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Livingston, Upper Darby making it look easy

SPRINGFIELD >> Max Livingston is doing something a little different this year.

No, it’s not winning. The All-Delco wrestler has done that quite a bit during his career at Upper Darby. He has 91 wins following Wednesday’s pin at 160 pounds as the Royals remained undefeated with a 57-12 Central League victory over Springfield.

Livingston is not sweating out matches the way he did a year ago, when 13 of his 47 decisions were by two points or less, including 10 of his 35 wins.

Upper Darby’s Colin Cronin, the 2016 Daily Times Wrestler of the Year, gets the better of Springfield’s Tyler Forbes en route to a 17-5 major decision at 145 pounds. The Royals won the Central League match, 57-12, to remain undefeated. (Digital First Media/Anne Neborak)

The victory over Tyler Bennett was a perfect example of how things have changed for the senior. He needed only 55 seconds to pick up win No. 10 on the season and help the two-time defending Central League champion Royals (3-0 league and overall) extend their league winning streak to 22 matches.

Four of his five wins by fall have been under one minute and all have come in the first period.

“This year I’ve been working on scoring points and getting pins, and it’s been working,” Livingston said.

Call it a lesson learned from what he went through last season.

“Last year really showed me my heart and what I’m capable of doing,” Livingston said. “A lot of people get tired and give up, but I knew to just keep fighting. When you go into those deep waters, you really find out a lot about yourself.”

Upper Darby coach Bob Martin had a pretty good idea Livingston was going to be something special based on his family lineage. His oldest brother, Caleb, earned All-Delco honors before walking on at Penn State. Brother Charlie wrestled at Kutztown after his high school career was over.

“It’s been so long since we haven’t had a Livingston in the program,” Martin said. “We’ve had Livingston’s for eight or nine years.”

The brothers got the wrestling itch from their father, Eric, who wrestled in high school, Max said.

“I actually started wrestling in diapers,” Max Livingston said. “My dad would wrestle with me when I was still in diapers and I would wrestle with my older brothers.”

Livingston began wrestling competitively in the first grade, which is where he met teammates Colin Cronin, the 2016 Daily Times Wrestler of the Year, and Thomas Reif. The trio has been close ever since.

“Colin literally lives right behind me,” Livingston said.

Upper Darby’s Max Livingston, right, rolls up Springfield’s Tyler Bennett in a 160-pound match Wednesday. Livingston scored a pin in 55 seconds as Upper Darby topped Springfield, 57-12. (Digital First Media/Anne Neborak)

Their quest, of course, is a third straight league crown and Livingston is willing to do whatever it takes to make that happen, which includes jump from 152 to 160 pounds. He began the season at 160 and wrestling seven matches at that weight class before dropping to 152 for five matches. He was back at 160 against Springfield.

“I just love to wrestle so wherever there is competition I’m happy,” Livingston said. “I just go out there and score points as much as I can. I think that’s the biggest difference between this year and last year. I’m just going to keep doing that and see how it falls out.”

Livingston wasn’t the only wrestler to move around Wednesday. Cronin moved up to 145 and scored a 17-5 major decision over Tyler Forbes. Cronin usually wrestles at 138. With Livingston at 160, A.J. Covington moved up to 170 and also won by fall. Reif (132), Folly Amouzougan (285) and Meraj Kahn (106) also won by fall for the Royals, while Nazmul Islam (113) and Kevin Kerwood (138) both won by major decision.

“We just have to keep working hard and keep scoring,” Livingston said. “That’s the big thing. We just have to keep scoring. We have some holes, but we have to be ready to compete.”

David Bagirov (120) raised his record to 11-0 for Springfield with a 5-2 decision over Marcus Mojica. Dwayne Snipes also had a big win for the Cougars with a pin of Karl Kamanousa in 5:59.

The night, though, belonged to the Royals.

“We have to get better,” Martin said. “We have two freshmen wrestling at the lower weights and we have to get some more guys in the middle, and in our upper weights we have to get better. We have kids coming back from injury so if we can get everyone in and keep them healthy and keep them eligible, we’re going to be competitive.”

In other Central League action:

Garnet Valley 67, Radnor 9 >> The Jaguars (6-2, 3-0) got off to a fast start to remain undefeated in the Central League. Kevin Pulitti set the tone with a major decision at 106 and GV was off and running.

Gavin Hollingsworth (126), All-Delco Matt Marino (132), Salvatore Pizzuto (138), Nick Pulliti (145), Robbie Peters (160), Jeremy Lauer (170), Ryan Mortimer (182) and Tommy Mahoney (285) all won by fall for the Jags.

Marple Newtwon 42, Ridley 24 >> The Tigers pulled it together after a slow start and won the last four matches to top the Raiders.

Adam Goodman pinned Ridley’s John Sheldon in 3:33 at 285 pounds to turn a 24-21 deficit into a 27-24 lead.

Anasass Elfernani (106) and Jon Long (120) sandwiched pins around a 4-1 decision by Jacob Van Duesen at 113 pounds.

Leo Cassidy’s pin at 220 game the Green Raiders that 24-21 lead. Jake McGrath (126), Kyle Strazdus (138), James Cooper (152) and Dom Toriello (170) were the other wines for Ridley.

In the Catholic League:

La Salle 51, Archbishop Carroll 14 >> Guillermo Murgeuytio, Nick Poulos and Joe Gajewski were the only winners for the Patriots.

Murgueytio pulled out a 1-0 decision over Luke Lotsis at 126 pounds. Poulos followed with a 15-0 technical fall over Jimmy Podraza at 132 pounds and Gajewski recorded a second period pin at 195.

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