Wrestling roundup: Lions' Rogers headed to AA regionals
by Pottstown Mercury Staff Report
Posted on February 23, 2009
ERDENHEIM - Josh Rogers will carry the standard of the St. Pius X wrestling team at next week's AA Southeast Regional Tournament.
In fact, he will be its WHOLE showing when the next level of small-school mat action returns to Springfield (Montco) High School.
Rogers was the lone member of the Winged Lions' post-season contingent to advance through the District 1-AA tourney Saturday. Going 2-1 on the day, the 189-pound junior came away with a silver medal and punched his ticket for regionals, to which only the top three placewinners from each weight class advance.
The team's leader in wins (19) and pins (three) heading into districts, Rogers padded both totals in the early going. From his second-seeded berth in the bracket, he scored falls over Steven Scott of Phil-Mont Christian and David Horev of Harriton to advance to a final-round matchup with Octorara's Nate Ronan.
Rogers' bid for gold didn't pan out, however, as he was pinned by Ronan in the second period. Yet he fared better than two teammates who made it to the third-place finals of their weights, but fell short of qualifying for the AA Southeast Regional.
Jared Robbins (125) dropped a major decision to Lower Moreland's Andrew Mermelstein, 10-1. It was a rematch from earlier in the day, Robbins was pinned by Mermelstein before coming back through the consolation bracket with falls on Church Farm's Kyle Casey and Phil-Mont's Jacob Sarkness.
A.J. Ebersole, in turn, was edged by Octorara's Andrew Skrabak in the 152-pound consolation final, 3-1. Ebersole opened the day by pinning Lower Moreland's Sean McCusker, was pinned in turn by Logan Cawley of New Hope-Solebury, then rebounded with a drop of Delco Christian's Sean Ellsworth.
In the team standings, Pius placed ninth among the 12 schools with 57 points. Octorara was the runaway team champ with 273.5 points.
PREP NATIONALS: Steele Phillips came away from the National Prep Wrestling Championships with an eighth-place medal, going 1-2 on the final day of action at Lehigh University.
Phillips, dropped into the consolation bracket of the 135-pound weight class in Friday's opening round, got back in action Saturday with a 7-1 decision of Georgetown Prep's Eric Fessell. But the Hill School senior was then pinned by St. Benedict's Naeem Boucher in the fifth round of consolations.
That put Phillips in the seventh-place bout, where he suffered another fall at the hands of John Carroll's Ryan Owens. He closed out the tourney with a 4-3 record, having scored a bye, pin, and decision in three consolation rounds subsequent to his loss to fifth-seed Jonathan Carpenter of Bishop O'Connell (Va.) in the first round.
Phillips ended up the only one of seven Hill wrestlers to advance to the second day of Nationals. Colin Saunders (119), Jack Sullivan (125), Karl Wiszumerski (130), Tyler Mueller (140), Kyle Place (215) and Jay Knighton (285) were all eliminated Friday.
Teamwise, the Hill placed 24th in the tournament standings.
Centennial Conference: Ursinus placed four wrestlers in the finals of the Centennial Conference championships on its way to a second-place finish in the season-ending tournament at McDaniel College.
The Bears finished with 66 points, 50 behind repeat champion Merchant Marine. Four Ursinus wrestlers took second, with one taking third.
Steve Kingsland, the conference champion at 125 pounds last season, pinned Tim Hall of McDaniel at 1:17 in his opening match at 133. He then earned a 7-4 decision over Mark Bistis of Stevens, before falling to defending champion Phillip Greene of Merchant Marine in a 7-3 decision.
Kingsland shared the Chris Clifford Memorial Award with Andrew Goldstein of Gettysburg. The award is presented to a graduating senior who has earned the most points in his career at the Centennial Championships.
Freshman Alex Blank started the day as the second seed in the 125 pound bracket. He won his opening match over Frank Masselli of Stevens by fall in 3:13. He advanced to the finals with a technical fall over Ben Ersing of Washington & Lee in 5:18 with the score reaching 17-2. He fell to top-seed Jordan Alfaro of Merchant Marine in a tight 5-3 decision.
At 157, senior Chris Springer defeated Keith Swanson of Muhlenberg 9-1 in his opening match, then advanced to the finals with a 8-3 win over Leo Dormann of Stevens. Springer lost to Goldstein, the CC wrestler of the year, in the finals 11-6.
At 184, sophomore Nate Murren advanced to the final with an opening pin of Jonathan Paul of Gettysburg in 2:58. He then defeated Hector Cintron, 5-4, before losing to Matt Horn of Muhlenberg in the finals, 12-8.
At 197, freshman Connor McNamara won his first match, 4-3, over Will Yeo of McDaniel, before being defeated by Eric Vincent of Merchant Marine via technical fall (7:00). McNamara won his third place match over Yeo, 6-4.
Ursinus wrestlers placing fourth in their respective weight classes were James Bloom (141), Connor McCormick (149) and Ben Finelli (174). The team's other competitors were John Whitham at 165 (1-2) and Fernando Jones at 285 (0-2).