After a tough loss earlier in the week to Archbishop Wood, Bishop McDevitt took to the mat in the ANC tournament Saturday morning into afternoon.
McDevitt a young team, comprised of mainly freshmen, was far from the only team competing that was looking for some quality mat time. The Lancers had a few standout performances, Laurence Richardson was a perfect 5-0 on the day wrestling between the 182 and 195-pound weight classes.
Artemio Rodriguez added a couple solid wrestles at 138 while freshman Cullen Malone showed some toughness in his 106 bouts.
“He had a better day,” McDevitt coach Chris Whalen said of Rodriguez. “He’s a more veteran guy, we expect a little bit more from him and he wrestled the way he usually wrestled today.
“In the two matches he lost, he’s probably better than the other kid,” Whalen said of Malone. “He’s undersized. Sometimes he does the right thing and it just doesn’t work because of the physics of it. He bounced back. He’s mentally tough, he’s physically tough and he’s definitely the foundation of the team going forward and the future.”
Other teams such as Abington, Lower Moreland and Cheltenham are also young teams looking to get some quality work.
Lower Moreland’s day got off to the rough start as it lost all three matches in pool play though the three teams it faced, William Penn Charter, Upper Dublin and Neshaminy, were much bigger schools.
The Lions finished the day strong though winning its final two matches of the afternoon. For a team coming off several deep District One and PIAA state runs the Lions are still looking to find the right combination of guys to replace a large senior class from a year ago and regain the hunger that fueled those runs.
“I think we came together well,” Lower Moreland coach Rocco D’Arcangelo said. “The one thing we have to make sure is that we fill a whole lineup and this year we just don’t have as many kids as we normally have so figuring out the lineup and figuring out how to strategically put kids in different weight classes to not forfeit weight classes, that’s the biggest thing.”
For Abington, it also is a young and building program and as one of the bigger schools represented finishing 2-4 for the tournament losing to Northeast High in the final match of the day.
The Ghosts might not have been the youngest or the most inexperienced team on the Saturday but it did cost them the most as two of the Abington losses came by a combined 12 points including a three loss to ANC in pool play.
“We’re inexperienced,” Abington coach John Gillespie said. “Even our seniors and upperclassmen don’t have a whole lot of experience. We’ve got two freshman in the lineup and they got some potential but they got a lot of learning to do.”
It was a bit of a tough day for Abington rival Cheltenham as the Panthers managed only one win on day but can certainly be included in the young and building category of team that were there.
“We’re getting better but we gave up three forfeits so we gave up 18 points every match,” Cheltenham coach Kirk Stehman said. “(The other teams) are at our level but they’re a little better than we are right now.”
A bright spot for the Panthers was a 5-0 performance from August Gershwin. Though a tournament MVP was not officially issued for the tournament he would have been at the top of a short list if there were one.
“He’s won every bout today,” Stehman said. “He’s our leader.”
For the host ANC it’s was a solid day. It lost its final match of the day to Upper Dublin but still had the best showing of the ‘small schools’ that were represented.
160-pounder Bryson McCurdy and 195-pounder Brayden Boyesen both earned perfect 5-0 days while 170-pounder Graham Johnson, 182 Jamie Early and 145 Gareth Allen all had one loss on the day.
“We’ve finally been able to have they guys spread out,” ANC coach Eyvind Boyesen said. “They’re not all weighting the same. We’ve been able to do that and finally we have a little bit of experience and so our middle to upper weights are so far having a really good year.”
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