Weather permitting, the Del Val League championship will be determined Tuesday night when Interboro visits Chichester for a match that both teams circled on the calendar well before the mats were unrolled for tryouts.
The squads almost met for third place at the Delco Duals in December, but Bucs coach Dan Tobin chose instead to withdraw and preserve this all-or-nothing scenario.
“People thought we were afraid to wrestle Chi at the Delco Duals, but I wanted to save the matchup for this moment,’ Tobin said. “We’ve wrestled very tough competition; I’m not afraid of Chichester. This is what I’ve been coaching 16 years for … it’s all about a rivalry, it’s all about championships.’
At about the same time the Del Val crowns a champ, Garnet Valley expects to make it official by capturing the Central League title outright Tuesday night at Conestoga.”
Sectional tournaments get under way this weekend, with Saturday’s Central League championships at Haverford High offering a load of talent, and a number of athletes holding a spot in the District One rankings.
As was the case throughout the dual match season, Garnet Valley leads the way with a host of contenders. All-Delcos John Dambro (28-3, No. 2 at 170) and Michael Marino (26-6, No. 4 at 126) are joined by fellow senior Sean Lyons (22-7 at 152/160), junior Pat Rowe (25-7 at 145), sophomore Gary Pizzuto (25-4, honorable mention at 138), and freshmen Matt Marino (18-8, honorable mention at 120), Nick Puliti (22-8 at 106) and Salvatore Pizzuto (19-8 at 113).
Upper Darby should garner its share of honors as well, with All-Delcos Austin Petril (28-1, No. 5 at 113) and Josh Yeboah-Gyasi (25-5, No. 4 at 195) and fellow seniors Anthony Petril (26-3, No. 2 at 106) and Charlie Livingston (23-8 at 170) heading a squad that also features freshman Colin Cronin (24-7, No. 5 at 120) and junior Pat Kane (22-10 at 145).
Sophomore All-Delco Liam Frank (24-5, No. 4 at 182) heads the contingent from Penncrest, which also has seniors Austin Jacque (27-3, honorable mention at 195), Ryan Dougherty (29-2 at 152) and Bob Long (19-8 at 220) and junior Joe Pyfer (23-5 at 170).
The status of All-Delco Jason Rinaldi (17-2, No. 2 at 113), who has been sidelined with a knee injury, is a concern for Marple Newtown, but a trio of other seniors could pick up the slack with Pat Callaghan (25-2, No. 5 at 126), Eric Trainor (11-6, honorable mention at 220) and Markos Katrakazis (20-6 at 195) contributing.
The Frantz brothers — senior Nate (25-2, honorable mention at 106) and sophomore Noah (19-8 at 113) — as well as junior heavyweight Justin Freemont (23-4) expect to represent Strath Haven well, while Ridley will rely on top performances from seniors Donte McCarthy (22-3, honorable mention at 120) and Matt Sauselein (19-6 at 160).
Radnor has junior Tom Meyers (24-0, No. 5 at 160) and seniors Addison Hanson (18-2 at 182) and Jim Hong (19-3 at 285). Springfield boasts senior Dennis Charamella (24-2, honorable mention at 138) and the Sciarrino brothers — junior Joey (22-5 at 160/170) and sophomore Chris (16-9 at 126).
Haverford also has big plans for seniors Chip Rossino (25-3 at 195/220) and Wyatt Martin (22-4 at 160/170), junior Matt Bloxton (22-7 at 160/170) and sophomores David Tustin (20-6 at 152) and Vince Tavani (20-7 at 106).”
The Del Val League championships Saturday at Academy Park could provide another showcase for senior All-Delco Karon Lucas-Tillery of Penn Wood, who has earned the district’s top ranking at 195 with a 23-2 mark. The Patriots also have a solid sophomore in Abraham Charles (20-9 at 132).
Joey Gonzales (26-5, honorable mention at 138) and fellow senior Eric Owens (26-2 at 132) join super sophomores Eric Thomas (26-2, No. 5 at 132) and Mike Wasch (20-9 at 126) to give Interboro a solid lineup.
Chichester’s impressive freshman trio of Craig Baldwin (20-5 at 106), Chris Smarkola (22-4 at 113) and Tommy Smarkola (22-5 at 120) could make some noise at the lighter weights, and the Eagles also have talented juniors Manny Mitchell (19-2 at 132) and Dan Sullivan (19-7 at 160).
Academy Park should be well-represented by seniors Samson Akporotu (26-7 at 160) and Terry Murdocq (27-6 at 138) as well as freshman Daniel Kemp (20-9 at 285), while senior Israel Crane (14-6, honorable mention at 195) leads the Glen Mills contingent.”
Haverford School and Episcopal Academy will join fellow Inter-Ac League members as well as Friends Schools League teams and independent programs from around the state for the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association state wrestling tournament, which runs Friday through Saturday at Mercersburg Academy.
The top six place-winners in each weight class gain automatic bids to the National Prep Tournament.
The Fords’ 195-pounder L.J. Barlow, a two-time All-Delco and the Delaware County Daily Times Wrestler of the Year as a freshman, will look to add to his spectacular junior campaign that already includes championships at the Beast of the East and Battle at the Beach as well as a seventh-place finish in the Walsh Ironman Tournament.
“I would never bet against him,’ Haverford School coach Bruce Kennett said of Barlow. “He will go down as one of if not the best that ever competed at Haverford.’
Haverford also has capable representatives at both ends of the scale, with sophomore Freddy Corradetti at 120 and junior Chauncey Simmons at 285.
Among the contenders that Episcopal will roll out are junior A.J. Cutrufello (36-5 at 170) and seniors Cody Russell (30-9 at 195) and Julio DelPion (26-14 at 126).”
Sun Valley coach Tom Ellis, whose squad won its first league-opening dual match in four years, believes the Vanguards can close out the season on a strong note as well.
Entering the rough-and-tumble 13-team Ches-Mont League championships Saturday at West Chester Rustin, Ellis said it was realistic to expect Alex Elliott (25-2, honorable mention at 138) and Steve Okoorian (26-4, honorable mention at 145) to reach the league championship bouts and send eight to 10 athletes to districts.
“We wrestle an absolutely brutal schedule, we don’t shy away from tough competition,’ Ellis said. “We’re 4-13 in dual matches, but until we can field a full lineup to avoid the forfeits we’re going to try to control what we can and put our individuals in position to succeed.”
Senior Scott Pendell of Delaware County Christian School will look to repeat as heavyweight champion when the Knights head to New Hope-Solebury for Saturday’s Bicentennial League championships.
Pendell has amassed a 21-3 record, including a five-match sweep in his most recent action at the Westtown School Duals on Feb. 1. That effort included three falls, highlighted by a 42-second pin of Haverford School’s Chauncey Simmons that avenged his loss to the Fords the previous year.
The District 12 Class AAA Catholic League sectionals Saturday at Archbishop Ryan will give several local athletes a chance to add to their resumes.
Joe DePhillipo, the senior All-Delco out of Bonner-Prendergast, will put his perfect record at 152 pounds on the line.
Cardinal O’Hara will pin its hopes squarely on senior Tyler Oliver (22-7 at 126) and junior Mike Lewis (21-8 at 138), while Archbishop Carroll counters with juniors Nick Forman (16-5 at 138) and Jake Poulos (16-13 at 170).
Daily Times Wrestling Super 7
1. Garnet Valley (20-4)
2. Upper Darby (17-5)
3. Penncrest (14-3)
4. Chichester (16-3)
5. Interboro (12-10)
6. Haverford School (16-6)
7. Ridley (19-6)