Coatesville earns historic victory as Stephens wins 100th career match

CALN — For almost a minute, Coatesville senior Noah Stephens shuffled side to side, focusing on his opponent, Gio Angelini.

He was looking for something big, something grand, even. He tried a headlock, to no avail, so before the period ran out, Stephens scored a takedown and tacked on three near-fall points.

In the second period he didn’t bother with any flair, simply having his way with Angelini from the top position. With 18 seconds left in the second, Stephens finally got the hand slap, earning him his 100th career victory.

Stephens was the highlight of an all-around impressive performance by the Red Raiders, as they beat Downingtown West for the first time since the Downingtown district split, 39-22, at home in the Ches-Mont National Division dual meet.

“It’s a really huge accomplishment for me,’ said Stephens, after his 47th career pin. “I’ve been striving for it since my freshman year. It’s a stepping stone to achieve my next goal of going to states.’

Noah now has the bragging rights in at the dinner table, as his father, and Red Raider coach, Bear Stephens only had 89 career wins as a 1994 Coatesville graduate.

“I was a proud dad,’ Bear Stephens said. “I knew (Noah) was gonna do it sooner or later. I got kind of choked up, but I held it in.’

Coatesville (2-0 division, 15-2 overall) made a strategic move to gain an early edge, bumping Wesley McGuire to 220 and Mike Boykin to 285. Both rewarded Bear Stephens with falls.

Downingtown West (0-2, 10-7) looked to stop the bleeding with its lightweights, but Coatesville’s freshmen Sean McBride (106 pounds) and Stefon Tracey (113) pulled off tight decisions to push the Red Raider lead to 18.

“Sean and Stefon stepped up like they usually do,’ Bear Stephens said. “They’re not intimidated by upperclassmen and give 100 percent.’

Coatesville hadn’t beat Downingtown since 1973 before beating Downingtown East in 2011. Now, the Red Raiders have a win over each.

“It’s great for the team and for the community,’ Noah Stephens said. “I take a lot of pride in it. I see this as a great team. We’ve done a lot of good things the last couple years and we expect to do more.’

Following Colin McBride’s decision to give Coatesville a 21-0 lead, the Whippets finally got a mini-run. Dante Angelini (126) edged freshman Chase Stephens, 5-3, Tristan Reynolds (132) majored Brent Windle and freshman Cole Zapf (138) pulled an upset, knocking off senior Brian Griest, 5-2.

“Dante had a nice win,’ West coach Corey Sigle said. “(Chase) Stephens is a quality kid and he has as much experience, if not more, than Dante does. Cole Zapf is coming into his own and battling. He’s starting to find it, and beating a senior is a bright spot.’

Coatesville blotted out any other bright spots for the Whippets, getting a fall from Zach Dellicompagni (160) and decisions from Stanley Woodward (152) and Nick Giunta (170).

The Whippets have struggled to win the close bouts in their first two league meets, going 5-8 in matches finishing as decisions.

“We got out-worked and out-toughed,’ Sigle said. “We knew we were in a tough spot up top, but we got out-worked and out-toughed down low. (Coatesville) came ready to battle and we didn’t. It’s been the story all year. It was a complete letdown and we need to regroup and move forward.’

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