By DENNIS C. WAY
21st Century Media
NEWTOWN->>Always the bridesmaid.
That was Colin Shannon’s MO over the last two years as the North Penn middleweight finished second in each of his last two appearances in the district finals.
But finally Shannon got the brass ring Saturday night at the PIAA District One Class AAA East Wrestling Tournament at Council Rock North High School.
Shannon cruised past Council Rock South’s Nick Nucero, 12-1, to win the 152-pound crown in the district spotlight, and then celebrated with the rest of his Knights teammates, who finished a strong second in the team standings behind team champ Council Rock South.
“As long as I finished first, that was all that mattered,” said the Knights senior. “I’d never wrestled (Nucero) before, so there was a feeling-out process.”
In all, the Knights qualified six wrestlers for next week’s regional tournament at Souderton Area High School, while the champion Golden Hawks moved on 11 wrestlers and third-place Council Rock North advanced seven.
Finishing fourth was Pennridge, which boasted three champs, including Matt Parker, the 120-pound champ who was named the tourney’s Outstanding Wrestler.
Parker dispatched Council Rock South’s Ben Radner, then said the championship was just another step toward the ultimate goal of a state championship, which he came within one win of winning just one season ago.
“I feel good, and I’ve been working as hard as I possibly can,” Parker said. “This is what I’ve worked for all year, and I’m not going to stop until I get it.”
The real winner on the day, however, was team champion CR South.
The Golden Hawks dominated the victory podium, placing 10 on the victory stand while running away with the team crown.
“The guys I’m happiest for are our third- and fourth-place guys,” said South head coach Brad Silimperi, who was understandably chuffed with the performance of his team. “The goal is to keep going and take as many guys as we can forward.”
Along with the titles earned by Shannon and Parker, the tourney saw individual titles from Council Rock North’s Luke Lucerne (106) and Shane Thompson (113), Gunnar Fuss (Truman) at 126, CR South’s Zack Trampe and Cary and Riley Palmer (at 132, 138, and 145, respectively), Pennridge’s Josh Stillings (160) and Paul O’Neill (195), Academy Park’s Max Fitzgerald (170), Collin Stevens (182) of Central Bucks East and North Penn’s Ryan Cody (285).
PIAA District One East Class AAA Wrestling Tournament
Final Team Standings (Top 10 only): Council Rock South 205.5; North Penn 136.5; Council Rock North 132.5; Pennridge 121.5; Souderton 70; Truman 66; Central Bucks East 60; Academy Park 59; William Tennent 58.5; Chichester 54.5.
106 – Luke Lucerne (CR North) dec. Max Mendez (CR South), 8-3.
113 – Shane Thompson (CR North) dec. Braden Ricchini (CR South), 4-3.
120 – Matt Parker (Pennridge) maj,dec. Ben Radner (CR South), 12-4.
126 – Gunnar Fuss (Truman) dec. Brandon Bach (Souderton), 2-0.
132 – Zack Trampe (CR South) tech. fall over Cameron Robinson (CR North), 5:43 (30-15).
138 – Cary Palmer (CR South) dec. Mohamed Kaba (Academy Park), 9-5.
145 – Riley Palmer (CR South) maj.dec. Will Laughlin (North Penn), 15-2.
152 – Colin Shannon (North Penn) maj.dec. Nick Nucero (CR North), 12-1.
160 – Josh Stillings (Pennridge) pinned Patrick O’Neill (North Penn), 0:55.
170 – Max Fitzgerald (Ac. Park) dec. David McCoy (W.Tennent), 10-9.
182 – Collin Stevens (CB East) pinned Nik Korbich (CR South), 1:04.
195 – Paul O’Neill (Pennridge) dec. Brandon Ullman (North Penn), 6-4 (OT).
220 – Joey Doyle (CR South) pinned Owen Verespy (North Penn), 3:54.
285 – Ryan Cody (North Penn) dec. Kyle Osterhoudt (Neshaminy), 3-1.