Penn Charter's wrestlers literally stepped into the spotlight for last Friday's Senior Night meet.
Penn Charter's wrestlers literally stepped into the spotlight for last Friday's Senior Night meet, coming from their regular quarters upstairs down into the Graham Athletic Center's main venue, the Kenny Caldwell Competition Court.
With the mat set up in the center of the floor and lit from above, the Quakers took on one of the top teams from the state of Delaware, Tower Hill School.
With a Penn Charter forfeit at the outset and a pair of pins a little later, the visiting Hillers got out to an 18-3 lead in the team scoring. The Quakers then began to reel them in, losing just one match (by decision) the rest of the way while piling up four pins, two decisions and one major decision.
This got PC past the 190 lb. match with a 37-21 lead, and Tower Hill forfeits at 215 and 285 pounds were icing on the Senior Night cake and set the final score at 49-21. The Quakers wrapped up their dual meet season with a record of 20-3. Within the Inter-Ac League they were 4-1, winning challenging meets against Episcopal Academy and Haverford School while losing only to national power Malvern Prep.
Last Friday's meet at Penn Charter began with the Quakers forfeiting the 106 lb. weight class to Tower Hill's Eli Browne. The Hillers' lead in the meet score rose to 12-0 when Dominic Lucian pinned fellow eighth-grader Carter Mangan of PC late in the first period.
At 120 lbs., Penn Charter's Munir German was very evenly matched against another 10th grader, Aidan Pratt of the visiting side. Most of the points in the bout were scored on takedowns and escapes, with some near falls mixed in It was tied at 5-5 after the first period, Pratt led 10-8 after two rounds, and the third ended with the two grapplers tied at 13-13.
A one-minute overtime ensued, and by completing a takedown with 26 seconds elapsed, German earned the victory and got the Quakers on the board in the team tally.
Tower Hill owned its biggest lead of the night (18-3) with a win in the 126 lb. class. Here, senior Drew Pratt pinned Charter sophomore Henry Greenberg with 20 seconds to go in the opening round. It wasn't long before the meet score tightened to 18-15, though, as the Quakers closed out the next two matches with first-period pins.
At 132, junior Lucas Weinstein went up 7-0 in points before pinning Tower Hill sophomore Brody Gravuer with half-a-minute left in the opening frame. PC 138 Hugh Maley, a junior, needed just 26 seconds to fasten visiting sophomore James Silliman to the mat.
The home team drew even at 18-18 by winning a close decision at 144 lbs., where 10th-grader Greyson Catlow-Sidler faced visiting junior Jack Duffy. Duffy led 5-2 after two periods and started the third in the superior position.
Catlow-Sidler staged a reversal and then picked up a key pair of back points for a 6-5 lead. Duffy regained control to hold a 7-6 edge, but the last reversal in the match was engineered by the PC sophomore, who won 8-7 to tie the meet.
In the 150 lb. contest, two takedowns and an escape took Quakers sophomore Leonardo Pritchett into the third period with a 5-0 lead over Hillers freshman Keenan Duffy. Pritchett started on top for the third period and won this rodeo by riding Duffy to the buzzer, with his 5-0 decision giving Penn Charter a meet lead that it never lost.
Takedowns and near falls allowed junior Jack Bowen to pile up a big lead in points as he engaged Tower Hill sophomore Shane Pierce at 157 lbs. Bowen began the third period with an 11-1 advantage, and off of a neutral (standing) start he rang up another takedown for a major decision (13-1) spreading the meet score to 25-18.
By picking up a fourth team point for a major decision rather than three for a regular decision, Bowen had made sure his team would score at least 37 points overall, since Tower Hill would be giving up 12 points later on by forfeiting in the 215 and 285 lb. categories. Even if the Hillers won by fall (pin) in each of the three bouts in between (165, 175, and 190 lbs.), they would finish with no more than 36.
As things turned out, Tower Hill would score its final three points of the evening through a decision at 165. Here, Quakers senior Pat Rullo went ahead 3-2 with a reversal early in the second round, but by the end of the period Tower Hill junior Keelan Donnelly had gone up, 6-4. In the third period, an escape by Rullo was sandwiched between a reverse and a takedown by the victorious Donnelly.
The 10-5 decision got the Delaware franchise back within four points of Penn Charter in the meet score, 25-21, but the Quakers pulled away quickly after that.
The last two Quakers to actually wrestle were the Glomb brothers, George at 175 lbs. and James at 190. The two seniors form two-thirds of a set of triplets that includes their sister, Alex, also a Penn Charter athlete.
After scoring the first points at 175 through a takedown, George was able to close out his match before the end of the first period, pinning Tower Hill senior Ed Nace with just under 10 seconds to go.
In the 190 lb. contest, Hillers senior Anthony Lucian took a 4-0 lead with a takedown and near fall, but James Glomb staged a reversal to make it 4-2 at the end of round one. Starting on the bottom, Glomb scored another reversal midway through the second period, and soon pinned Lucian with 47 seconds left.
The Quakers' final winning margin grew to 28 points with two Tower Hill forfeits, which were accepted by PC's James Joel (215 lbs.) and Charles English (285), who are both juniors.