DOYLESTOWN >> Before Wednesday night’s North Penn-Central Bucks West wrestling match, the National Anthem tape malfunctioned.
It was a suitable start to a match that took all of five bouts to complete.
These days, injury and indifference has dwindled the Bucks’ wrestling ranks to a slim five varsity wrestlers.
That’s five, folks, for a school whose student population numbers in the thousands.
That’s not a pretty picture.
Nor was Wednesday’s 63-6 Knights victory.
But then, what do you expect from five, count em, five varsity wrestlers.
“We actually have seven,” corrected head coach Steve Romesburg, “but two are out injured.”
There was a time when CB West thrived in wrestling.
The program has eight 100-match winners in its history, and several state medalists.
These days, the team has seven wrestlers.
That’s not sad, that’s downright deplorable.
But Romesburg said that he’s not out shopping for nooses.
“I’m not looking at it as ‘Woe is me,’” the coach said. “The kids have asked me if I thought about quitting when we had a bad year last year. I said, what would I be teaching you if I threw in the towel at the first sign of trouble.
“Our numbers will come back up. It’s only a matter of time.”
North Penn head coach Robert Shettsline agreed.
“Steve’s a fabulous coach,” the Knights mentor said. “It’s a shame because I know he works so hard, and he said the kids he has are working just as hard.”
The Bucks filled just the 182, 195, 113, 126 and 145-pound weight classes, and the ledger had the Knights winning three decisions, while West won twice.
The bouts contested were fun to watch, enjoyable even.
But in the end, the lopsided score said it all.
“The numbers have been down the last two years,” Romesburg said. “But we’re young. We only have one senior and four juniors in the program, and we have a lot of youngsters on the way who are pretty good wrestlers.
“We’ll be OK.”
But for now, it’s a little like listening to a tape of the National Anthem malfunctioning.
North Penn 63, Central Bucks West 6
152 — Colin Shannon (NP) who by forfeit.
160 — Patrick O’Neill )NP) won by forfeit.
170 — Nolan Verespey (NP) won by forfeit.
182 — Reid Dentner (NP) dec. Spencer Piligian, 5-4.
195 — Brandon Ullman (NP) dec. RyanHieber, 4-3.
220 — Owen Verespy (NP) won by forfeit.
285 — Ryan Cody (NP) won by forfeit.
106 — Austin Ziegler (NP) won by forfeit.
113 — Jake Tosh (CBW) dec. Jabez Chae, 4-3.
120 — Alec Shrum (NP) won by forfeit.
126 — Andrew Soto (CBW) dec. Devon Weiss, 7-4.
132 — Calleb Chae (NP) won by forfeit.
138 — Erik Laughlin (NP) won by forfeit.
145 — Will Laughlin (NP) dec Ryan Tiernan, 8-3.
Top Photo: North Penn’s Will Laughlin pulls in Central Bucks West’s Ryan Tiernan in the 145-pound bout during their teams’ dual meet on Wednesday, Jan 4, 2017. (Bob Raines/Digital First Media)