PHOENIXVILLE - The three Phoenixville senior wrestlers enjoyed their Wednesday evening to the fullest in what has been a difficult season and career in terms of team success with the Phantoms.
Jordan Valenteen, Eddie McCarthy and Henry Hancock each won matches as Phoenixville pounded shorthanded Pope John Paul II, 59-12, in Pioneer Athletic Conference action.
Valenteen won via fall, McCarthy by major decision and Hancock by fall as the Phantoms won their first league meet of the season (1-6, 3-12) against the Golden Panthers (0-6, 0-14).
“It was Senior Night and we sent our seniors out with a win,” said Phoenixville coach Joe Youngblood.
Phoenixville capitalized on four pins and took advantage of four forfeits to gain the victory.
Valenteen won by fall in just 20 seconds at 195 pounds. McCarthy decisioned Zach Schauder, 15-6, for a four-point major decision at 126. Hancock gained his pin at the 2:21 mark at 145.
“It was great getting Eddie back into the lineup,” said Youngblood. “We had to bump him up two weight classes to do it, but he took care of business, nonetheless.
“Henry is enjoying his best year yet. He has been working hard. He was cramping up so we told him to get it done quick. And, as always, Jordan was a rock out there doing what he has been doing most of his career for us.”
Valenteen improved his record to 21-6 with 10 falls, four technical falls and three major decisions. McCarthy moved to 8-3 with two falls and three major decisions. Hancock is now 12-14 with three falls, one technical fall and one major decision.
The Phantoms also got pins from David Rosati (5:06 at 285) and Trey Romance (4:55 at 132). Brennigan Myers notched a 14-2 major decision over Aaron Cusatis at 152. Damien Davido used a first-period takedown to outduel Vincent Togno at 138.
Phoenixville forfeit victories belonged to Mike Vargo (170), Garrett Serwatka (106), DuJuan Serrette-Davis (113) and Austin Place (120).
Pope John Paul II gained its points on a forfeit to Kirk Cherneskie (182), a 5-1 decision by Josh Bildstein over Paul Hossler at 220 and a 5-0 decision by Conor Staples over Tim Labik in the windup bout at 160.
“It feels nice, yeah,” said Hancock, who plans to join the Army following graduation. “It has been a rough year, but I am glad I stuck it out. The thing was this was supposed to be our best year. When we were in eighth grade, we were undefeated, but all the other guys quit. There are only three left. Me, Eddie and Jordan are the only ones left. It is nice, but at the same time it is kind of bittersweet with what could have been You know what I mean.”
Hancock feels the discipline he learned from wrestling will enhance his military career a lot in the future.
“I have to get my weight back up and my strength back up,” said Hancock. “I have lost 15 pounds. It was a nice night.”
Golden Panthers coach Selden Staples, a Phoenixville resident, has had to deal with a winter without lightweight wrestlers.
“It’s been a tough year,” said Staples. “There were one or two matches I thought we could win here, but we didn’t. Other than that, it was pretty much how I expected. We have no lightweights, maybe next year. We have no feeder program. But we try to really wrestle hard and I am happy about that. They (Phantoms) are well-coached, and I know all the kids.”
Cherneskie, a junior, is now 17-4 with four falls and one major decision while Bildstein, a senior, is 13-8 with eight pins. Cusatis, another senior, is 11-12 with six pins and one major decision. Conor Staples, also a senior, is 10-7 with six falls and one major decision. ... Valenteen, a four-year starter, has a career record of 82-42 and he has been a District 1 meet qualifier. ... McCarthy, a three-year starter, is now 55-28 overall and has been a two-time district qualifier.