Match of the Week
St. Mark's to Limit
Photos: Sussex Central's Joshua Lowe (top), A.J. Rovillard (middle) and Wyatt Hall (bottom) all won their matches.
GEORGETOWN -- You can always count on one thing at the Delaware High School Division I state dual meet wrestling tournament.
No matter how formidable its semifinal opponent, Sussex Central will not back down.
Such was the case again on Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2002, as the Golden Knights took top-seeded St. Mark's to the final match before succumbing, 33-21, in the semifinals.
St. Mark's later beat No. 2 Caesar Rodney 36-24 in the championship dual meet, while Hodgson defeated Smyrna 42-18 for the Division II title.
The Knights have made a habit of throwing a scare into favored opponents in the dual meet semifinals. Last year, Central lost to eventual state champion Caesar Rodney 29-27 in the semis. In 1999, the Knights upset CR in the semifinals.
Once again, Central entered the dual meet with St. Mark's Wednesday night as a huge underdog. In fact, Knight head coach Phil Shultie made no bones about not wanting to face the Spartans.
But by night's end, SC had given St. Mark's, a team with four wrestlers with more than 100 career wins, a challenge it hadn't seen all season from in-state opponents as they scored more points against St. Mark's than any other Delaware team this year.
"I was very impressed by the way we wrestled," said Shultie. "We did better than what I thought we could do."
St. Mark's, coached by legendary Sussex Central alumnus Steve Bastianelli, entered the meet with four 100-win wrestlers in 119-pounder Bobby Shaw, 130-pounder Pat Atkinson, 145-pounder Joe Ferrara, and 160-pounder Andrew Donofrio.
But it was Central that took a 12-0 lead on a decision by heavyweight A.J. Rovillard in the meet's first match, a pin by freshman Derek Waughen at 103, and a decision by Josh Lowe at 112.
Waughen built a 7-0 lead on St. Mark's Bryan Calvetti before pinning him in the second period in 3:56. Lowe held onto a 6-5 lead over the Spartans' Mike Moyer after the second period to win his match.
St. Mark's then began its comeback with a pin by Shaw at 119. A controversial 7-5 decision by the Spartans' Eddie Quinn over Richard Dondarski at 125 brought St. Mark's within 12-9, and Atkinson decisioned Central's Orion Cameron 13-6 at 130 to tie the score 12-12.
In the Dondarski match, Dondarski appeared to have scored a tying takedown late in the match but was ruled out of bounds as he was taking Quinn down.
St. Mark's took its first lead on a decision by Chris Collins over Jason Dickerson at 135, but Central came right back with an 8-6 decision by Casey Strohmeyer over Kyle Skinner at 140.
The meet remained tied after the next two matches at 18-18 as Ferrara posted a 2-0 decision over Central's Jordan Lowe at 145 and Central's Wyatt Hall registered a 4-3 win over St. Mark's Ed Sheridan at 152.
The Spartans then got a big lift from Donofrio, who pinned Central's Kevin VanVorst at 160 for a 24-18 advantage.
Central again closed the gap, this time to 24-21, on a decision by Raheim Brunskill at 171, but the Spartans won the last two matches on a decision at 189 by Travis McKay and a pin by Brian Willis at 215 to seal the victory.
Shultie had bumped his wrestlers up from the 160 to 215 weight classes to give his upper weights better matchups. He inserted the seldom-used VanVorst at 160 to go against the Spartans' vaunted Donofrio.
Central finished its dual meet season at 12-2 with its only losses coming against the two state finalists.
Hwt. -- A.J. Rovillard (SC) dec. Chris DiNuzzo, 4-0
103 -- Derek Waughen (SC) pinned Bryan Calvetti, 3:56
112 -- Joshua Lowe (SC) dec. Mike Moyer, 6-5
119 -- Bobby Shaw (SM) pinned Jeremy Milam, 1:34
125 -- Eddie Quinn (SM) dec. Richard Dondarski, 7-5
130 -- Pat Atkinson (SM) dec. Orion Cameron, 13-6
135 -- Chris Collins (SM) dec. Jason Dickerson, 8-5
140 -- Casey Strohmeyer (SC) dec. Kyle Skinner, 8-6
145 -- Joe Ferrara (SM) dec. Jordan Lowe, 2-0
152 -- Wyatt Hall (SC) dec. Ed Sheridan, 4-3
160 -- Andrew Donofrio (SM) pinned Kevin VanVorst, 3:20
171 -- Raheim Brunskill (SC) dec. Matt Axe, 4-3
189 -- Travis McKay (SM) dec. Brett Cordrey, 5-3
215 -- Brian Willis (SM) pinned Lewis Day, 1:47
Sussex Central head coach Phil Shultie on the loss:
"I was very impressed by the way we wrestled. They all, all 14 guys, gave their best shot. We did better than what I thought we would do. That match was close at 125 (Richard Dondarski's 7-5 loss to St. Mark's Eddie Griffin). I thought he had a takedown. I'm just glad it didn't come down to them winning by a point or two so that didn't have a bearing. I'm very pleased with the way we wrestled. I thought we looked tough. No complaints. I think it helped us a lot because we did hang with St. Mark's, we did turn St. Mark's, we took six matches from St. Mark's. I was very impressed."
Shultie on his team's aggressiveness against St. Mark's:
"I thought we looked very good on our feet. We took a lot of shots and they took very little. They're real good on their feet. I thought we looked good from the bottom, I thought we looked good from the top, I thought overall we wrestled a very sound match from top to bottom. I'm happy but I'd be a whole lot happier if I was over there (preparing for the finals) right now. It's like CR. We had a good match against CR but got beat. What can you say? We wrestled tough. Tonight we wrestled tough, we kept it close. I mean, we bumped everybody up from 160 up and we were giving up weight. The kids didn't complain. They went out there and still we're in the match. So I was pleased."
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