LOWER GWYNEDD >> The makeshift bandages wrapped around Mark Thompson's head were built to stop a nosebleed. Airflow concern was not part of the design.
"The first time they wrapped it yeah because it was just like the sports tape and then my coach, (Trojans assistant John) Gillespie he just like tightened it like so tight," Thompson said. "So, yeah, it was really hard to breathe especially because I didn't have both nostrils."
But with Thompson's blood time ticking down in the third period the quick first aid did the trick and the Wissahickon wrestling senior stayed in his 285-pound match with Plymouth Whitemarsh's Mike Miller Wednesday night.
"I was just like 'Hey, let's finish this match out, this kid's tough,'" Thompson said. "So I just wanted to finish the match out tough and not even care about the blood because blood's blood."
Thompson held on to claim a 6-2 decision, the victory sealing the Trojans' first win over the Colonials in six seasons as Wissahickon topped visiting PW 39-25 in the Suburban One League American Conference opener for both teams.
"To come with their archrival the first thing, I knew that was going to be something. It could set the tone for the whole season," Wissahickon coach Anthony Stagliano said. "And if we win, it set the tone for the season. If we lost, obviously, it could of set it the other.
"So this is one step in trying to win a league championship. We think we have the team to do it this year, but we obviously have a long way to go and some teams to beat. But it was really good start."
The Trojans (1-0, 1-0 conference) out-pinned the Colonials four to two with Wissahickon running off three straight pinfalls by Matt Fritz (126), Charlie Brammer (132) and Peter Sweeney (138) to hold an 18-3 lead four matches into the dual meet.
"That was real big considering they were all pretty good wrestlers going out there. So we thought that was phenomenal," Thompson said. "And that's exactly what Coach Stags wanted today - pin, pin, pin. And that's what our mentality is the whole year."
PW (0-1, 0-1) took the next three matches - a pin by Michael Clarkson at 152 and Jake Ginesin's major decision at 160 - to pull the Colonials within 18-16. But the Trojans responded by winning the next three, a forfeit at 195 giving the hosts a 33-16 lead.
"Credit to Wissahickon this year, they're a pretty solid team, lot of experience in that lineup," Plymouth Whitemarsh coach David Luthy said. "We lost a lot of our depth last year, a lot of our seniors graduated, our high firepower. But we're reloading a little bit so we have a lot of young talent that's in our lineup, so it's more or less a growing curve for us. But I was very happy with what I saw."
Paolo DiSanto's 6-3 decision at 220 over Brian Fennell cut the Colonials' deficit to 33-19 with three matches remaining. But Thompson put the dual meet out of reach with his decision over Miller at heavyweight.
"Honestly, if we go down what I wanted to see and my expectations from all the matchups, almost everything when according to what I would want it to do," Stagliano said. "I said we're going to need falls to win. We have to focus on the falls. And you saw two, three or four of my guys focus on that to the get the falls."
The top of the SOL American has an opening with two-time defending champ Quakertown now over in the Continental. In prior seasons, a run at first place seem just out of reach for the Trojans but this season Stagliano sees his side as contenders - Tuesday's win an early boost to their chances.
"So going in it's like yeah we can win the league title but in back of my mind I'm like 'You know, probably can't.' And we'd end up in second, third or fourth, second third or fourth," he said. "And coming into this year I'm like we can really win the league title."
Wissahickon and PW head to tournaments on Saturday - the Trojans heading to the Abington Duals while the Colonials at the Wilson Invitational at Wilson Area.
Both teams host SOL American matchups Wednesday, Wissahickon against Upper Moreland and PW facing Hatboro-Horsham.
"For the past couple years we've started with Quakertown right out of the bat, so we're used to having a big match right off the bat," Luthy said. "And then Hatboro comes to us next week, so top two teams from last year are in our first two matches. So it's a barnburner right off the bat, so I like that though."
Plymouth Whitemarsh held the lead just once against the Trojans - 3-0 after John Zhang opened the night with an 11-5 decision over Grant Dries at 120.
Fritz, however, at 126 pinned Jake Bainbridge at 126 in 4:22 to make it 6-3 Trojans. Brammer followed at 132 with a pinfall at 3:22 while at 138 Sweeney's pinned at 1:21 put Wissahickon up 15.
"We were thinking that could happen," Stagliano said. "We're pretty tough at 26, 32 and 38. But getting the fall is not easy. But as I said, they look like they were focused on doing it. I couldn't be more pleased with the performance."
Isaac Avellino stopped the home side's string of pins by edging Owen Quinn 3-2 at 145. Clarkson's pin in 1:06 at 152 made it 18-12 while Ginesin's major decision had the Colonials' deficit down to just two.
However, Benjamin Aon kept the Trojans in the lead, earning a second-period pin (3:13) at 170. Kevin Salmon's 3-0 decision at 182 and a forfeit win at 195 had Wissahickon up 17.
Dylan Moore posted Plymouth Whitemarsh's second and final pinfall in 4:25 at 106. The Trojans' DJ Adriaanse capped the contest with a 7-3 decision at 113.