-12, going up 6-2 before pinning his George School rival late in the second round.

The Tigers enjoyed their lone lead of the meet (18-12) thanks to Buyske-Friedberg’s twin brother, Gabe. He was ahead 7-3 in the second period of the 170 lb. match when he pinned his opponent with 46 seconds to go.

After two Tigers forfeits and the mutual abdication at 220, Goosby got the hosts back even at 24-all by garnering the forfeit at 285 lbs. Neither squad had a 106-pounder, and the Cougars picked up their first true wrestling victory of the day with a second-period pin at 113 lbs.

Responding in kind with 1:19 remaining in the 120 lb. contest, Germantown Friends junior Elliott Wattenbarger tied the team score for what would be the final time, 30-30.

Facing a pair of inexperienced GFS freshmen, George School secured pins at 126 and 132 lbs. to win the FSL tilt by a dozen points. The Cougars then stayed alongside the mat for their encounter with Girard College. Girard, like GFS, chronically suffers from vacancies at a number of weights, and they bowed to the Cougars, 66-18.

Squaring off against GFS in the final phase of the tri-meet, Girard put up a quick six when the Tigers once again forfeited at 152 lbs. There was no mat action in the next five classes, either. The Buyske-Friedberg brothers each won by forfeit, and neither squad showed up at 182. Girard then accepted forfeits at 195 and 220 to take an 18-12 lead in the meet.

Goosby tied the team tally at 18-all, getting a fairly quick takedown and then pinning his man with 46 seconds left in the opening round. That score remained in place through a mutual forfeit at 106 lbs., then GFS went ahead for good as Girard fielded no opponents for two Tigers ninth-graders, Nick Wells (113) and Rob Wilf (120).

Bumping up to 126 lbs. for this meet, Germantown’s Wattenbarger performed in the lone match that ended in a decision, grinding out a 4-0 victory that boosted the hosts’ advantage to 15 points, 33-18.

Forfeits by the Cavaliers favored GFS freshman Bix Komita Moussa at 132 lbs. and Reed at 138, and the home team had its first meet victory in the bag. There was still one more weight class to go, 145 lbs., but the meet ended on an entirely anticlimactic note, since neither team would come out to play.

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