PHOENIXVILLE >> Currently, the Methacton and Phoenixville wrestling teams stand at opposite ends of the spectrum in having the necessary ingredients to enjoying success in the difficult and demanding winter sport.
Methacton coach A.J. Maida has high numbers and a lot of experience to work with in the practice room every day. Phoenixville coach Alec Bown, on the other hand, has quality but still lacks quantity to attempt to utilize each and every day during this season.
When the two squads clashed on the mats in a Pioneer Athletic Conference match Wednesday night, Methacton came away with a 69-8 triumph over the host Phantoms.
The Warriors chalked up victories in 12 of 14 bouts, registering five pins, one decision and also accepting six forfeit victories from Phoenixville.
Methacton earned a key win at 220 pounds as normal heavyweight Tonee Ellis scored a 5-3 decision over Phoenixville standout Tanner Romance, who usually lines up at 195 pounds.
“Tanner went up against a solid kid weight-wise,” said Bown. “He (Ellis) is put together. He (Romance) wrestled pretty well. It forced him to be aggressive. The other kid has been wrestling at heavyweight all year. They (Warriors) felt it was the best match for him, and we felt it was the best match for Romance. It’s going to make both guys better. In the long run, you do what is beneficial and best for the team and best for the individual.”
Roman Moser (145) opened the card with a fall for the Warriors. Then Michael Blakemore (160), Joseph Donahue (285), Corey Morabito (113) and Kibwe McNair (126) followed suit with pins for Methacton.
Phoenixville secured its eight team points via a pair of impressive major decisions by senior Thomas Fell (170) and junior Bryce Thompson (195). Fell reversed a major decision setback to Salaam McNair from a year ago and wound up with a 12-4 victory this time around. Thompson extended his three-match hot streak with a 9-1 major decision of his own against Connor Sullivan.
“We’ve had a good start,” said Maida. “Our kids have some experience. We don’t have enough ability. We can’t look past anybody, and there are still individuals who are nice wrestlers. There were some contested bouts that did not go our way. But we do not want to go down without a fight. There is something to learn from every match.”
Bown has decided to emphasize wrestlers competing at the junior varsity level for some of his kids mores than filling out a lineup card at the varsity level. That is why he is willing to sacrifice so many forfeit losses during the 2017 campaign in hopes of gaining experience and building for the future in coming years.
Methacton’s three big guns and senior leaders, Bryce Reddington (152), Brendan Marion (182) and Dylan Henry (138), were among those wrestlers who won by forfeit. So did Nick Chen (106), Liam Donovan (120) and Andrew Balek (132).
“They are as good of leaders as anybody in the sport,” Maida said of his trio. “In turn, as wrestlers they have the ability to know the routine and are able to pull the young guys along. They are almost like an extra set of eyes.”
Maida said the Warriors are having fun at wrestling while still working diligently to strive to improve every day.
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