Glenn Kaiser’s notebook features some of the SOL’s outstanding performances and includes the first SOL Individual Rankings for each weight class.
By Glenn Kaiser
New Year Brings New Beginnings
Some say change is good, some say don’t make changes just to make changes. For William Tennent it seems a change of scenery is what was long needed. The Panthers have found new life in a new conference, and the early dividends are paying off. In an early SOL Continental Conference dual against Souderton, the Panthers made a statement, and at the 16th Annual Wetzel Holiday Classic, they arrived.
With a strong third place finish as a team in the 31-team field at Hatboro-Horsham, the Panthers crowned a champion in freshmen A.J. Tamburrino, who claimed the 132-pound championship and garnered the Outstanding Wrestler Award for his efforts. Tamburrino denied Norristown senior Eric Fuentes a Wetzel title, defeating him 4-1 in the finals. Tamburrino had little trouble making his way to the championship bout at 132, earning a fall in the semifinals against Chichester’s Craig Baldwin. Tamburrino dominated the weight class, earning a 46-second fall in his first bout and an 11-0 major decision in the quarters.
Tennent notched two bronze medals and a fourth place finish to vault them into third place in the team race behind only team champs Archbishop Wood and team runner-up Unionville. Sophomore Anthony Colella seems to be on track for a breakout season as he wrestled back through the consolation bracket at 120-pounds, notching five wins to take third place and going 6-1 in the two-day event. The Panthers’ 170-pound David McCoy was just as successful in the wrestle backs as he rebounded from a tough 2-1 loss to Abington’s Shane Rose in the quarterfinals to finish in third place as well.
Central Bucks East’s Mike Melchiorre denied Tennent’s Sean Harold the bronze at 195 with a narrow 5-4 decision in the consolation final. Tennent’s Yusif Aladinov, a transfer from Northeast High who was seeded second at 182-pounds, was derailed from medaling after being called for a slam in the wrestle backs, possibly costing the Panthers a second place team finish. Nonetheless, Tennent is poised to have a terrific season with their strong start to the 2016-17 season.
The Panthers were truly grateful and respectful as a team for their participation and fine finish at the 16th Wetzel as they thanked the legendary host Ralph Wetzel after the tournament for the opportunity to compete back at the Wetzel Classic. Both Tamburrino and Colella had big wins in the Souderton dual, as they knocked off two of the Indians’ best, respectively, in Brandon Bach and Harrison Andrade. Tamburriono defeated Bach in dominant fashion, 5-0, while Colella won a close one (3-2) over Andrade. Tennent was on the losing end of a close match (28-24) in which two early forfeits at 220 and 285 pounds hurt them in the team scoring. Tennent will have no easy sledding in the Continental as both North Penn and Pennridge remain on the league schedule, but the Panthers surely will be no one to look past when they do battle.
Hatboro-Horsham was the second highest finishing SOL team at the Wetzel, finishing 10th overall ahead of CB East who were 12th. H-H’s Nick Chapman made it to the finals at 220-pounds but dropped a 6-2 decision to Unionville’s Michael Macguire after posting two falls and a major decision from the number one seed in the top half of the bracket. Chapman and Macguire are two of the Southeast Region’s best at this weight, and will most likely see each other again at the District One Central Championships. The H-H Wrestling Warriors’ Davis Wheeler (160) and Jalen Edwards (182) both wrestled back for fifth place to bolster the Warriors’ team score and put them in the top 10.
As usual, the Wetzel was extremely competitive and balanced as 11 different teams crowned champs. The SOL had four of those champions as CB South’s Ray Calderaio (126), Cheltenham’s August Gershwin (152), and CB East’s Collin Stevens (182) joined Tamburrino on the top of the podium at H-H.
Quakertown and Plymouth Whitmarsh are also embracing the changes to the SOL conferences, as they both have strong tournament teams and look to battle for a conference team title in the American along with Hatboro-Horsham. PW is coming off a strong finish at the Governor Mifflin Holiday Tournament, placing eight wrestlers for fifth place in the team competition. The Colonials’ Marco DiBattista led the way at 113, winning the championship, and Tommy DiSisto finished third at 170. Nick Sudell is off to a good start at 220 as he finished fourth along with Zake Fischer (145), Zach Wakefield (160) and Paolo DiSanto (285).
Quakertown has a bona fide stud in lightweight Josh Stahl at 106-pounds, and the Panthers already have notched a 36-30 team victory over PW in early dual action. Noah Wood looks healthy this year in his senior season as he had a huge 17-4 major decision win over PW’s Scott Horry at 182-pounds in the dual meet to knot the match at 30-all with the Colonials setting up heavyweight Max Russell to seal deal with a pin fall in the last bout of the evening for the Panthers win. Stahl was the runner-up and Wood the fourth place finisher at Liberty High School in the Bethlehem Holiday Classic.
In the National Conference, Council Rock South is the frontrunner for the team title as the Golden Hawks continued their dominance over sister school Council Rock North, winning this early season dual 47-30. CR South (13th) did not perform as well as a team at Liberty as they were without Riley Palmer, and Pennridge (11th) finished ahead of the Hawks in the team race. Maximino Mendez won the 106-pound title over Stahl, and Zack Trampe was second at 138, falling to Hazelton Area’s James Hoffman.
Pennridge had two finalists at Liberty in Josh Stillings (160) and Paul O’Neill (182), but both fell short, finishing second. Evan Widing reached the consolation final and lost to Northampton’s concrete kid Dan Moran 11-4 for fourth place. The Rams still managed to finish ahead of the Golden Hawks without one of their best wrestlers in Matt Parker who was resting an injury.
With the start of the New Year and the two-pound allowance granted at Christmas, let’s take a look at the first individual weight class rankings and team rankings in the Suburban One League.
SOL INDIVIDUAL RANKINGS
1-Maximino Mendez Jr (Council Rock South) 17-2
2-Josh Stahl So (Quakertown) 8-3
3-Caedman Curry So (Springfield) 8-2
4-Ryan Lewis Sr (Central Bucks West) 5-3
5-Caitlyn Walker Fr (Upper Moreland) 3-1
1-Marco DiBattista Jr (Plymouth-Whitmarsh) 13-0
2-Luke Lucerne Fr (Council Rock North) 13-2
3-Colton Jordan So (Neshaminy) 8-4
4-Chris Eck Sr (CBE) 10-3
T5-Sam Negron Jr (H-H) 5-4
T5-Collin Waterman Jr (CRS) 6-7
1-Matt Parker 12 (Pennridge) 13-1
2-Aiden Burke 12 (CRN) 1-0
3-Antonio Martoccio Jr (Pennsbury) 6-1
4-Anthony Colella So (William Tennent) 12-2
5-Harrison Andrade Jr (Souderton) 8-5
1-Gunnar Fuss So (Harry S Truman) 8-3
2-Jason Amy Sr (Upper Moreland) 9-0
3-Ben Radner Jr (CRS) 8-3
4-Brandon Bach Sr (Souderton) 5-4
5-Ray Calderaio Sr (Central Bucks South) 8-1
1-A.J. Tamburrino Fr (WT) 9-1
2-Cameron Robinson Fr (CRN) 14-3
3-Connor Trowbridge So (Souderton) 8-4
4-Alex Bermudez Jr (U. Moreland) 6-4
5-Troy Rummer So (Springfield) 7-6
1-Zack Trampe Sr (CRS) 13-1
2-Evan Widing So (Pennridge) 11-6
3-Ryan Tiernan Sr (Central Bucks West) 8-4
4-Nick Polinchock So (CBS) 9-3
5-Brad Mallon Jr (Hatboro-Horsham) 7-5
1-Cary Palmer Sr (CRS) 5-3
2-Jacob Shalinsky Jr (CRN) 10-6
3-Will Laughlin Sr (North Penn) 11-6
4-Peter DeMallie Sr (CBS) 8-2
5-Zach Fisher (P-W) 10-6
1-Riley Palmer Sr (CRS) 9-1
2-Colin Shannon (North Penn) 17-3
3-August Gershwin Sr (Cheltenham) 11-1
4-David Nahas Sr (Pennridge) 9-7
5-Connor Finkenbeiner Sr (Souderton) 10-5
1-Josh Stillings Jr (Pennridge) 14-3
2-Mason Novak So (Upper Dublin) 14-2
3-Zach Wakefield Sr (P-W) 11-4
3-Connor Gowton Sr (Pennsbury) 8-3
4-Davis Wheeler (H-H) 6-4
1-Tommy DiSisto Sr (P-W) 14-1
2-Shane Rose Sr (Abington) 7-3
3-David McCoy Sr (WT) 10-1
4-Valentin Bogachev Sr (CBS) 7-4
4-Bruno Stolfi So (Souderton) 6-5
1-Collin Stevens Sr (CBE) 10-0
2-Paul O’Neill Sr (Pennridge) 12-4
3-Noah Wood Sr (Q-town) 9-3
4-Yusuf Aladinov Jr (WT) 7-4
5-Jalen Edwards Sr (H-H) 8-5
1-Mike Melchiorre Sr (CBE) 8-3
2-Sean Harlod So (WT) 7-4
3-Brian Fennel So (Wissahickon) 3-1
4-Frank Regalis Fr (HST) 8-5
5-James Guckin Sr (Springfield) 8-2
1-Joe Doyle Sr (CRS) 7-1
2-Nick Chapman Jr (H-H) 9-2
3-Nick Sudell Sr (P-W) 11-4
4-Owen Verespy Jr (NP) 10-3
5-Isaiah Godbold Sr (HST) 6-4
1-Nick Cooper Jr (Bensalem) 6-1
2-Kyle Osterhoudt Sr (Neshaminy) 10-2
3-Cody Ryan Jr (NP) 13-5
4-Paolo DiSanto Fr (P-W) 11-5
5-Trent Petro Jr (CBE) 6-1
SOL Team Rankings
1-Council Rock South (2-00
2-North Penn (4-3)
4-Council Rock North (4-3)