Nuredini pins down victory for Methacton

LOWER GWYNEDD — Depending on how you look at it, Shuajb Nuredini was either fortunate or unfortunate to be in A.J. Maida’s history class in his freshman year at Methacton High.

Nuredini prefers to choose the former.

Recruited by Maida to be a Methacton wrestler as a freshman, Nuredini has toiled in obscurity for most of the last four Warriors wrestling seasons, although he has never raised his voice to complain.

Back on Jan. 28, Nuredini volunteered to go up in weight and wrestle at heavyweight against Phoenixville’s David Rosati.

“He was doing great,’ Maida said. “It was a 1-0 match in the third period, and (Rosati) hit a side roll and (Nuredini) wound up getting pinned in front of his family.’

It wasn’t how a senior wanted to go out,

Friday night at Wissahickon High, Nuredini was rewarded for his persistence in a sport for which he has never been celebrated when his pin at 195 pounds locked up Methacton’s 38-34 win over Wissahickon.

Besides Nuredini, the happiest guy in the building was Maida, who knows what Nuredini has gone through for the past three seasons.

“He’s the only guy left from that freshman class, our only senior,’ Maida said. “And being able to coach a young man like that are why coaches keep coaching.

“I couldn’t be happier for him. This is the match he’ll always remember.’

Actually, Nuredini said, he’ll take a lot more away from his experience as a wrestler than winning in his final dual meet.

“I’m glad Coach Maida got me on the team,’ Nuredini said. “Wrestling has helped me so much.

“It’s kept me in shape, it’s helped me stay active and it’s helped me become a man.’

As anyone who has ever ridden the bench in any sport will admit, it’s not easy coming to practice every day and working toward an athletic moment that may never come.

Nuredini, somehow, found a way to stick it out.

And when he finally had his moment, his first thought was for his teammates.

“It was great,’ he said of the regular-season-closing win that came in a season in which wins have been rare for the Warriors. “This team’s been working hard all year, we just haven’t been winning.

“But maybe this is something that can help the team going into next year.’

It hasn’t been a successful season for the proud Methacton program, which has been blindsided by injuries, defections and the fact that it participates in one of the toughest conferences in the state.

“We came into the year with 13 freshmen, so we knew it was going to be tough,’ Maida said. “But this was a big win for us. We had guys like (sophomore heavyweight) Joseph Donahue and Gage Gelband, who came up huge for us.

“And a young man like (106-pound freshman) Corey Blue, he’s been wrestling for two-and-half months, goes out there tonight and looks like a wrestler.

“If we’re going to grow our team and grow our sport and get back to where we once were, this was an outstanding way to do it.’

As for Wissahickon, head coach Anthony Stagliano was lamenting a win that could have been.

“I’m not real happy,’ he said. “We had a chance to beat them, and we didn’t.

“I thought we acquitted ourselves well. At every weight, we went out and wrestled hard, and I am happy about that.’

But on the Happy Meter, the guy whose arrow was cranked all the way to the right was an unheralded Methacton senior who knows that the sport’s rewards can’t always be found on the scoreboard.

“This sport’s tough,’ Nuredini said. “You just have to stick with it.

“I didn’t know I had that in me until I met Coach Maida. He’s a great coach. I wouldn’t be where I am without him.’

Methacton 38

Wissahickon 34

285 – Jason Caso (W) dec. Joseph Donahue, 5-3.

106 – Corey Blue (M) pinned Brayden Druger, 3:06.

113 – George Cameron (M) dec. Nick Prieston, 14-8.

120 – Devon Memis (W) won by forfeit.

126 – Aaron Kaminsky (W) maj.dec. Gage Gelband, 11-2.

132 – Bryce Reddington (M) tech.fall over Alex Ortiz, 4:48 (20-3).

138 – Dylan Henry (M) pinned Ben Maltin, 1:20.

145 – Steven Denner (M) pinned Elek Hohn, 0:49.

152 – Saalam McNair (M) pinned Patrick Clements, 3:12.

160 – Pat Kovacs (W) pinned Michael Gradwell, 2:47.

170 – Josh Trunk (W) dec. Brendan Marion, 11-8.

182 – Kyle Moynahan (W) pinned Yusef Qawasmy, 1:43.

195 – Shuajb Nuredini (M) pinned Max Salvadore, 4:46.

220 – Connor Weiss (W) won by forfeit.

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