Penns­bury sur­vives fu­ri­ous come­back by Pan­thers

The Advance of Bucks County - - WORD ON THE STREET - By Vince Par­avec­chia

Fal­con coach Phil Kealy is hop­ing what hap­pened was a scary ex­pe­ri­ence for his Penns­bury wrestling squad.

Six matches in to the Fal­cons’ team home tilt with Wil­liam Ten­nent Dec. 19, Penns­bury was in com­plete con­trol. The score was 2T-3, and se­nior Ryan Healy was set for the 1T0-pound bout with Juan Maus­met.

What fol­lowed, though, was a pin of Healy, and a sub­se­quent slip for the Fal­cons. Four matches later, the score was even at 2T apiece with three grap­plers left among the lighter weights for both squads.

Penns­bury, how­ever, proved to be more durable. Af­ter a for­feit at 106 pounds in the Fal­cons’ fa­vor, Domi- nic Mar­toc­cio earned a pin of An­thony Carulli at 113 pounds, putting an end to the Pan­thers’ threat and seal­ing what went on to be a 452T Penns­bury vic­tory.

“I’m not wor­ried at all,” Kealy said. “We’re headed in the right di­rec­tion.”

“lur big­gest thing is just con­di­tion­ing,” he con­tin­ued. “We’ve got a long way to go [in the sea­son].”

Sev­eral Fal­con wrestlers were very im­pres­sive while earn­ing vic­to­ries. Se­nior Josh DiSanto, fresh off sec­tional, district and re­gional cham­pi­onships in 2011-12, is back for an en­core, and af­ter dom­i­nat­ing Alex Szlanic in their 138-pound bout in the first pe­riod, fi­nally locked on for a pin at 3:26. His ef­forts fol­lowed an even more dom­i­nant per­for­mance by ju­nior Mike Ray­mond at 132 pounds, one which took him just 1:16 to pin his op­po­nent Colin Jones.

Mar­toc­cio’s pin came at 1:21 and clinched the fifth team vic­tory of the year for the Fal­cons against just one loss.

“I felt what he was do­ing, how he was mov­ing. Waited for an open­ing,” DiSanto said.

With the vic­tory, DiSanto im­proved to 8-0 on the sea­son, which was filled with tour­na­ment ap­pear­ances prior to the Ten­nent match. He eclipsed the 100-win plateau for his ca­reer as a ju­nior and won a state match be­fore be­ing elim­i­nated.

Now, he is one of 13 se­niors on a ros­ter that also features many tal­ented un­der­class­men. Among them are fresh­men Connor Joyce and Alex Cwe­nar. At 160 pounds, Cwe­nar took com­mand of his match against Pat Do­herty in the third pe­riod, turn­ing a score­less first two into a pin at 4:51. Joyce capped the night with an easy pin of Josh Troy that took just 21 sec­onds at 120 pounds.

“It’s dif­fer­ent,” said DiSanto about be­ing a se­nior and work­ing with the un­der­class­men. “I re­mem­ber be­ing a fresh­men and it’s odd see­ing some else go through that.”

The prob­lem for the Fal­cons is they are a lit­tle

up head­ing into the hol­i­days. Among the wrestlers miss­ing ac­tion against Ten­nent was se­nior An­thony DeEmidio, who went 31-9 with seven pins last year while win­ning dis­tricts at his weight class. He is hop­ing to be back by Jan. 3 from an in­jury, when the Fal­cons are next in ac­tion at home against Down­ing­town East.

Also out was sopho­more Eric Mongiello, the nor­mal No. 1 grap­pler at 106 pounds who is bat­tling an ill­ness. vet, un­like most lo­cal teams, Penns­bury will not take part in one of next week’s tour­na­ments over the hol­i­day break, which could be for­tu­nate for it. In­stead, the Fal­cons will rest and take ad­van­tage of the train­ing time so as to be ready for the bulk of the Sub­ur­ban lne League (SlL) Na­tional Con­fer­ence slate.

“lne Jan. 3 comes, we’re in it and in it deep,” Kealy said.

“We want to win SlLs. That’s No. 1 goal, and then, we plan on go­ing fur­ther than that,” Healy, who is .500 on the year af­ter be­ing pinned at 4:51, said. “We have a lot of tal­ent.” Should the tal­ent come to fruition, the Fal­cons have the po­ten­tial to com­pete for sev­eral in­di­vid­ual, as well as team, hon­ors . DeEmidio, DiSanto and c l a s s mates Mikel’Brien (lost 3-2 de- ci­sion), Ja­son Bing (won by for­feit at 126 pounds) and Ernie Tes­sein (lost 8-6 de­ci­sion) lead the se­nior con­tenders.

From the sopho­mores, Mang­iello leads the pack when healthy, but Jack­son Hurl­bert (195 pounds) and Ma­son Houriet (285 pounds) cracked the start­ing lineup against Ten­nent. Both, though, suf­fered set­backs in the form of pins.

How­ever, fel­low sopho­more Luke Kowal im­proved to T-3 on the year af­ter ral­ly­ing to win the match of the night. In it, he ral­lied with a two-point take­down against Boris Sok­iev to force over­time at 152 pounds. Mo­ments later, he pulled off an­other take­down to claim a 10-8 de­ci­sion.

The Fal­cons also have a ju­nior class head­lined by Mar­toc­cio that pro­vides needed depth, which was needed in the form of Kate Fitz­patrick against Ten­nent. She broke the 2T-2T tie at 106 pounds with a for­feit vic­tory and im­proved to 2-2 on the year, thanks to an ear­lier pin at the Sau­con sal­ley tour­na­ment.

The Fal­cons may have a hid­den gem in Fitz­patrick, who won the 101-pound girls na­tional cham­pi­onship ear­lier this year in lk­la­homa City and is a mem­ber of the Fargo Freestyle Na­tional team.

“This year, I’m at the right weight, and the team’s really sup­port­ive,” Fitz­patrick, who is in her first sea­son of var­sity wrestling, said.

“It was really im­por­tant that we came back strong so that the other team wouldn’t get the ad­van­tage they in­tended,” she added.


Photo by John Glee­son

Penns­bury se­nior Josh DiSanto is 8-0 in­clud­ing six pins thus far on the sea­son com­pet­ing at 132 and 138 pounds.

Photo by Steve Sherman

Ne­shaminy se­nior Ryan O’Connor (L) notched his 100th win with a 6-1 de­ci­sion over ben­salem 145-pounder Josh Shalin­sky.

Photo by Sue Dono­hue

Penns­bury se­nior Ja­son Bing reg­is­tered a pin, a ma­jor and a pair of tech-fall wins at the Abing­ton Duals.

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