Wrestling: Darden, Hockenberry give Glen Mills a pick-me-up in win over Interboro

CONCORD >> After dropping its final three matches in the HST Duals at Harry S Truman High School last Saturday, Glen Mills was in desperate need of a pick-me-up as it headed into its Del Val League wrestling opener with Interboro Wednesday afternoon.

The big guys, Nathan Darden and Jordan Hockenberry, provided the Bulls with the lift they needed to get back on the winning track.

Darden and Hockenberry recorded back-to-back pins at 220 and 285 pounds, respectively, to give the Bulls a 43-34 victory over the Bucs in a wild back-and-forth battle at Harrison Gymnasium.  

Darden decked Interboro’s Charles Harris in 2 minutes, 35 seconds to give the Bulls (9-5 overall, 1-0 Del Val) the lead and Hockenberry pinned Elijah Miksit in 2:41 to snap a four-match league losing streak to the Bucs.

Glen Mills’ last victory over Interboro was a 42-33 decision Jan. 18, 2012, according to Pa-wrestling.com.

“In 15 years I’ve never had an easy match with Interboro, win or lose,” Glen Mills coach Matt Shannon said.

For a while, it looked like Interboro’s winning ways against Glen Mills was going to continue after Joe Forte (170), Anthony Zizza (182) and John Phillips (195) recorded consecutive wins by pin to turn a 31-16 deficit into a 34-31 lead with just two matches to go.

Forte and Jashamir Hardiman went back and forth before Forte pinned Hardiman with 31 seconds to go in their match. Zizza needed just 27 seconds to pin Derek Patterson and cut the Glen Mills lead to 31-28. Phillips decked Alron Patterson with nine seconds to go to put the Bucs back in front and put the heat on Darden and Hockenberry.  

Both came through for the Bulls.

“I knew I had to win,” Darden said. “I was wrestling a bigger guy so I had to pull all of my effort into the match so my team could win.”

Darden is no stranger to facing larger opponents. Ideally, Shannon would have him at 195, but with the Bulls unusually thin in the top two weight classes, Shannon has had to use Darden at 220 more often than not.

“We’ve had a few guys discharged so we’ve had to bump some people up and move some people around,” Shannon said. “We’re usually heavy with big guys, but this year we’re lean so we’ve had to bump him up to 200 and he’s done well.”

Darden does not mind moving around in the lineup, especially when he’s asked to take on a larger opponent.

“I love the challenge,” Darden said.

Interboro coach Dan Tobin has had to do some juggling, too, to make up for holes in his lineup. Phillips has wrestled 10 times at 195 and seven times at 182. Patterson has bounced between 220 and 285. Wednesday’s match against Glen Mills was the first time Miksit was on the mat at 285. He did win by forfeit at that weight class against Upper Dublin in the Delco Duals at Academy Park.

“We just don’t have enough horses,” Tobin said.

Using Miksit at 285 gave Hockenberry a considerable size advantage and the junior took advantage of it.

“It wasn’t that bad,” Hockenberry said. “I normally wrestle guys bigger than me so I felt kind of good wrestling a guy smaller than me. He put up a fight. We both went at it and I was able to come out on top.”  

Elsewhere in the Del Val League:

Chichester 52, Penn Wood 18 >> Craig Baldwin and D.J. McMaster set the tone early as the Eagles (10-1) rolled in their league opener.

Baldwin scored a 16-2 major decision over Matt Ervin at 132 pounds to raise his record to 15-4. McMaster pinned Vicki Dulcio in 1:46 to give the Eagles a quick 10-0 lead. Shame Gromek (113) and Jovani Perez (170) both won by fall for Chi, while Dylan Cordingley (152) won by technical fall.

Penn Wood Ryan Jacson (145) pinned MarQuell Hudnell in 4:44 to raise his record to 13-3.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply