Council Rock North's Tyler Capriotti pinned Pennsbury's Ryan Murphy in the 113-pound matchup, capping three straight pins by the Indians and icing a 47-24 Rock win Feb. 1 at the Falcons Nest. (John Gleeson – 21st-Century Media)
FALLS TWP. – With just a week left in the regular wrestling season, many teams are setting their sights on the upcoming playoffs. Based on their recent 47-24 thumping of Pennsbury, Council Rock North has certainly peaked in time for a successful trek down the Keystone yellow brick road.
Both teams were fired up for their big matchup on Feb. 1 at Pennsbury. After losing a heartbreaker to Neshaminy and then being whitewashed 69-0 by CR South, the Falcons hoped to upset their longstanding rival, CR North. The Indians, fresh from a victory over Neshaminy, stood in second place in the Suburban One League (SOL) National Division with a 3-1 record. Their only loss was to undefeated CR South in the first dual meet of the campaign. They wanted to keep up their winning momentum.
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CR North junior Jake Shalinsky, one of the few veteran members of an otherwise youthful corps, knew the match’s significance.
“It was really important. Our coach (Tom Vivacqua) said that back in the day, we always had a rivalry between Council Rock and Pennsbury. So going in, we were just focused on going out there and taking care of business and doing our thing.”
From the very start, the Indians took care of business. Sam Hayes opened the match in the 126-pound class and promptly pinned his opponent in 2:51. Cameron Robinson, the freshman phenom who sports a 23-6 record, followed suit by recording a technical fall. Junior Gianncarlo Flores upped the Rock’s lead to 17-0 when he pinned his man in 28 seconds.
Matt Shalinsky, knowing his bout could be pivotal, took a confident attitude onto the mats. “I like wrestling because it’s one-on-one. The only one that is going to beat me is myself.”
Knowing little about his opponent, Nate Smith, Matt realized he would have to grapple his way. “Before a match, I kind of get into a zone and once I am out there, I just go. I throw and do my thing. I had no idea who he (Smith) was. I didn’t know much about him.
“I try not to worry about my opponent. I just worry about myself and just think what I am going to do before I go out there. I try to envision what is going to happen. But that doesn’t always happen so I just flow. Sometimes when I’m out there, I’m not sure what I’m doing but I’ll just do it.”
Matt’s “flow” was definitely in synch against his Falcon foe. He scored early and often before recording a technical fall nine seconds into the third period. “I just kept trying to score points. After the match, I felt good. I wanted to pin him but I’m fine with a technical fall.”
Dillon Sheehy continued the Rock’s winning streak, decisioning Shaun Peel, 7-1. Nick Nucero put the Indians ahead 29-0 when he scored a major decision over Nick Nucero.
Pennsbury showed some life, winning the next four bouts. Max Schummer and Pat Chappell took decisions. Pins by Davis Lee and Scott Diethorne narrowed the score to 29-18.
The Indians were not about to be upset, however. Three straight pins by Alec Leyfermann, Luke Lucerne, and Tyler Capriotti iced an Indians’ win. It also gave credence to Matt’s team appraisal, “We’re young but we’re hungry and we are trying to get stronger and better every day.”
The growth process has been fairly rapid for the Rock’s young guns. They have reeled off four straight division wins after losing to CR South in their league opener. With only Harry Truman left on the schedule, the Indians are thinking about the postseason.
“We all set goals at the beginning of the season. We didn’t go to the District Duals this year because our team is so young and we don’t have that many upper weights so we kind of sat back. Now, we are going to focus on the postseason. A lot of us are just trying to get to states and place there.”
To get to states, the Indians will pretty much just tend to business as usual. “We have Truman next week and then the postseason. Hopefully, we all will be peaking and just go out there and do great things. We won’t do anything different. We’ll just keep working hard.”
Based on the strong showing at Pennsbury, the hard work and increased experience are starting to pay dividends. The Indians have become a real force in the SOL.
Council Rock North 47, Pennsbury 24
(Feb. 1 at Pennsbury)
126: Sam Hayes (CRN) pinned Doug Molle, 2:51
132: Cam Robinson (CRN) tech. fall Sam Humbert, 2:53 (19-4)
138: Gianncarlo Flores (CRN) pinned Nick Pollazzi, :28
145: Jake Shalinsky (CRN) tech. fall Nate Smith, 4:09 (16-0)
152: Dillon Sheehy (CRN) dec. Shaun Peel, 7-1
160: Nick Nucero (CRN) maj. dec. Connor Gowton, 12-4
170: Max Schummer (P) dec. Rob Ranelli, 4-2
182: Patrick Chappell (P) dec. Connor Mooney-Moore, 10-4
195: Davis Lee (P) pinned Mike Ridlon, 1:00
220: Scott Diethorne (P) pinned Tykee Jackson, 1:44
285: Alec Leyferman (CRN) pinned Elijah Slaughter, 2:32
106: Luke Lucerne (CRN) pinned Ryan McGurrin, 1:23
113: Tyler Capriotti (CRN) pinned Ryan Murphy, :53
120: Antonio Martoccio (P) pinned Shane Thompson, 1:58
RECORDS: CR North
(11-4, 4-1 SOL National); Pennsbury