District 1 High School Wrestling

Rappo finishes in style

by Tom Waring, Courier Times

Posted on March 11, 2012

HERSHEY - Billy Rappo completed his tremendous career with a dominating performance.

The Council Rock South High School senior wrestler posted a 12-0 major decision victory over Manheim Township's Matt Grossmann on Saturday night in the 113-pound final at the PIAA Class AAA championships at the Giant Center.

Rappo won the 103-pound title as a junior.

"It's definitely better," he said. "Having two state titles is great."

Rappo, the Southeast Regional champion, is the 23rd state champion from Lower Bucks County and the eighth from CR South, which opened 10 years ago.

The Rappo family owns six of those gold medals, with Mike joining Billy as a two-time winner and Rick and Mark earning one apiece.

"It's a great honor to have a great wrestling family and coaching staff," Billy said. "Words can't describe it."

Coach Brad Silimperi said the program's rallying cry this season was, "Make it eight."

"He made it eight," the coach said of the school's eighth state champ.

Grossmann, a sophomore who was the South Central Region runner-up, was a somewhat unlikely finalist. In the final, Rappo recorded three takedowns and four back points.

"It's always good to dominate a kid in the finals," he said.

Rappo, who has yet to make a college choice, finished 42-2 on the year and 137-37 in his career. Besides the two championships, he placed eighth as a sophomore.

Rappo didn't ease to the championship either year. He needed four decisions, including a tiebreaker, to win as a junior.

This year, he won his first bout by technical fall before a 3-1 decision in the quarterfinals.

Canon-McMillan sophomore Dalton Macri proved to be a very difficult semifinal opponent. Rappo used a single-leg takedown for the winning two points with three seconds to go in the second of two tiebreaker periods.

"That was a hard-fought win," he said.

Rappo's championship helped the Golden Hawks place seventh as a team. The other three Hawks who made it to Hershey won medals. Danny Martoccio was eighth at 106. P.J. Steinmetz placed third at 195. Tommy Trampe took eighth at 285.

In all, it was a pretty good weekend for local wrestlers, as eight of the 13 qualifiers earned medals.

Besides the aforementioned CR South medalists, the other top-eight finishers were Council Rock North's John Dutrow (fourth at 132); La Salle's Matt Cimato, of Yardley (fourth at 138); Bensalem's Tommy Stokes (sixth at 120); and Pennsbury's Josh DiSanto (seventh at 126).

Steinmetz, the Southeast Regional champion, finished 43-4 after a 9-0 major decision victory over Bellefonte's Nicholas Shawley in the third-place bout. It was his 100th career victory. A junior who spent his first two years at La Salle, he had a goal of making the final, but was happy enough to run off the mat after beating Shawley and jump into the arms of his coach, a tradition usually reserved for champions.

"That will be my goal next year, to win it," he said.

Trampe, a senior and the third-place finisher in the Southeast Regional, dropped a 2-1 decision to Bellefonte's Garrett Poorman in the seventh-place bout. He finished the year 24-10, but is among the top eight in the state despite weighing in at just 201.

"I never thought I would get this far. I never thought I had any business being here when I was a freshman," he said. "The coaches did a great job of preparing me and making me believe in myself, that I belong out there with these monsters. I'm really happy to be on the podium."

Martoccio, a sophomore, fell to Pittsburgh Central Catholic's Vincenzo Joseph, 1-0, in the seventh-place bout. He finished the year 39-11 and is 55-19 in his career.

Dutrow, a junior and the Southeast Regional champion, looked like he might be a finalist in his third trip to states.

In a semifinal bout with Upper St. Clair's Mackenzie McGuire, he had a four-point lead after a takedown and two back points in the first period. McGuire recovered for a 7-6 win and went on to win the gold medal.

In consolations, Dutrow pinned Father Judge's Joe Galasso in 33 seconds before falling to Liberty's Devon Lotito, 5-1, in the third-place bout. He was 46-6 on the year to give him a 110-33 career mark.

Dutrow, who had a big comeback win in the quarterfinals, was part of a difficult bracket.

"Every kid I wrestled placed. I beat the kids who finished eighth, seventh and fifth and lost to the kids who were first and third," he said. "The top three guys graduate. I can't wait until next year."

Cimato, a senior headed to Drexel who entered as the Southeast Regional champion, won two consolation bouts on Saturday before falling to Canon-McMillan's Solomon Chishko, 4-2, for third place. He finished 50-4, with three of the losses to Chishko. He placed third at states last year.

"This is a very tough place to come and wrestle, but I lost, that's all there is to it. I had a good run. I have to come back and wrestle in college," Cimato said.

Stokes, a sophomore and a third-place finisher at regionals, became the first Bensalem wrestler to win a medal since Jamar Gordon placed sixth at 275 pounds in 1994. He won three consolation bouts before settling for sixth place with a 9-0 loss to Franklin Regional's Tyler Smith. He finished 33-7 on the year and is 64-10 in his career.

"It feels great to place. It's a big accomplishment," he said.

DiSanto, a junior making his third trip to states, won a 10-2 major decision over Canon-McMillan's Colt Shorts to earn seventh place. The regional champion finished the year 35-3 and is 111-9 in his career.

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