ABINGTON >> To absolutely no one’s surprise, Malvern Prep rolled to the team title Saturday afternoon at the Ghost Town Duals at Abington High School.
The nationally-ranked Friars won all five of their matches with ease, ultimately besting Father Judge, 43-12 in the championship match.
Along the way, Friars junior Michael Beard, ranked first nationally at 220 pounds, notched his 200th career victory, a total made even more impressive when you consider the Daniel Boone School District refugee is only a junior.
Folks, that’s not a misprint.
“He’s as good as you’ll see,” said Friars co-head coach Nate Wachter of Beard, ticketed to Northwestern University. “He’s been with us since he was 7 years old, and he’s a terrific kid as well as a terrific wrestler.”
Beard’s 200th win was just one of three milestones achieved by the Friars, who also got the 150th career win from heavyweight Seth Janney and the 100th career win from middleweight PJ Crane.
The season being enjoyed by the Friars is a feather in the cap of Wachter, who was a vital assistant at Plymouth Whitemarsh when John Michael Staudenmayer won the PIAA title in 2011.
Wachter lost his teaching job at Plymouth Whitemarsh a year after a second Staudenmayer, Justin, medaled in Hershey in 2013.
“I ended up teaching in Philadelphia, where my main job was breaking up fights, and this was among third graders,” Wachter quipped. “I started out with about eight a day, but I got it down to three a day by the end of the year.”
A year later Wachter found himself at Malvern Prep, where he now shares the head coaching chores with Nate Lauter.
And the duo has built one of the top programs in the country, currently ranked sixth among the nation’s elite.
“It’s so much fun,” Wachter said. “We just won the Escape the Rock tournament (at Council Rock South, considered the best tournament of its kind in District 1), and we finished third in the Who’s Number One tournament (at Easton High School).
“And we’re the biggest moneymaker in the school.”
While the Friars romped, Wissahickon finished fourth, topping Abington and Lower Moreland after falling to Malvern, Judge and Oxford.
“I felt we had a good day,” said Trojans head coach Anthony Stagliano. “We have some injuries and our 126-pounder didn’t make weight, but we wrestled tough.
“We have to get healthy and get ready for our last league dual meet, which is against Quakertown, and could be for a share of the league title.”
Lower Moreland and Abington both took it tough, although the Lions bested Abington to grab fifth place.
“We did some things well, but there are still things we need to improve on,” said Lower Moreland head coach Scott Fisher. “For us, this is a rebuilding year.”
Injuries are what are hampering Abington, which went winless in its own tournament.
“Yeah, we have a lot of kids out (injured),” said head coach David Osei, “and it was a rough one for us.
“But the kids who did wrestle, wrestled tough.”
First Round Results
Father Judge 77, Abington 6
Malvern Prep 79, Lower Moreland 0
Oxford 39, Wissahickon 34
Second Round Results
Malvern Prep 72, Oxford 3
Father Judge 57, Wissahickon 15
Lower Moreland 42, Abington 27
Third Round Results
Malvern Prep 79, Abington 0
Wissahickon 43, Lower Moreland 25
Father Judge 49, Oxford 15
Fourth Round Results
Malvern Prep 68, Wissahickon 12
Father Judge 56, Lower Moreland 12
Oxford 59, Abington 16
Fifth Round Results
Wissahickon 53, Abington 21
Oxford 64, Lower Moreland 6
Malvern Prep 43, Father Judge 12
126: Mark Salvatore (MP) won by forfeit.
132: Henry Hague (MP) dec, Matthew Kidwell, 7-2.
138: Micah Visuwan (MP) dec. Cesar Fountain, 4-3 (OT).
145: PJ Crane (MP) maj.dec. Dan Dugan, 14-1.
152: Trevor Elfin (FJ) won by forfeit.
160: Jeff Klenk (MP) pinned Stephen Pons, 2:45.
170: Nicholas Florschulz (MP) pinned Mike Davis, 1:21.
182: Nick Karoly (MP) won by forfeit.
195: Flynn Leaf (MP) maj.dec. Alex Chokas, 12-3
220: Brendan Devine (MP) dec. Sean Armstrong, 1-0.
285: Seth Janney (MP) pinned Michael Waring, 1:51.
106: Rob Lawlor (FJ) dec. Sidney Mathues, 5-3.
113: Dalton Harkins (MP) dec. Liam Logue, 3-2.
120: Eammon Logue (FJ) dec. Connor Quinn, 4-2.
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