By Barry Sankey
FAIRVIEW VILLAGE — Host Methacton capitalized on five falls, two forfeits and two decisions to help celebrate Senior Day with a 48-16 Pioneer Athletic Conference wrestling victory over Phoenixville Saturday afternoon.
Eric Straup (120), Paul Russo (160), Devin Bradley (170), Tahar Ferradji (220) and Tracey Green (285) recorded falls for the Warriors (5-3, 15-6 overall), who will close out their PAC-10 regular season schedule Wednesday night against Spring-Ford.
Joe Staley (132) and Jack Ryan (152) added decisions for Methacton, while Stephen Stajnrajh (182) and Mike Baccaro (195) accepted forfeits as the Warriors won nine of the 13 bouts contested. There was a double forfeit at 113 pounds.
Methacton honored its three senior wrestlers — Baccaro, Russo and Danny Damato (145).
“It is always nice to get a win,” said Methacton coach A.J. Maida. “I would say there were a couple matches where I think we could have had and didn’t. They were close ones. Their (Phantom) kids did a nice job. There were some things our guys could have done, but give Phoenixville credit. They came out ready to go. Their guys at 126, 132, 138 and 145 were ready to roll.”
Mark Cermanski put Phoenixville on the scoreboard with a 5-4 decision over fellow freshman Al Ciccitto at 126. Ciccitto took a 2-0 lead after the first period and made it 4-0 with a reversal to start the second period, but Cermanski countered with an escape, takedown and two-point near fall in the second period to take the one-point lead that held up with a scoreless third period.
At 132, Staley took on Trey Romance and the bout was tied at 2-2 after one period. After a scoreless second period, Stacley scored on a reversal and three-point near fall in the third period to seal the verdict.
Phoenixville’s Damien Davido scored a 15-1 major decision over Cody Rupp at 138 pounds. Davido opened a 5-0 lead after one period and upped it to 9-1 after two and then widened the gap with a six-point third period.
Henry Hancock gave the Phantoms their lone lead of the day at 10-9 after the 145-pound encounter. Hancock copped a 6-4 decision over Damato, who scored on a first-period takedown and third-period reversal. Hancock posted reversals in the first and second periods and a takedown out of the neutral position to start the third period.
The Warriors then strung together seven consecutive victories to take control of the meet.
Phoenixville’s Garrett Serwatka capped the action with a fall at 106 in 3:39.
“There are some things we have to work on to get ready for Spring-Ford as far as finishing the match, things like that,” said Maida.
Maida said Damato and Hancock will probably meet again during the PAC-10 Championships at Boyertown on Feb. 16, where only the top five wrestlers will earn berths in the following week’s District 1 North Tournament at Spring-Ford.
Baccaro is now 25-4 with 11 falls. However, Maida said most of his league victories have been by forfeit. That will change during upcoming meets against Spring-Ford and non-league rival Wissahickon and then during the postseason.
“Michael has only had two matches in our PAC-10 schedule,” said Maida. “He has had quite a bit of forfeits. We look to our seniors for leadership on the mats, and when you don’t have that (chance to wrestle), it takes something away. But he’ll have matches against Spring-Ford and Wissahickon. Then he will have a tough road to hoe in the PAC-10. There is no doubt about that.”
Phoenixville coach Joe Youngblook was pleased with certain aspects of the meet.
“We gave up two forfeits up top and we had a guy not making weight at 113 that hurt us,” said Youngblood. “But Henry Hancock had a great match. We hope he is peaking for the postseason.
“Damien Davido wrestled well. His record does not indicate it, but he is a tough, tough kid. Romance wrestled well against Staley, and Garrett went out and did what he was supposed to do. So there were some positive things to take away from this match.”
Youngblood feels the Phantoms must do a better job of hand-fighting when they are in the bottom position. But much of that was due to Methacton’s wrestling ability and execution at the same time, he said.