By DENNIS C. WAY
21st Century Media
HORSHAM->>He bounced from one section of the Hatboro-Horsham High School gymnasium Saturday afternoon, and everywhere August Gershwin went, he found a friendly face, a wide smile and some words of encouragement.
It was a big day for the Cheltenham senior middleweight, who landed both his 100th career victory and his fourth straight sectional/league individual championship, the first Cheltenham wrestler to earn four of the same postseason crowns.
But perhaps more importantly, Gershwin had the respect from every team’s coaching staff and seemingly every fan.
“It seems every year I get asked if I’m a senior,” said Gershwin, just moments after descending the victory podium. “I’m just trying to get as many wins as I can, and get to Hershey.”
That trip has eluded Gershwin throughout his four years at Cheltenham, but it’s not for a lack of trying.
The Panthers standout has reached regionals once, as a sophomore, but never gotten close to Hershey.
But you’d think he was the mayor of Horsham Saturday.
And you’d think he spent a lot of time in a lot of practice rooms.
But Gershwin insists he’s only seen the inside of the Cheltenham practice room.
“I stay with my own team,” he said. “I don’t hang out with any other teams at all.”
Still, all of the coaches and fans seemed to know him, and respect his talents.
“Augie’s just a great kid,” Plymouth Whitemarsh head coach Justin Giovinco said.
That opinion seemed universal.
And Gershwin was not above playing to the crowd.
“I knew I had to open up in my finals match and give the people a show,” Gershwin said. “It seems people have a lot of respect for me.”
But now there are bigger fish to fry, and Gershwin will get down to real business this weekend when the postseason train pulls into Quakertown for the District One Central tourney.
“I’ve never missed a match because of injury,” Gershwin said. “And I hope I don’t miss one this year.”
Wissahickon sophomore Nick Senderling earned his first postseason crown when he landed the 152-pound title with a fall over Hatboro-Horsham’s Austine Jaffe.
It’s been a crazy journey for Senderling, who began his scholastic wrestling career at Archbishop Carroll, before returning to the Trojans.
“I felt good with the (weight) drop to ’52,” Senderling said. “I felt I could win the whole thing.”
As for his one-year exile at Carroll,, Senderling said he got caught up in the move because his mom attended the parochial school in Radnor.
“it was good at first, but it turned out to be a bad fit,” he said. “From here on, I really have to come ready to wrestle.”
A good part of the postseason is about avenging earlier setbacks.
Upper Dublin sophomore Mason Novak had lost to Plymouth Whitemarsh’s Zach Wakefield earlier this season, but knew what it was going to take to get back at the Colonials senior.
“It was the aggressor in the first match,” Novak said. “I knew I had to be the one to push the action.”
And so he did, ultimately winning a hard-earned 8-5 decision for the title.
“My goal is to get to states, so I’m going to have to keep pushing,” Novak said.