District One Central tournament gets underway at Wissahickon

LOWER GWYNEDD — It was kind of like watching a who-dunnit without finding out who dunnit.

The PIAA Class AAA District One Central Wrestling Tournament commenced Saturday morning at Wissahickon High School.

And just about the time it got interesting, it got done.

Hoping to get through the pigtails, quarterfinals and semifinals before the predetermined stop time of 1 p.m. (due to the predicted inclement weather), the Central tourney got through the pigtails and quarters before shutting down and calling it a day at 12:30.

The tournament will continue Monday (4:30 p.m.) at Wissahickon with the start of the semifinals and will continue, presumably, until conclusion.

Before the stoppage, the fortunes of the local matmen ranged from good to OK to uh-oh.

The good would be headlined by Wissahickon High 160-pound senior Josh Trunk, who in just his 14th bout as a varsity wrestler managed to pin Coatesville’s Colin McBride in the quarterfinals and move within range of a berth in next weekend’s Southeast Regional Tournament at Oxford Area High School.

To be fair, Trunk did wrestle in his youth at the Greater Norristown youth club, where his primary coach was one Chuck Springer, father to former La Salle and Norristown standouts Shane and Mikey.

So guess what Trunk used to subdue McBride?

If you guessed headlock you win a trip to the regional tourney, providing you buy a ticket.

“Mr. Springer was my first wrestling coach,’ said Trunk, who spent most of his Wissahickon athletic career playing football. “I have to give him credit.

“I started wrestling for Wissahickon this year, but I did wrestle when I was younger. I just took a break.’

The break has Trunk thinking big, and also considering a switch of athletic occupations.

“Hopefully, I can make it to states,’ Trunk said. “That’s what I’m really aiming for.

“I’m a football player, but I might just look into wrestling now.’

Norristown’s Isaiah Samuel has combined football and wrestling for a while now, and he advanced with a 32-second stick of Unionville’s Jack Baccellieri at 220 pounds.

The physical part of wrestling is something the Eagles senior seems to have down pat.

Where he has made strides this year, he said, is in the mental aspect of the sport.

“Last year, I wasn’t used to the idea of keeping going,’ Samuel said. “Now it’s in my head I can go deeper into a tournament.

“This year I really tried to build the mental part of wrestling, and I think it’s gotten me ready for this time of year. Wrestling isn’t always a physical thing. Sometimes the mental part is just as important.’

It wasn’t the best of days for Plymouth Whitemarsh, which began the day without 120-pounder Zach Wakefield, who did not make weight.

It got even worse when Francesco Palagruto was upset in the 132-pound quarterfinals by Sun Valley’s Sean Donohue, who used a late reversal and back points to earn an 8-5 victory, and his 100th career victory.

The Colonials are still the area’s top point producer in the team race, but sit at sixth, a long ways behind runaway leader Downingtown East.

“I don’t know what’s going on,’ said Colonials junior Ben Billings, who shook off, by his standards, “a sloppy match’ before earning five late points to earn a major decision in the 145-pound quarterfinals. “So much of this is mental. I wrestled a sloppy match today, and not wrestling until Monday will give me time to fix some things.

“At this time of the season, you have to believe in yourself and try and make the best of the situations you find yourself in.’

With 10 wrestlers moving into the semifinals, Downingtown East is up by over 20 points over second-place Bayard Rustin.

Plymouth Whitemarsh has four wrestlers – Marco DiBattista (106), Gianpiero DiBattista (138), Billings (145) and Quincy Williams (285) – in the quarters.

Norristown advanced three – Samuel (220), Eric Fuentes (113) and Shaheed Hill (285), while Wissahickon’s Trunk (160) is the host’s lone semifinalist.

Upper Dublin’s Collin Devlin (132) is the Cardinals’ lone semifinalist, while Upper Merion still has three wrestlers remaining in wrestlebacks.

PIAA Class AAA District One Central

Wrestling Championships at Wissahickon High School

Team Standings (Top 10 only): Downingtown East 62.5; Bayard Rustin 41.5; Avon Grove 33; Coatesville 27; Sun Valley 24.5; Plymouth Whitemarsh 24; West Chester Henderson 22; Norristown 20; Unionville 18; Kennett 16.5.

Quarterfinal Results

106 – Brett Kaliner (Rustin) tech.fall Harry Marr (Oxford), 6:00 (21-4); Doug Zapf (DownWest) maj.dec. Grant Rubin (Norris), 12-1; Logan Reigel (Kennett) dec. Jeremy Smith (AGrove), 7-0; Marco DiBattista (PlyWhite) dec. Brett Horne (DownEast), 8-5.

113 – James Strommer (DownEast) dec. Jake Taylor (Unionv), 3-1; Jake Reid (WCHend) dec. Matt Amy (UMore), 1-0; Richie Camacho (Octorara) pinned Liam Brown (Chelt), 1:37; Eric Fuentes (Norris) maj.dec. Gerhardt Reiter (Kennett), 12-1.

120 – Noah Hankin (WCEast) maj.dec. Ray Martin (WCHend), 9-1; Nik Zimmerman (DownEast) pinned Devon Memis (Wiss), 3:38; Kevin Edwards (AGrove) pinned Michael Galbraith (Oxford), 0:42; Drew Massetti (Kennett) tech.fall Zach DeSanto (UMer), 4:42 (16-1).

126 – Wade Cummings (DownEast) tech.fall Anthony Yacovetti (UMer), 4:25 (21-6); Kyle Medrow (WCHend) pinned Dan Smith (PlyWhite), 0:38; Dan Labus (Rustin) pinned Nick Lilley (DownWest), 3:32; August Gershwin (Chelt) dec. Mitch Camp (Union), 12-5.

132 – Joey Wilson (WCHend) dec. Sean McBride (Coates), 10-3; Sean Donohue (SunVal) dec. Francesco Palagruto (PW), 8-5; Jude McDowell (DownEast) tech.fall Matt Koresko (UMer), 4:45 (16-1); Collin Devlin (UDub) pinned Gavin Hale (DownWest), 2:34.

138 – Austin Lillis (DownEast) dec. Duncan Smucker (WCHend), 7-2; Christian Bateman (SunVal) pinned Rich Maggio (Norris), 1:05; Brent Windle (Coates) maj,dec. Alex Murta (DownWest), 11-2; Gianpiero DiBattista (PlyWhite) pinned Joey DiMarco (Union), 1:46.

145 – Chase Stephens (Coates) pinned Mayura Kulendran (GrVal), 1:26; Ian Larson (Union) maj.dec. Nick Monastero (UMer), 13-3; Tyler LaCosta (Kennett) dec. Mitchell Griffith (WCHend), 5-2; Ben Billings (PlyWhite) maj.dec. Scott Burridge (Octorara), 14-6.

152 – James Meyer (DownEast) tech.fall Nick Chawaga (GVal), 2:51 (16-1); Tyler Labus (Rustin) pinned Andrew Vo (PlyWhite), 3:25; Zach Dellicompagni (Coates) pinned Mike Johnson (Norris), 1:25; Zack Swank (AGrove), dec. Patrick Kovacs (Wiss), 5-1.

160 – Alex Elliott (SunVal) maj.dec. Jack Carfagno (Rustin), 9-1; Josh Trunk (Wiss) pinned Colin McBride (Coates), 1:21; Matt Stillman (Union) pinned Tommy DiSisto (PlyWhite), 1:40; Dominic DeLaurentis (UMore) maj.dec. Aaron Nelson (WCEast), 11-2.

170 – Steven Okoorian (SunVal) tech.fall Nick Giunta (Coates), 4:36 (15-0); Shane Boyer (Rustin) pinned Kyle Moynahan (Wiss), 1:50; Alec Horne (DownEast) pinned Joe Moran (AGrove), 1:46; Ryan Margolin (Union) dec. Robert Brooke (PlyWhite), 5-0.

182 – Costas Hatzipavlides (Rustin) pinned Basil Bishop (DownWest), 2:48; Ryan Orr (WCEast) pinned Nick Sudell (PlyWhite), 1:16; Peyton MacNeil (AGrove) pinned Dane Groce (Coates), 1:22; Jason Gibson (DownEast) dec. Harry Green (UMore), 3-2.

195 – Wesley McGuire (Coates) pinned Eric Gassenmeyer (WCEast), 0:25; Brent Czajkowski (DownEast) pinned Connor Weiss (Wiss), 3:05; Marcus Johnson (GrVal) dec. Michael Maguire (Union), 9-4; Patrick Walker (UMore) maj.dec. Sean Weaver (Rustin), 13-2.

220 – Billy McGinley (DownEast) pinned Bryan Castaneda (Kennett), 2:16; Isaiah Spriggs (Rustin) pinned Henry Winebrake (UDub), 5:16; Ryan Hoffman (AGrove) pinned Jason Caso (Wiss), 2:18; Isaiah Samuel (Norris) pinned Jack Baccellieri (Union), 0:32.

285 – James McDonald (WCHend) dec. Chad Giles (DownWest), 3-0; Quincy Williams (PlyWhite) pinned Owen Morris (DownEast), 2:33; Vince Walls (AGrove) pinned Nick Carpenter (UDub), 3:07; Shaheed Hill (Norris) pinned Christos Moscharis (Rustin), 1:08.

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