WESTTOWN — Every day in practice the Westtown wrestlers will undoubtedly notice the Friends School League championship banner high on the wall.
While it is loaded with years, marking Westtown’s dominance in the league, the most recent is 2014.
That doesn’t sit well with the Moose. With a team heavily built on the foundation of senior leadership, Westtown continued its march forward, Wednesday afternoon, romping visiting Church Farm, 57-18, in a non-league dual meet.
“It’s more inspiration for us,” Westtown senior Alex Taylor said. “Every day at practice we look up at that sign and we want this to be the year we get back on there.”
The Moose pulled off nine pins against the Griffins starting with Matt Rhile (182 pounds), who tied with Taylor with 33 wins a year ago.
“He’s a tough, hard, solid competitor,” Westtown coach Jay Farrow said of Rhile. “He really came into his own last year and we have high hopes for him this year.”
Church Farm accepted forfeits for its two top wrestlers, Noel Gilgeous (195) and Sebastian Corrales (145) and won decisions with Emmanuel Lawal (285) and Senior Gyamfi (132).
But the Moose got falls from Jack DeVuono (220), Ethan Kisiel (106), Mohammad Mustafa (113), Griffin Hankin (120), Jack Shea (126), Billy Roberts (138), Taylor (160) and Danil Meresenschi (170).
Ethan Gadra (152) won the lone decision for Westtown with a 1-0 margin in the second rideout.
“We’re going after the league,” Farrow said. “We’ve been down a couple weights the last couple years but we’re finally able to put a full lineup out there now, and we’re going to go after it. We want to reclaim the title and get ready for states.”
A year ago, Taylor finished third in the state prep school tournament. This year he hopes to add some hardware at the national tournament.
“I’m hungry,” Taylor said. “I’m ready to break 100 wins and break the school record and I’m ready to do things at nationals. In my senior year, I just want to make an impact.”
Church Farm’s top duo didn’t get to compete due to some injuries in the Westtown lineup, according to Farrow, is a combined 28-1 this year.
Corrales reached states as a freshman two years ago, while Gilgeous made his debut in Hershey as a sophomore last winter. The pair is hoping to go together this season.
“I’m just trying to work harder than last year,” said Gilgeous, who’s currently 13-0. “I want to wrestle harder wrestlers and get better. I don’t want to win all the time. I want to lose some so I can learn. If I can wrestle better kids I can figure out what I need to do better.”
A week ago, at the Church Farm Invitational, Gilgeous went up against Norristown’s returning regional qualifier Rich Maggio and pinned him in the third period. While the junior Griffin doesn’t lack confidence, it sure didn’t hurt his mindset.
“I’m always going to the mat with confidence,” Gilgeous said. “I’m always confident, but that win was good for me.”
Westtown will continue its quest to improve this weekend at the Exeter Duals, along with other locals, Downingtown West and Malvern Prep, in what should be a pretty competitive field.
Westtown 57, Church Farm 18
182- Rhile (WT) pinned Valencia, 1:35 (6-0)
195- N. Gilgeous (CF) won by forfeit (6-6)
220- DeVuono (WT) pinned Ashley, 1:24 (12-6)
285- Lawal (CF) dec. Butler-Roberts, 5-1 (12-9)
106- Kisiel (WT) pinned Coston, 1:42 (18-9)
113- Mustafa (WT) pinned Huang, :51 (24-9)
120- Hankin (WT) pinned Medina, 2:48 (30-9)
126- Shea (WT) pinned Valerio, 3:19 (36-9)
132- Gyamfi (CF) dec. Eldridge, 10-4 (36-12)
138- Roberts (WT) pinned Kent, 2:29 (42-12)
145- Corrales (CF) won by forfeit (42-18)
152- Gadra (WT) dec. Tanco, 1-0 TB (45-18)
160- Taylor (WT) pinned Matthews, :47 (51-18)
170- Meresenschi (WT) pinned Reyes, 1:56 (57-18)
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