OXFORD– Earlier in the day on Saturday, a coaches’ committee chose the 126-pound final to be the feature bout of the night of the Class AAA Southeast Regionals at Oxford High School, meaning it would be the last of the 14 weights.
With two top-five ranked wrestlers in the state in Council Rock South’s Zack Trampe (No. 3) and Downingtown East’s Wade Cummings (No. 5), the choice seemed obvious.
The two did not disappoint, and it was Cummings who was able to score the only takedown to win his first Southeast Regional title, 3-2, and advance to his second state tournament.
East’s James Meyer (second at 152 pounds) and Billy McGinley (fourth, 220), will join Cummings at the Giant Center in Hershey on Thursday, as will a trio of third-place finishers from Coatesville, Chase Stephens (145), Zach Dellicompagni (152) and Wesley McGuire (195). West Chester Rustin’s Brett Kaliner (fourth, 106) and Costas Hatzipavlides (fifth, 182) and West Chester Henderson’s James McDonald (fifth, 285) rounded out the group of nine locals to finish in the top five.
Cummings was the lone champ from the Ches-Mont League and heads to Hershey as the region’s top seed.
“It’s definitely a great feeling,’ Cummings said. “I also know next week could be a different story so I have to keep working hard. I’ll celebrate (Saturday) and start working again (today).’
Trampe scored first on an escape early in the second period before the pair got into a short scramble. Cummings briefly put Trampe on his back, getting a one-count from the referee, before both came back on their feet. The refs conferred and said the takedown was good, and that was the difference after the East junior escaped early in the third.
“I felt I had control,’ Cummings said. “I was looking directly down on him and saw him on his back and the ref swiped a back point, and if he was swiping for back points it should be because I had control.’
Cummings edged Trampe by the same score in the quarterfinals of regionals a season ago, before finishing runner-up in the 120-pound bracket. He caught a nasty draw in Hershey and went 0-2, but has high hopes for his return trip.
“I’m definitely more excited than anything,’ Cummings said. “This year I have an opportunity to make something happen and get as high as possible on the podium. There’s no reason I can’t make finals.’
Meyer reached the finals with a 9-3 win over Neshaminy’s Dominic Stabilito in the semifinals, but couldn’t escape in the tiebreaker period against CR South’s Dylan Schwartz, and fell, 2-1.
“It was a good day, but I wish I woulda got first,’ Meyer said. “Hopefully I’ll get back at it next week.’
Stephens was on the wrong side of a 6-4 decision against Central Bucks West’s eventual champ, Riley Barth, in semis, but he roared back with a major decision and a pin to take third. Dellicompagni was tripped up by Schwartz, 5-3, in semis, but shutout Spring-Ford’s Jon Cooper to win the consolation bracket.
“It feels really good,’ Dellicompagni said. “It was a tough at first (losing in the semis), but I made it through and that’s all that matters.’
McGuire bounced back from a day-one upset to win all four of his matches and head to Chocolatetown as a third-place finisher for the second year in a row.
Kaliner recovered from a semi loss to Pennridge’s Matt Parker with a 13-second fall in the consi semis. He was bettered by Boyertown’s Jakob Campbell, 5-1, in the consi final.
“Obviously I didn’t wrestle as well as I wanted (against Campbell), but it was a good experience and I got more experience from that loss than I would have from a win,’ Kaliner said. “I’m glad I’m going to Hershey and I’m ready to go Thursday and get a medal.’
Hatzipavlides qualified for states the hard way after starting the day in the semis. He lost his first two bouts of the day, but slipped by Ridley’s Lawrence Alkins, 3-2, for fifth place.
McDonald took a similar route, losing his semi and consolation semi, but came up with a takedown in overtime against Pennridge’s Joe Kracz, to claim fifth.
“It’s amazing,’ McDonald said. “I accomplished something for myself I never thought was possible.’
Avon Grove’s Kevin Edwards (120) and Henderson’s Joey Wilson (132) gave up takedowns in the final seconds of their fifth-place bouts and were one win away from states, as was Rustin’s Dan Labus (126), who was a point short against North Penn’s Sofiane Bensmail.
Owen J. Roberts’ Derek Gulotta (120), Demetri D’Orsaneo (138) and Xavier Ferrizzi (195) were the other three Chester County champs. Central Bucks East’s Evan Wilson (182) was named Outstanding Wrestler, and Boyertown won the team title.
1. Boyertown, 112; 2. Pennridge, 103; 3. Spring-Ford, 101; 4. Owen J. Roberts, 98; 5. Council Rock South, 84.5; 6. Downingtown East, 51; 7. Coatesville, 48; 7. Council Rock North, 48; 9. Quakertown, 46; 10. Sun Valley, 45.
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