by Tom Utescher
Penn Charter’s wrestling team set itself up for a winning season in the Inter-Ac League last Friday, knocking off visiting Haverford School, 51-24, to level its record in league dual meets at 2-2. Only this Friday’s clash with Episcopal Academy remains on the Quakers’ Inter-Ac agenda, and EA has already suffered a 48-28 loss to Springside Chestnut Hill, a team that PC tied on points and defeated through a tiebreaker.
A large home crowd at Charter last Friday witnessed a relatively brief encounter with the Fords, since the outcome in nine of the 14 weight classes was determined very quickly through forfeits. PC had to forego actual competition in three weight classes due to illness and injury, and Haverford had vacancies in six categories.
To those 36 points on forfeits, the Quakers added pins at 145 lbs. and 285 lbs., and a decision at 152 completed their total score.
PC actually started out 12 points in the hole as it provided no opponents for Haverford grapplers in the 106 and 113-pound classes. Accepting the forfeit for the Fords at 113 was Jake Shaifer, a Haverford freshman who is the son of Penn Charter head coach Peter Shaifer.
At 120 lbs., the visitors forfeited to Quakers ninth-grader Max Lentz, then the hosts handed six team points right back to Haverford by leaving a vacancy at 126 lbs. The Charter grapplers now trailed 18-6 in the meet score, but they would forfeit no more matches from that point on.
Freshman Isaiah Woods-Kolsky accepted a forfeit by the Fords at 132 lbs., then spectators saw actual wrestling in the 138 lb. class. A takedown late in the first period by Haverford’s Michael Clymer proved to be the difference in this low-scoring bout. Clymer and PC senior Jordan Steinhouse each registered one escape during the last two periods to produce a 3-1 Haverford decision.
The Quakers climbed back within three points in the team tally (18-21) with a pin at 145 lbs. Antonio DeMarco, a freshman on the host team, recorded a takedown in the opening period, and he chalked up another one off of a standing start in the second round. He then pinned visiting Sam Reisbord 27 seconds into the third frame.
Junior Sam Shemtov brought Penn Charter back even at 21-21 with a decision in a hard-fought 152 lb. contest. It played out as a series of takedowns by Shemtov and escapes by Neetish Sharma of the Fords. Shemtov led 4-3 going into the third period (Sharma had escaped from the bottom at the start of the second).
The only point Shemtov scored on anything other than a takedown came in the third period, when Sharma started on top and maintained control for a while. Shemtov eventually escaped with 53 seconds elapsed to bump the score to 5-3. He scored two more takedowns and Sharma escaped twice for a 9-5 decision.
This outcome put the teams back on equal footing at 21-21 in the meet score, then Haverford quickly dropped out of contention through forfeits at 160, 170, 182 and 195 lbs. Going out to collect those 24 points for Penn Charter were senior Alex Koenig, freshman Daniel Bach, senior Dante DiStefano and junior Wayne Derkotch.
The meet ended with one victory out on the mat for each team. Through two periods at 220 lbs., the only point scored belonged to visiting Kwaku Adubofour, who escaped from Quakers sophomore Matt McGlinchey in the second round. More than halfway through the third, McGlinchey escaped from the bottom to tie the score.
He got ahold of one of Adubofour’s legs a little later, but the Haverford sophomore fought off the takedown attempt and the contest went into overtime with a neutral start. With just one second remaining in the one-minute OT, Adubofour was awarded takedown points and claimed a 3-1 decision.
With this, the Fords reached their final total of 24 points. PC would pick up another six at 285 lbs. to reach 51.
For Quakers senior Luke Mattice, a takedown in the opening round was followed by another takedown and a pair of back points in the second for a 6-0 advantage.
Starting on the bottom for the third period, Mattice started to make a stand-up escape, but before he was fully upright he saw an opportunity to stage a reversal against Haverford rival Tyler McDonald. Mattice’s move morphed directly into a pin, and the bout was over just eight seconds into the final round.