Wrestling isn’t built for social distancing but during the winter months those involved in the sport in The Reporter, Times Herald and Montgomery Media area found a way as best they could to put together another successful season.
Wrestlers wearing mask during matches, limited crowd attendance and a restructured postseason were some of the changes necessitated to compete during the COVID-19 pandemic. But when the 2021 campaign on the mats came to end, a number of wrestlers and teams had plenty of reasons to celebrate.
Five area wrestlers advanced to their respective weight classes’ final eight and claimed medals at the PIAA Championships in Hershey.
In Class AAA, North Penn’s William Morrow and Central Bucks West’s Carl DiGiorgio claimed their first PIAA medals in their second trips to the Giant Center as DiGiorgio placed fifth at 215 with Morrow taking eighth place at 145.
La Salle Regan Loughney added a third local medalists in AAA, the senior Explorer following a second-place finish at the East Super Regional by earning sixth at 179 in Hershey.
In Class AA, Faith Christian’s Eric Alderfer – the 2021 area wrestler of the year – earned his second state medal with a fourth-place finish at 138 pounds to cap a 23-5 season that also including first-place finishes at both the South East Regional and East Super Regional.
Pope John Paul II’s Alan Alexander secure his first appearance on the PIAA medal stand by placing sixth at 152 in Class 2A.
Morrow help lead North Penn to the top of the Suburban One League Colonial Division as the Knights went 5-0 in division dual meets and took first place at the Colonial Championships.
North Penn also placed fifth in the team standings at the District 1-AAA North Tournament, it’s 48.0 points five better than sixth-place Plymouth Whitemarsh.
Loughney and La Salle, meanwhile, took second at the Philadelphia Catholic League Championships, first at the District 12-AAA Championships and won the District 12-AAA duals title with a 50-15 victory over Northeast.
2021 The Reporter/Times Herald/Montgomery Media First Team
106: Cole Coffin, Fr. Pennridge >> Freshman went 12-4, winning his first eight; second place SOL Colonial Division Championships; second place District 1-3A North Championships; fifth place PIAA-3A South East Regional.
113: Sam Kuhns, Fr., Pennridge >> Qualified for states as a freshman, winning his first 12 matches and finished 16-4; SOL Colonial Division champ; second place District 1-3A North; second place PIAA-3A South East Regional; fifth place PIAA-3A East Super Regional.
120: AJ Slayton, So., Faith Christian >> Lions sophomore earned his second consecutive state appearance in going 12-9 in 2021; placing second at District 1/11-2A Championships; took fifth at PIAA-2A South East Regional; PIAA-2A East Super Regional qualifier.
126: Matthew McCaughey, So., Abington >> Sophomore advanced to regionals for the second straight season and went 5-3; second place District 1-3 North; fifth place PIAA-3A South East Regional.
132: Eddie Galang, Sr., North Penn >> Senior Knight finished 13-5 and earned his first PIAA appearance; second place SOL Colonial Championships; second place District 1-3A North; third place PIAA-3A South East Regional; PIAA-3A East Super Regional qualifier.
138: Eric Alderfer, Jr., Faith Christian >> Junior claimed his second PIAA medal by taking fourth in Hershey and went 23-5 on the season; first place District 1-12-2A Championships; first place PIAA-2A South East Regional; first place PIAA-2A East Super Regional.
145: William Morrow, Jr., North Penn >> Earned his first PIAA medal in his second state appearance, taking eighth at 145 to end season at 13-8; SOL Colonial champion; second place District 1-3A North; third place PIAA-3A South East Regional; fourth place PIAA-3A East Super Regional.
152: Alan Alexander, Jr., Pope John Paul II >> Claimed first state medal in first PIAA appearance, taking sixth in Class 2A in 152; Junior ended year with a record of 16-7; first place District 1/12-2A Championships; third place PIAA-2A South East Regional; fourth place PIAA-2A East Super Regional.
160: Brody Borkowski, Jr., Methacton >> Junior went 6-5 in 2021 with three pins, his last earning him a spot in the consolation semifinals at the District 1-3A North Tournament.
172: Regan Loughney, Sr., La Salle >> Senior earned sixth place at 172 in his first appearance at states and finished the season 21-6. Philadelphia Catholic League champion; District 12-3A champion; fourth place PIAA-3A North East Regional; second place PIAA-3A East Super Regional.
189: Jake Bainbridge, Sr., Plymouth Whitemarsh >> Colonials senior made first PIAA-3A South East Regional appearance by a pair of decisions in consolation bracket to place third at District 1-3A North; ended season 12-6 with five pins.
215: Carl DiGiorgio, Jr., Central Bucks West >> Qualified for states for a second straight year, the junior claiming his first PIAA medal by placing fifth at 215; Finished the season 25-7 with 13 pins; SOL Colonial Division champion; second place District 1-3A North; third place PIAA-3A South East Regional; fourth place PIAA-3A East Super Regional.
285: Mike Miller, Jr., Plymouth Whitemarsh >> Advanced to regionals for third consecutive year and ended 2021 at 12-5 with eight victories by fall; second place District 1-3A North; sixth place PIAA-3A South East Regional.
106: Jake Williams, Jr., Plymouth Whitemarsh
113: Cody Wagner, Fr., Faith Christian
120: Michael Cliver, Fr., North Penn
126: Ayden Cheng, Sr., Upper Merion
132: Chris Cleland, Sr., Central Bucks West
138: Tyler Geiger, Jr., Souderton
145: Matt Fritz, Sr., Wissahickon
152: Shane Kibler, Jr, Abington
160: Caleb Sine, So., Faith Christian
172: Nicholas Castorina, Sr., Abington
189: Benjamin Sanfelice, Sr., North Penn
215: Leo Muzika, Jr., Faith Christian
285: Harrison Levans, Sr., Germantown Academy
106: Teague McCormack, Jr., Central Bucks West
113: Connor Kwok, Jr., La Salle; Collin Evanson, So., Upper Moreland; Luke Ragusa, Jr., Souderton
120: Bobby Barth, So., La Salle; Ashton Wittenberg, So., Plymouth Whitemarsh.
126: Sean Herron, Jr., La Salle; Adrian Kebuz, Sr., Lower Moreland; Joe O’Rourke, So., Faith Christian
132: Christian Coleman, Sr., Germantown Academy; Cormac Morrissey, Fr., La Salle.
138: DJ Adriaanse, Jr., Wissahickon; Ty Borkowski, Fr., Plymouth Whitemarsh
145: Lincoln Hower, So., Faith Christian; Jake Rose, Sr., Abington.
152: Levi Borkowski, Fr., Methacton; Ryan Gallagher, Fr., Pennridge; A.J. Minners, Sr., Archbishop Wood.
160: Justin Bainbridge, So., Plymouth Whitemarsh; Nophir Harrell, Sr., North Penn.
172: Nathanael Chez, So., Wissahickon; Luke Wahlers, Sr., Pennridge.
189: Robert Glemser, Sr., Abington; Nasir Thomas, Sr., Upper Moreland
215: Dante Burns, Fr., La Salle; Owen Dunleavy, Jr., Upper Moreland.
285: Damian Moser, So., Methacton; Luke Slack, Sr., Faith Christian; Ryan Wills, Sr., La Salle.
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