WARMINSTER >> On the biggest night of the regular season for any high school program, the Archbishop Wood wrestling team pinned its way over Roman Catholic on Senior Night by a final score of 56-16.
Archbishop Wood honored its six seniors before the match including Tommy Hooven, Steve Veneziale, Max Shaffer, Sean Brill, Matt Palage and Justin Battes.
Palage was inactive with a concussion but is eligible to return for the PCL playoffs next Wednesday.
The match started at 120 pounds when Hooven celebrated senior night with an impressive fall over Aaron Scalen in 2:56 to give the Vikings an early 6-0 lead.
Wood’s TJ England got his team six more points with a pin of his own over Joseph Fitts in 2:37.
Veneziale kept the team points coming with a 17-0 technical fall over Roman Catholic’s Jared Johnson.
Archbishop Wood got its third pin in four matches when Shaffer put Tyler Brown on his back in 58 seconds to increase the lead to 23-0.
Roman Catholic’s Dominic Galasso tried to give his teams the first points of the night at 145 pounds, but Talon Pisarchuk won a close 3-2 decision victory.
Roman Catholic’s Dennis McDermott was also close to getting his team some team points, but ultimately fell to Brill by a 5-2 decision.
The match of the night was at 160 pounds between Viking Zac St. Thomas and Roman Catholic’s Jerome Best.
Best had the best of St. Thomas at the first period as he led 2-1 after one period.
After a scoreless second period, St. Thomas was able to get the late escape point to tie the match at 2-2 to force sudden victory.
Both wrestlers were unable to score a take down, therefore they force two 30-second overtime periods.
After Best got an escape point to lead 3-2 heading into the second overtime period, St. Thomas shocked everyone in the gymnasium when he scored a reversal after being down on the mat.
The reversal later turned into a pin with 12 seconds left in overtime and continued the team shutout 35-0.
“That really was amazing,” said St. Thomas. “I got to give it to our training because we worked really hard for those kind of situations. I knew I had more stamina than him because we work on that.”
“I’m trying to set an example to the team like even when we are losing, you got to stick with it and you got to have a heart,” added St. Thomas.
Roman Catholic finally got on the team scoreboard when Christian Petrucci and Malcolm Hunt had back-to-back wins at 160 and 170 pounds, respectively.
Petrucci won by a 14-4 major decision over Liam Jones and Hunt pinned Billy Grace in 1:21.
Archbishop Wood won the next two matches. Battes won by a 3-2 decision over Shawn Buffert and Charlie Minninger pinned Dante McLeod in 45 seconds. Minninger’s pin was the fastest of the night.
After Roman Catholic’s Sean Flaherty earned a forfeit at 106 pounds, Viking Kevin Baker ended the night with a pin over Joe Monahan in 1:46 to round out the 56-16 senior night victory.
Archbishop Wood head coach Chris Meister was thrilled with the way his team performed on senior night.
“I thought we were pretty dominant,” said Meister. “We knew that this was the end of our division heading into the PCL playoffs.”
“Zac St. Thomas has been a sparkplug for us and has been an inspiration to everybody on this team,” added Meister. “He’s a three-year wrestler that is going out and tonight we saw the late match heroics just working and getting his guy on his back.”
Roman Catholic has its Senior Night this Friday against Conwell-Egan. Wrestling is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m.
Archbishop Wood host Radnor and Lower Moreland Saturday in a tri-meet. The Vikings wrestle Radnor at 10:30 a.m. and Lower Moreland at 12:15 p.m.
The Philadelphia Catholic League team playoffs are scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 24 and Tuesday, Jan. 30.
Archbishop Wood 56, Roman Catholic 16
120: Tommy Hooven (AW) pinned Aaron Scalen (RC) 2:56. AW 6-0
126: TJ England (AW) pinned Joseph Fitts (RC) 2:37. AW 12-0
132: Steve Veneziale (AW) 17-0 tech fall over Jared Johnson (RC) 5:06. AW 17-0
138: Max Shaffer (AW) pinned Tyler Brown (RC) 0:58. AW 23-0
145: Talon Piscarchuk (AW) 3-2 dec over Dominic Galasso (RC). AW 26-0
152: Sean Brill (AW) 5-2 dec over Dennis McDermott (RC). AW 29-0
160: Zac St Thomas (AW) pinned Jerome Best (RC) 7:48 OT. AW 35-0
170: Christian Petrucci (RC) 14-4 MD over Liam Jones (AW). AW 35-4
182: Malcolm Hunt (RC) pinned Billy Grace (AW) 1:20. AW 35-10
195: Justin Battes (AW) 3-2 dec over Shawn Buffert (RC). AW 38-10
220: Charlie Minninger (AW) pinned Dante McLeod (RC) 0:45. AW 44-10
285: Joe Kelly (AW) wins by disqualification (Illegal Slam) over Michael Leyland (RC). AW 50-10
106: Sean Flaherty (RC) wins by forfeit. AW 50-16
113: Kevin Baker (AW) pinned Joe Monahan (RC) 1:46. AW wins 56-16
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