NEWTOWN >> Downingtown West head wrestling coach Brad Breese couldn't hold back the smile.
His Whippets had just outlasted Spring-Ford, 31-27, to capture the Rockyard Duals team title, and Breese was understandably proud - especially of heavyweight Jesse Cook, whose win by fall at heavyweight locked up the match and the team trophy.
"(Cook) wrestled great," said a beaming Breese. "If he doesn't get that fall, we don't win."
But the Cook victory was just part of a splendid day for the Whippets, who ran roughshod over the distinguished field
Led by the talents of returning state champion Doug Zapf and others, the Whippets rolled easily through the early rounds, dispatching Archbishop Wood, North Penn and William Tennent before handling Spring-Ford in the aforementioned thriller.
As for the rest of the field, Spring-Ford reached the finals by taking the measure of the likes of Ridley and La Salle.
The Rams eased past Council Rock North in the semis, then went after the Whippets with more than a little gusto.
Through 12 bouts the score was virtually tied, but Cook's win gave West a little wiggle room.
Meanwhile, North Penn came close to nipping CR North in the third-place match, but fell in the match's final bout by the slim margin of one point.
"We competed real well," said Knights head coach Rob Shettsline. "Downingtown West is very solid throughout their lineup, and we're young.
"We need some more experience."
Meanwhile, over in the winners' circle, the Whippets were, to a man, beaming a winner's smile.
"Everything is going pretty well right now," Breese said. "We had some health issues early on, but things are going well lately.
"We went to Powerade this year, and although the guys took their lumps, we're hoping it will pay off down the line."