Graeber pin helps Neshaminy avenge previous loss
BucksLocalSports Editor When Bensalem beat Neshaminy in a dual meet last season, it was the first time in decades the lwls got past the Redskins in such an event.
So when Neshaminy heavyweight Bruce draeber took the mat in the last bout of the evening with his team holding a slight 3-point edge, the freshman knew what he had to do. draeber made sure of a ‘Skins win this time around, pinning opponent Jasin Speer in 49 seconds flat, assuring Neshaminy of its 3T-28 triumph.
The pin came as no surprise to draeber – he’s won all of his matches that way this year.
“It’s the greatest feeling I think I could ever have,” said draeber. “We made sure we beat them this year. “We HAD to win this.” For Neshaminy, the surprise is the fact that the ninth-grader just started playing this game a season ago at Poquessing Middle School.
“Bruce is one big kid. He came out for the team weighing about 240 and he’s just a monster,” said ‘Skins senior wrestler Ryan l’Connor, who hit the century mark with his decision win over Joshua Shalinsky.
“He’s working hard in the room and getting it done out on the mat.”
Coming as no shock to the Redskins was the win registered by l’Connor in the 145-pound matchup. The middleweight took the mat with his team trailing, 196. Indeed, the only points Neshaminy mustered to that point were the ones it gath- ered in the 113-pound bout, where Bensalem had no one
Scoring a takedown in the first 30 seconds, l’Connor was ahead 6-1 halfway through the match, and eventually took an 8-1 deci- sion for the 100th win of his career.
“It was definitely special, especially getting it here at home. A lot of hard work was put into it,” he said afterward.
lf course, getting the dual meet win was more significant, said l’Connor.
“It was really big for the team to get the win because Bensalem beat us last year,” the senior said. “Coming out with the ‘W’ was definitely big for us.”
Additionally, junior Nate Russell played a big part in the victory, pinning Bensalem 152-pounder Donavin Williams with 49 seconds to go in the second period.
“I was confident of everything I did,” said Russell, who pushed his way to 9-4 on the season. “I was wrestling smart and I wrestled the way I wanted to go out there and wrestle.”
Together with l’Connor’s win, the pin drew the Redskins within four points of the lwls, who still led 1915 after eight matches.
“Nate works really hard in the room; we both do and I think it really shows on the mat,” stated l’Connor.
“We both won tonight and I think it really helped boost the team, get a little motivation going and helped us get the team a win.”
Ben Stern got off to a good start in the 160-pound matchup, the youngster wound up dropping a close decision to Bensalem’s Jason Mulvey. That was the last win on the mat for the lwls, however.
In the next match, Neshaminy junior Evan Pascucci registered a 10-1 major decision win over Bensalem 1T0-pounder Ian Pisarchuk. A Js grappler last season, Pascucci is now 5-3 with three pins and a major.
“He put a lot of dedication into it last summer and he started working really hard,” said l’Connor, of Pascucci. “It’s really showing up here on the mat for him.”
“Evan came up really big coming through the way he did,” said Russell, of his teammate. “He’s been practicing really hard in the room and that’s what we expect from him.”
For awhile, the dual meet win for the ‘Skins was in doubt. The lwls started off by taking five of the first six bouts including a pin by Neto Shields at 138 pounds and a major by Tommy Stokes at 132. Bensalem also registered decisions by Dylan Hansbury (106), Tyler Anderson (120) and Mike Pritchard (126).
“We had some tough matches in there but we grew together as a team to come back and overcome it,” said Russell. “We all wrestled great.”
It’s the third dual meet win of the season for Neshaminy, which also defeated Hazleton (45-2T) and the host team (45-26) Dec. 8 at the nuakertown Duals.
“It’s a great way to start off the season for our team, especially [coming] against an SlL team that we’ve had trouble with,” said Russell. “It was a great match.”
The Redskins benefitted by Bensalem forfeits at 113, 182 and 195 while the lwls took six points with a Redskins forfeit in the 220-pound match.
George School senior Maddie Sweitzer is one of three senior captains for the Cougars girls volleyball team.
Neshaminy junior Evan Pascucci (top) is coming on strong for the Redskins, taking the varsity mat at 170 pounds.