GFS wrestlers quickly conquer short-staffed SCH squad

by Tom Utescher
Posted 12/7/22

The father of a Springside Chestnut Hill Academy wrestler was a little late getting to the Blue Devils' meet at Germantown Friends School last Tuesday But the encounter was so brief, he missed the matches and several exhibition bouts.

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GFS wrestlers quickly conquer short-staffed SCH squad


The father of a Springside Chestnut Hill Academy wrestler was a little late getting to the Blue Devils' meet at Germantown Friends School last Tuesday afternoon.

He got there less than half-an-hour after the starting time, but the encounter between the Devils and GFS Tigers was so brief that he not only missed the official matches, but also several exhibition bouts that followed.

Now in his seventh year as GFS head coach, Paul Hammond said that this was the first time he had the personnel to fill each of the 14 weight classes. It was SCH that was short-staffed, entering its first season under head coach Joe Aversa. The overall roster is a short one, and includes some ninth-graders who didn't wrestle in middle school and simply weren't ready to be thrown into the varsity ring.

Aversa is no stranger to the Blue Devils' program, though. He is a 2007 graduate of the old Chestnut Hill Academy, and he was an assistant for the last four seasons under former SCH head coach Ed Dingley.

Last Tuesday, there were SCH forfeits in nine weight classes, leaving  only five bouts to be decided on the mat. Each one of these was ended by a pin, hence the very short duration of the meet. Germantown Friends came away with a 60-24 victory.

One thing that was new for everyone was the altering of seven established weight classes, a change certified by the National Federation of High Schools last spring. The lighter six categories (106 through 138 lbs.) have remained the same, and the top end of the scale is still 285 lbs.

In between, instead of the old figures of 145, 152, 160, 170, 182, 195 and 220, we now have weight classes of 144, 150, 157, 165, 175, 190, and 215.

Last Tuesday Germantown Friends jumped out to a 12-0 lead in the meet score as SCH forfeits were accepted by sophomore Scott Flaynik at 106 lbs. and by freshman Linus Chen-Plotkin at 113. The outcome at 120 lbs. made it an 18-0 lead for the Tigers, as sophomore Theo Molot took down SCH freshman Damian Melzer-Surkan in short order and pinned him with one minute and nine seconds still remaining in the first period.

The visitors then got on the board with a pin in the 126 lb. class, where Blue Devils junior Andrew Mahony needed just 21 seconds to close things out against freshman Luke Zhong of the host team.

The Tigers quickly recouped those points and kept extending their meet lead as Springside Chestnut Hill offered no opposition in the next five weight categories. Collecting the forfeit points for GFS were freshman Jacob Womack (132), freshman Simone Leapheart (138), sophomore Garnet Ramsey (144), freshman Maurice Williams (150), and sophomore Teddy Helgerson (157).

Now leading 48-6 in the team score with five matches remaining, the Tigers had clinched the meet victory.

The Blue Devils would reach their final team total with first-period pins in the last three weight classes where the outcome was decided on the mat. At 165 lbs. it was senior Micah Ford over GFS sophomore Owen Mather, at 175 SCH sophomore Nasir Yard defeated junior Peter Ilyin, and at 190 visiting freshman Jack Cupjack pinned Vance Holliday, a GFS sophomore.

Unchallenged at 215 and 285 lbs., juniors Dean DeSeve and Leo Katowitz had their hands raised to have the meet end with a 60-24 victory for Germantown Friends.