Now granted there is still quite a bit of wrestling to go in this 2003-2004 season, but the Phantoms were able to bid adieu to their seniors with a resounding 46-24 win over the Winged Lions.
After a setback at 112 to start the match, the Phantoms ran off five straight wins from 119 to 140 to take control and never relinquish the lead the rest of the way.
"The last couple of matches we've worked real hard," said Phantoms coach John Tornetta. "Teams that we know we can wrestle with we wrestle hard, wrestle smart. The kids have been working hard in the practice room and the hard work is paying off for them."
Phoenixville's Josh Overdorf picked up a forfeit at 119, and senior Matt Peto picked up a technical fall win over Sean Regan at 125 after bumping up from his usual 119 slot.
"We lost the match pretty much after the coin flip," said Pius coach John Martucci. "We had planned on moving our lineup around and forfeiting to Peto, but because they won the toss our strategy went out the window. We weren't able to get the matchups we were looking for, and John (Tornetta) was on the ball as I figured he would be."
After Craig Owsiany's 7-5 decision of Nick Wade at 145 cut the deficit to 28-6, the Phantoms ran off four more wins to put the match out of reach.
Senior Dante Rau outlasted Pius' Steve Jensen 18-12 at 152 in a back-and-forth battle that both wrestlers gave everything they had.
Phoenixville's Steve Ross pinned Kevin Keifer at 160 at the 1:30 mark for a 37-6 advantage.
A 16-10 decision by the Phantoms' Tom Stoltz at 171 over David Deitz made it 40-6, and Bill Bleiler finished off the scoring on the night for Phoenixville with a 43-second pin of Blake Boeckel at 189.
Pius' Zach McCann registered a pin of Kevin West at 215 at the 3:06 mark, and Mike Yesesky and Cory Weiss each were awarded forfeits to end the match.
"Zach has been slumping in the past week," said Martucci of his senior captain, who picked up his first loss of the season on Monday. "The whole team's been tired, so we thought it might help to rejuvenate them by not practicing on the mats (Thursday)."
"We were hoping all of them would step up and win their matches," Tornetta said of his seniors. "We wanted West to wrestle a tough guy like McCann. We wanted to get him a match where he had to work harder, and he sees he has to pick it up."
NOTES ... The Phantoms won the takedown battle by a 13-5 margin. Andy Hoff picked up Pius' first win of the night at 112 with a 17-12 decision over Justin D'Antonio. D'Antonio fought off several potential pinning combinations in the first and second periods, and even had a chance to record a pin of his own in the third before time ran out.
The Phantoms are participating in the Conestoga Tournament Saturday before returning to their PAC-10 slate next Saturday morning against Owen J. Roberts. Phoenixville was scheduled to wrestle Lansdale Catholic on Wednesday, but will be off now due to LC not fielding a team this season.
MIDDLE SCHOOL WRESTLING
The Phoenixville Middle School Phantom wrestling team dropped a 63-39 decision to Lionville on Friday on the mats.
However there was vast improvement shown in the young Phantoms in several of the matches.
Winning by pin for the Phantoms were Chris Soley, Steve Lord, Tyler Mittnacht, Robert Newcomb, Eric Newcomb, and Fred Holly. Winning by a major decision was Clayton Kaier. The team travels to Stetson on Tuesday for their next match.