West Chester Rustin pins Kennett in Ches-Mont American Division Opener

KENNETT — West Chester Rustin will likely be favored in every dual meet in the Ches-Mont American Division this year, and a big factor in that is its depth in the upper weights.

With many area teams struggling to find big, able bodies or coax football players into the wrestling room, Rustin has a reliable group of upperweights that strengthens its advantage each competition.

Wednesday at Kennett, the Golden Knights got three pins and a major decision from 182 to 285 pounds and ran away with a 64-10 division win.

Rustin (1-0 division, 1-0 overall) hammered out seven pins on the night.

“Having depth is always important for a tactical approach in a dual meet,’ Rustin coach Brad Harkins said. “We have a lot of kids who have plenty of energy and work hard and that group of guys are team guys who will do whatever is needed.’

Kennett (1-1, 3-3) was forced to forfeit three weights early, and that, combined with Tyler Labus’ (152 pounds) pin, gave Rustin a 20-point lead after five bouts.

Shane Boyer (182) earned a 14-0 major decision, and Costas Hatzipavlides (195), Isaiah Spriggs (220) and Christos Moscharis (285) managed thrifty falls.

“After winning (the American Division) last year and losing some guys, we wanted to get rolling again in our first dual meet,’ Hatzipavlides said. “We’ve wrestled some tourneys, but we wanted to start out the right way in our first match.’

Of the four bouts that went the distance, Kennett won three of them. Tyler LaCosta (145) swung a major decision and Logan Reigel (106) and Drew Massetti (120) scored tight decisions.

“We’re real young, but I liked the way we fought,’ Kennett coach Tyrone Johnson said. “Experience really got us, but we’ll learn from it and move on. (Rustin) is one of, if not the best, team in the division and that’s what we’re aspiring to be.’

Rudy Perez (195) is the lone senior on the roster for Kennett. Fourteen of the 18 wrestlers on the roster are sophomores or freshmen. Massetti is the most promising sophomore, earning wins over Octorara’s Rico Camacho and Rustin’s Jon Reardon, the third and fourth-place finishers at District 1 Central, in back-to-back weeks.

“We’re very pleased with Drew and he looked good out there,’ Johnson said. “There’s a couple of things to work on, but we’re very happy with the match. He’s been working on his tilts and been wrestling really well.’

The Golden Knights’ youth appears poised to make them a factor in the district in the next couple years. Sophomore Brett Kaliner (113) and freshmen Dan Labus (126) and Ethan Harkins (132) capped the night for Rustin with pins in three of the final four bouts.

“It’s always important to start on the right foot,’ Harkins said. “It was our first dual meet and the kids really approached it with the right mindset. They took each match one at a time and individually did their job and focused on what they needed to do.’

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