A rested Thomas helps Interboro take third

SHARON HILL — Eric Thomas didn’t spend much time wrestling at the Delco Duals Saturday.

He faced two opponents in Interboro’s five matches during the 16-team tournament at Academy Park, as three schools — Cardinal O’Hara, Oxford and ELCO — opted to forfeit against the 2013-14 first-team All-Delco grappler. In the latter of his two bouts, though, he kicked off Interboro’s third-place win over Sun Valley by pinning Vanguards sophomore Christian Bates in 2 minutes, 44 seconds in the 138-pound match.

The Bucs topped Sun Valley in that bout, 49-30, and came away as the top finisher among Delco schools with a third-place result and a 4-1 mark in the tournament.

“People bumped away from me (Saturday),’ Thomas said. “It’s all right, though.’

Along with padding his early record to 13-1 with a 5-0 showing at Saturday’s duals, the junior helped Interboro’s bid for a top-three finish and a sweeter result than last season’s competition, in which Interboro qualified for a third-place matchup with Chichester, but opted not to face its Del Val League opponent before the two schools’ scheduled match in February.

“I didn’t see any reason for it because we were going to see them a month later and in the league championship anyway, which we did,’ Interboro coach Dan Tobin said. “It worked out better. The gym was packed (for the Del Val match).’

Jeff Finley (145) and Jason Miksit (152) followed Thomas with victories by pin and technical fall, respectfully, while Joey Forte (170), Danny Mea (220) and Lamar Shaw (285) each chipped in pins to aid the Bucs’ cause. It took Mea 22 seconds to pin his opponent, junior Nick Garvey, while Finley knocked off David Irby, a senior, in 1:24.

“Taking third is all right,’ said Finley, who went 3-2 Saturday. “We want to win. We want to take first all the time, and that’s our goal throughout the season.’

For a team that Tobin said falls on the younger side, a third-place showing Saturday capped by a victory against Sun Valley, which placed 12th in the District One AAA Central tournament last year, was a welcome stride in the right direction.

The Bucs entered their second slate of duals after finishing 1-4 at the Brian Bealer Memorial Bear Duals Dec. 6, a day in which Interboro lost to state powers Bethlehem Liberty, Council Rock North and host Boyertown.

“I didn’t think we’d be young again, but we’re young again,’ Tobin said. “… I’m happy with third. Sun Valley’s ranked about 15th in the district, so that’s not a bad win for us.’

The Vanguards, who took eighth in the tournament last season, wound up with a fourth-place finish in which they picked up wins against Episcopal Academy, Penn Wood and Ridley. They lost in a semifinal to Coatesville, which took the duals title after edging ELCO in the final, 42-36.

The county’s third-best finisher, Strath Haven, defeated Ridley in a fourth-round matchup before dispatching Academy Park in a 43-31 result to secure its fourth win of the duals and a fifth-place finish. Sophomore Zachary Newlon (182) capped a 5-0 performance in Strath Haven’s final bout with a pin in 3:32, while Noah Frantz (126) managed to pin Academy Park senior C.J. Faustino in 3:28 to top off his fifth win of the day.

“Any time you can go 4-1 at any tournament no matter where it is, it’s a positive,’ Panthers coach Erik Hollingsworth said. “For us, it was a good day. We rebounded and got a little redemption (against) Ridley, which I know was sticking in our mind a little bit and I know the kids really wanted to beat them. It’s something that Strath Haven has never done in the history of the school, so that’s a positive for us and something to build on.’

Academy Park notched wins against Conwell-Egan, Phoenixville and Upper Dublin en route to finishing in the sixth spot, while Ridley finished eighth with a pair of wins, and fell to Upper Dublin, 48-30, in the seventh-place bout.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply