Sun Valley’s Elliott eyes a medal

HERSHEY — It will be another year, minimum, before a Delaware County wrestler brings home a state championship.

Alex Elliott, the determined Sun Valley senior, guaranteed a Delco wrestler would bring a medal back to the county, however, as he defeated Cameron Jacobson of Allderice, 5-2, at 160 pounds in the consolation round Friday.

“It’s the best thing I’ve ever experienced,’ Elliott said. “I’ve never experienced anything greater. I don’t know what to say. He put up a good fight, though.’

Elliott (29-4) came within an eyelash of competing for what would have been the county’s first state title since Joel Edwards of Upper Darby prevailed at 189 pounds in 2001. Elliott grudgingly surrendered a 2-1 decision to Wyoming Valley West’s Cody Cordes Friday.

He is also one productive Saturday from collecting what could ideally be a third-place medal at states. The first eight finishers are awarded. Knowing he was on track for a medal erased whatever disappointment he had from the earlier loss to Cordes. Elliott’s takedown of Jacobson in the last 10 seconds clinched the bout and touched off a noisy celebration among Vanguards coaches as well as the immediate family, including his father.

“I think my dad’s happier than I am,’ Elliott said. “It’s a great feeling.’

It was redemption of sorts for the Vanguards. Steve Okoorian (170) and Sean Donohue (132) were narrowly eliminated in the consolation round Thursday.

It wasn’t a great day for the rest of Delco wrestlers, although to their credit, they didn’t go quietly.

Matt Marino (120) and Pat Rowe (152) of Garnet Valley were eliminated along with Eric Thomas (138) of Interboro, Tom Meyers (170) of Radnor and Joe Pfyer (182) of Penncrest.

Marino rallied to tie his first match at 120 pounds but Derek Wilson of South Western took control in the last two periods and won 8-2. Jake Riegel (Bethlehem Catholic) defeated Marino, 6-3, in the third round of the consolations. It was Marino’s second loss to Riegel this season, the first time by a point.

“It’s definitely a fun tournament to be involved in,’ said Marino, who finished with a 30-9 record. “It’s just upsetting not coming out with a medal. But not even the wrestling part, it’s just being with your teammates at the hotel and just getting to be here (with) my best friend, Nick Puliti. It’s not all about the wrestling here. It’s just fun to be a part of. Hopefully the next two years it’s going to be even better.’

Puliti, a senior, was eliminated from states Thursday.

Rowe was ousted by Zach Dellicompagni (Coatesville), who secured an 8-6 decision. Rowe compiled a 35-10 record on the season.

“I gave him two easy back points and after that I got up and I got those two takedowns and I was picking up the pace,’ said Rowe, a senior. “I just ran out of time. It’s been great. It’s a great crowd. The energy is so much. And it’s great to get a win out here. To get a couple wins out here, actually. If there’s any time to go out, I mean, the state tournament is kind of where I’d want to be.’

Meyers (37-3) lost his first bout Thursday and on Friday surrendered a 3-0 decision to Matthew Mirth (South Lehigh, 30-1).

“He got the first point in the second period and rode me out,’ Meyers said. “Then in the third he chose bottom and escaped and I tried pushing the tempo. It would be nice to get on the podium but I’m happy with the season. … It was a good season.’

Eric Thomas of Interboro (35-6) was ousted, 4-0, by Stephen Ross (Cedar Cliff) in the consolation round.

Thomas was beaten, 8-0, in the first round.

“It’s really frustrating,’ Thomas said of the elimination loss. “It’s hard to keep your head in the match when you’re down and you can’t, especially if you’re really counting on that point getting out on bottom and you can’t get out. If I had to do it over I’d be a little more defensive with my feet than trying to attack a couple of times. I think I caught myself up a couple times and that’s how he got the shots on me.

“It’s been an alright season. I expected a little more here, maybe win one or two matches here. But I have another year. I hope to come back stronger and faster.’

Pyfer (36-6) went 2-2 in the state tournament battling ankle, knee and back problems. He’s hoping the knee doesn’t require surgery. Pyfer pinned Kyle Sult (General McLane) in 2:09 earlier Friday.

Pyfer eventually was beaten, 19-6, in his fourth and final match of states. Ironically it was Central Bucks East’s Evan Wilson who milked the officials for injury time due to a knee issue.

“It’s not the way I wanted to end my career,’ Pyfer said. “But I gave it what I had. I’m proud of myself. I wish I could have placed. But I think it’s pretty good for me coming back and winning three matches in states for three years of wrestling.’

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