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All-Delco Wrestling: Episcopal’s Orr closes career with his second straight 40-win season

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In addition to Wrestler of the Year Hunter Catka of Sun Valley, the All-Delco wrestling team includes:

Blair Orr, Episcopal Academy: Orr closed out his spectacular career with a 42-8 record as a senior and a 157-32 mark for his career to earn All-Delco honors for the third straight year. All of his losses were to wrestlers who placed at the National Prep tournament or won state titles in New Jersey, Virginia and Pennsylvania at the Pa. Independent Schools Wrestling Tournament. Orr went 5-2 at the Beast of the East, was the outstanding wrestler at the Bishop Ireton and Radnor tournaments, won the Prep Slam in Georgia, placed second at the PAISWT and was sixth at 106 pounds at National Preps to earn All-America honors for the second year in a row. He will wrestle at the University of Pennsylvania next season.

Jake Shaifer, Haverford School: The 106- and 113-pound weight classes were dominated by freshman and Shaifer was among the best in both weight classes. He went 28-11 during his rookie season, took fourth at the PAISWT and won two matches at National Preps before being forced to bow out due to an injury. Shaifer went 3-2 at the Beast of the East and finished third at the Mount Mat Madness XIV at Mount St. Joseph High School in Maryland. He was 4-0 in two weight classes at the Buckley Duals with three wins by fall and one by technical fall.

Ryan Shephard, Haverford School: Shephard’s ability to move between 120 and 126 pounds was key for the Fords. A junior, he finished 29-10 and earned a medal at the Independent Schools tournament for a third straight year with a fourth-place finish at 120 pounds to qualify for National Preps, where he went 3-2 with one win by fall and another by major decision. The junior won the Radnor Holiday title at 126 pounds and went 4-0 with three wins by fall at the Gilman Duals.

David Bagirov, Springfield: Bagirov closed out his senior campaign with a flourish. He won his second straight Central League title, this time at 126 pounds after capturing the 120-pound crown as a junior. He placed fifth at the District 1 Class 3A Central tournament to advance to the South East Regional for the first time in his career. Bagirov also won the title at the Kurt Meister Invitational, went 8-0 in the Central, 25-8 for the season and 92-31 in his career, including a mark of 73-25 over the last three seasons.

Nick Poulos, Archbishop Carroll: If not for injuries, Poulos easily would have been a member of the 100-win club. A torn labrum kept him out of all but three matches as a junior and the same injury brought his senior season and career to a close with a 98-19 record. Still, Poulos managed to go 29-4 at 132 pounds, with three of the losses coming by injury or medical default. He won his second straight Catholic League title and was first at the Viking Invitational, the Radnor Holiday tournament and went undefeated at the Buckley and Salisbury Duals.

Brendon Stocku, Penncrest: Like Poulos, Stocku’s season came to an unfortunate end because of a knee injury. Still, the junior 138-pounder was able to compile a 34-1 record, boost his career mark to 95-19 and earn All-Delco honors for the second year in a row. He needs 14 wins to break the program record of 108 held by his older brother and 2017 All-Delco Ryan. Brendon Stocku won 22 of his matches by fall, one by technical fall and six by major decision. His only loss was a 5-2 setback to Antonio Petrucelli in the semifinals of the Conestoga Valley Holiday Classic. Stocku avenged that loss with a 9-6 decision in the District Class 3A Central final.

Chase McCollum, Haverford School: If McCollum had a nemesis, it was P.J. Crane of Malvern Prep. Crane defeated McCollum three times during the season including a 5-2 decision in the 145-pound championship match at the Independent Schools state tournament. McCollum, though, gained revenge with a 3-2 tie-breaker victory in the semifinals at National Preps. He went on to finish second and earn All-America honors. McCollum finished the season with a 26-6 record and his second-place finish at PAISWT was the fourth straight year he placed in the top four.

Kyle Strazdus, Ridley: Strazdus began his senior season with four wins by fall in his first five matches, three in the first period. He went on to finish 21-12, place second at the Central League championships at 152 pounds and fifth at the District 1 Class 3A Central championships to qualify for the regional tournament for the first time in his career. Strazdus also went 3-0 with two pins at the Colley Classic.

John Crawford, Strath Haven: The junior was one of three Strath Haven wrestlers to win 30 matches, and one of two Panthers to win Central League titles and qualify for the PIAA championships. Crawford posted a 31-12 overall record and a 9-4 mark in the postseason. He won the Central League 160-pound crown, finished fourth at the District 1 Class 3A Central champs and second at the South East Regional tournament to earn a ticket to Hershey, where he went 1-2 in the state tournament.

Brett Burns, Strath Haven: Like Crawford, Burns was a 30-match winner for the Panthers, going 31-9 with 20 wins by fall. The senior wrestled at 195 and 182 pounds before dropping to 170 for good in the second match of the Panthers Duals on Feb. 10. From that point, Burns went 10-4, which included a seven-match winning streak. Of those 10 wins, three were by fall and three by major decision. Burns won the Central League title, finished second at districts and sixth at regionals. He closed out his career with a 61-21 record.

Nicholas Bailey, Sun Valley: All Bailey did was win for the Vanguards, and serve as a mentor to Wrestler of the Year Hunter Catka. The senior posted a 33-6 record, with three of the losses coming to PIAA Class 3A qualifiers, including 182-pound state champ Joshua Stallings of Pennridge and sixth-place finisher Maximus Hale from Downingtown West. Bailey posted a 21-match winning streak during the regular season with 11 victories coming by fall and two by major decision. He placed third at the Ches-Mont League and District 1 Class 3A West championships. He finished his career 69-37.

Griffin Salus, Garnet Valley: Salus was part of a strong contingent of wrestlers in the upper weights for the Jaguars that included 220-pounder Coltin Deery and Tommy Mahoney at 285. Although Salus only posted a 14-12 overeall record, most of his success came in the latter part of his senior season. Salus went 9-4 down the stretch to take third at the Central League championships and fifth at the District 1 Class 3A Central tournament to qualify for the regional tournament for the first time in his career, where he went 1-2.

Tommy Mahoney, Garnet Valley: Mahoney more than held his own against the best heavyweights in the state. The senior went 28-9. Five of those losses were to PIAA championship qualifiers, three to state medalists including state champ Isaac Reid of Kiski Area and West Mifflin’s Gerald Brown, who finished third. He strung together 13 straight wins at one point that included eight by fall. Two of his biggest wins were a pair of one-point victories over Strath Haven’s Lee Holbert for the Central League and District 1 Class 3A Central titles. He placed fourth at the South East Regional tournament to earn a spot in the PIAA championships.

Lee Holbert, Strath Haven: Holbert and Mahoney had three epic battles in the postseason. Mahoney won all three, two by one point, the second on an ultimate tie-breaker. Yet Holbert, a senior, was still able to equal the school record for wins in a season and work his way to the PIAA Championships for the first time in his career, where he went 1-2 with the win coming by fall. Holbert’s resume includes a 32-9 record as a senior, with second-place finishes at the Central League and District 1 Class 3A Central tournaments, and a fifth place at regionals. He closed out his career with a 75-54 mark

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