Eight schools claim titles in Blue Hen wrestling
By KEVIN TRESOLINI The News Journal
NEWARK -- William Penn High may have snared the team title in a runaway but individual success was spread around and enjoyed by many as the Blue Hen Conference Wrestling Championships wrapped up Saturday night at Newark High.
The 14 individual champions came from eight different schools, with St. Georges crowning three. William Penn, A.I. du Pont, Concord and Brandywine sent two each to the summit of the place-finishers' podium. Middletown, Newark and Hodgson had one winner apiece. Top seeds won 12 of the 14 weight classes.
The top six finishers in each weight class advanced to the state individual championships Friday and Saturday at St. Mark's, where Blue Hen wrestlers hope to improve after being shut out in the title hunt last year.
"I want more than this," said 112-pound champion Chanty Gbaye of William Penn, echoing a popular theme. "I've been getting ready for next week for months now and this was just a step. I put more time in the summer, getting up and running, three practices a day. Last year [at states] I lost two and won one and this year's going to be different."
Gbaye used an early near fall and a late tie-breaking takedown to spell the difference in his 10-8 decision over A.I. du Pont's Ryan Rodriguez, who had won at 103 last year.
Teammate Sam Seibert (215) pinned Charter School of Wilmington's Matt Zaldivar in 3:50 for the Colonials' second title.
William Penn finished with 234 1/2 points in a repeat win and qualified 12 for states. Wilmington Charter, despite not crowning a champion, was second with 177 points and nine state qualifiers, followed by St. Georges (174/seven), A.I. du Pont (164/eight) and Newark (158/seven). Eighteen schools entered wrestlers.
"I think this team overachieved all year," William Penn coach Marvin Dooley said. "We've got a lot of young guys in our lineup and we got better each day and each week. Even our seniors are first-year-in the-lineup guys and our captains are juniors so I'm really happy how we did."
Michael Albanise gave St. Georges its first-ever Blue Hen Conference champion with a pin of Newark's top-seeded Kevin Davis, courtesy of a wicked headlock, in 1:10 at 140. The freshman was voted the tournament's Outstanding Wrestler.
"I always manage to get people on that," the third-seeded Albanise said of his decisive headlock.
Nick Dooley gave St. Georges a second win at 171 by holding off Mount Pleasant's George Eriksen 10-7. Eriksen was a 2009 Blue Hen champ. A junior, Dooley is the son of the William Penn coach, who won the first of his two Blue Hen Conference titles as a William Penn junior 25 years ago, also in the Newark gym.
"That was some inspiration for me," said Nick Dooley, who leaped into his father's arms to celebrate the accomplishment.
In the night's last final, Anthony Scollo gave St. Georges its third winner with a pin in 2:54 against Newark's Antonio Verdejo at 285.
A.I. du Pont had the night's lone repeat winner from 2010 in 145-pounder Brendon Sebera, who decisioned William Penn's Dayquan Foreman 7-1 in the finals. Sebera won at 140 last year.
He was the Tigers' second champ of the night, as freshman Cory Alaburda took the 103 title with a second-period pin of Newark's Anish Amin.
Concord picked up a pair of champions, each prevailing in dominant fashion. At 119, Nicky Natale won a 12-2 major decision over William Penn's Lars O'Neal, who'd scored the semifinals' biggest upset by toppling top-seeded defending champion Shawn Alaburda 13-7. Kedar Salih's 12-5 decision over Wilmington Charter's Bobby Abbott gave Concord a second title.
Brandywine twin brothers Parker and Berkeley Jones enjoyed identical first-place finishes in hard-earned finals. At 125, an early third-period takedown and subsequent rideout gave Parker a 5-4 decision over Christiana's determined Chris Reina.
"I thought I'd pin him in the first period but he was really good. It was just tough," Parker Jones said.
Berkeley Jones held off William Penn's Jauxnas Palomo 9-7 at 135.
Middletown picked up a championship when junior Tom Homier rolled to a 12-0 major decision over William Penn's James Shreve to conclude a dominant march through 152.
Josh Vann gave host Newark fans reason to cheer at 160, where the Yellowjacket senior controlled the match throughout en route to a 7-3 decision over Middletown's Fred Boyett.
Hodgson had a winner in the evening's closest bout at 189. A pair of escapes proved to be the difference in Jonothan Turner's 8-7 decision over Christiana's Shawn Freel.
Blue Hen Conference Wrestling Championships
At Newark High
1-William Penn 234.5, 2-Charter School of Wilmington 177, 3-St. Georges 174, 4-A.I. du Pont 164, 5-Newark 158, 6-Middletown 145.5, 7-Concord 121.5, 8-Delcastle 97, 9-Hodgson 96, 10-Brandywine 94.5, 11-Christiana 59.5, 12-Appoquinimink 54, 13-Mount Pleasant 53, 14-Glasgow 50, 15-Howard 49, 16-Dickinson 17, 17-McKean 9, 18-Conrad 3.
103: Cory Alaburda, AI, pinned Anish Amin, New, 3:46.
112: Chanty Gbaye, WP, dec. Ryan Rodriguez, AI, 10-8.
119: Nicky Natale, Conc, maj. dec. Lars O'Neal, WP, 12-2.
125: Parker Jones, Bw, dec. Chris Reina, Chr, 5-4.
130: Kedar Salih, Conc, dec. Bobby Abbott, CSW, 12-5.
135: Berkeley Jones, Bw, dec. Jauxnas Palomo, WP, 9-7.
140:* Michael Albanise, StG, pinned Kevin Davis, New, 1:10.
145: Brandon Sebera, AI, (wins 2nd Blue Hen title) dec. Dayquan Foreman, WP, 7-1.
152: Tom Homier, Mid, maj. dec. James Shreve, WP, 12-0.
160: Josh Vann, New, dec. Fred Boyett, Mid, 7-3.
171: Nick Dooley, StG, dec. George Eriksen, MP, 10-7.
189: Jonothan Turner, Hod, dec. Shawn Freel, Chr, 8-7.
215: Sam Seibert, WP, pinned Matt Zaldivar, CSW, 3:50.
285: Anthony Scollo, StG, pinned Antonio Verdejo, New, 2:54
103: Malhar Sakarawala, CSW, dec. David Townsend, Mid, 7-6. 112: Mark Lambert, Conc, dec. William Matarese, StG, 10-4. 119: Kenny Testa, CSW, pinned Shawn Alaburda, AI, 2:43. 125: Brad Goodman, StG, dec. James Bush, How, 4-2 OT. 130: Shaheem Davis, WP, dec. Brody Wood, Hod, 5-4. 135: Gabe Ginn, StG, dec. James Bowen, Delc, 3-2. 140: Jonathan Wideman, WP, dec.Hunter Perry, AI, 8-3 OT. 145: Dennis Sullivan, Conc, dec. Richard Reed, Hod, 8-1. 152: Viiney Casey, CSW, dec. Cody Horrocks, Hod, 6-0. 160: Mark Morakinyo, Gl, maj.dec. Zach Holden, WP, 14-5. 171: Tim Von Duyke, New, dec. Ivan Turner, AI, 3-0. 189: Ryan O'Conner, Delc, dec. Davon Winn, WP, 6-4. 215: Jesus Saravia, Delc, dec. Mike Blakely, AI, 9-8. 285: Joe Rainis, CSW, won by disq. over Tyreese Green, How.
103: Morgan Johnson, Conc, pinned CJ Hughes, How, 3:45. 112: Mike Recupido, Mid, pinned Jesse Helmick, Bw, 2:08. 119: Jake Vick, Mid, maj. dec. Andrew Hughes, New, 10-1. 125: Travis Hubler, Mid, dec. Tim Nelson, WP, 6-4. 130: Rocco Hladney, Ap, dec. Jacob Fendrich, MP, 10-4. 135: Sam Rohde, CSW, won by forfeit over George Evonishon, Chr. 140: Peter Clampitt, CSW, pinned Lansana Donzo, MP, 2:49. 145: Josh Banfill, Gl, pinned Ian Hathaway, Bw, 0:45. 152: Zach Johnson, Conc, dec. Stephen Ryan, AI, 2-1. 160: Raheim Devins, Hod, dec. Nate Morrow, CSW, 5-4. 171: Kenyatta Berg-Moultry, Ap, dec. Cliff Sellers, Bw, 10-9. 189: Eric Catts, StG, dec. Jeffery Lewis, How, 8-1. 215: Brandon Ciarlo, New, dec. Austin Brant, Mid, 3-2. 285: Kenny Hensley, Mid, pinned Aldrick Lassiter, WP, 4:26.
Returning Blue Hen Conference Champions
Ryan Rodriguez, AI DuPont
Shawn Alaburda, AI DuPont
Brandon Sebera, AI DuPont
*For the first time in the history of the St. George's Wrestling Program, Michael Albanise becames the Hawks first Blue Hen Conference champion in school history,and was named the Outstanding Wrestler. Nick Dooley and Anthony Scollo are 2nd and 3rd conference champions.