by Tom Utescher
Before last Wednesday’s final home wrestling meet got underway, Springside Chestnut Hill Academy gave an official send-off to seniors Jackson Bistrong and Desmond Johnson.
Only one of them would actually get to perform on the mat, though. Visiting Wilmington Friends School, missing three of its regulars, forfeited the 220 lb. match to Johnson. Wrestling up one weight class from his usual position, Bistrong took a 7-4 decision at 138 lbs. Most of his teammates won, as well, and the Blue Devils rolled to a 55-12 victory in the meet.
SCH closed out the regular season with an 11-7 overall record in dual meets. Within the Inter-Ac League, the Devils had close matches against Episcopal Academy and Penn Charter, but ended up with a mark of 0-5.
Starting last Wednesday’s meet at 170 lbs., SCH sophomore Michael Spirito fell behind over the first two periods, 2-4. Wilmington’s Travis Aaronson then scored a takedown off a neutral start in the third period to go up 6-2, but then Spirito parlayed a reversal into three near fall points to pull out a 7-6 decision.
The visiting Quakers then enjoyed their only lead of the day when Steven Maguire pinned SCH freshman Sean Edling in the middle of the second period at 182 lbs. At 195, Blue Devils sophomore Syaire Madden went ahead 4-1 in the opening period. Off a standing start in the second round, Wilmington’s Ian Furman quickly tried for a takedown but Madden countered the attempt and got the takedown himself, and he soon secured a pin with just 24 seconds elapsed.
After a Wilmington forfeit to Johnson at 220 spread the meet score to 15-6, SCH freshman Sean McCann turned around his 285 lb. bout in the third period. He started the third frame in the bottom position, trailing visitor Matt Denny, 1-4. The ninth-grader reversed, then pinned Denny with 46 seconds remaining in the contest.
SCH added six more points when the Quakers forfeited at 106 lbs. to freshman Jordan Bell, and the Devils garnered another six at 113, where eighth-grader Luke Purcell pinned visitor Jack Coons with nine seconds left in the second period. Freshman Thomas Leichner accepted a Wilmington forfeit at 120 lbs., bumping the meet score up to 39-6, where it remained as both teams chose to forego a 126 lb. bout.
The next two matches went the distance, and both ended with SCH decisions. Blue Devils freshman Kyle Williams was tied 4-4 with Wilmington’s John Napoli after two periods. Napoli let Williams escape from the bottom position at the start of the third round, but it was the SCH wrestler who ended up with a late takedown, winning 7-4.
Bistrong built up a 6-0 lead over two periods against Quakers 138 Alex Trudel. Trudel escaped early in the third period, only to have Bistrong take him down and then earn three near fall points for an 11-1 major decision. This expanded the home team’s lead to 40 points, 46-6.
Following ninth-grader Matt Greenberg’s first-period pin for Springside Chestnut Hill in the 145 lb. bout, Wilmington 152 Eric Pinkus finished the second period of his match with a 3-0 lead. SCH sophomore Grant Dalsemer started on the bottom for the final round, and was able to score a reversal and three near fall points to come away with a 5-3 win.
Down 55-6 going into the final match, Wilmington doubled its team total with the outcome of the 160 lb. bout. SCH sophomore Parker Popky registered a takedown and back points to take a 5-0 lead into the second round. From a neutral start in the third, the Quakers’ Jacob Gagliano scored a takedown and then wrapped things up with a pin in the middle of the period.