RIDLEY TWP. — Austin Filippone went online Friday night to see where he was seeded in the Central League wrestling championships. The senior from Garnet Valley was not happy with what he saw.
He was not one of the seeded wrestlers in the 160-pound class, even though he went 5-1 in league competition at that weight and 6-2 overall in the league. As an unseeded wrestler, it meant Filippone had to come through the pigtail round if he wanted to win his first league title.
“I was disappointed, but it sort of made sense the way I finished last year,” Filippone said.
He had gone 0-2 at 160 last year and was pinned twice, so he was already highly motivated to have a better showing in his final league tournament. The snub of not being seeded gave him extra incentive to come out a champion, which he did.
Filippone capped a 4-0 tournament run with a 17-2 technical fall victory over top-seeded Liam Matson of Conestoga in the final to help pace the Jaguars to their second straight Central League team title, a program first.
“I had to go out and show them they were wrong,” Filippone said.
Filippone was one of four Garnet Valley wrestlers to win individual titles. Freshman Matt Ricci (106), sophomore Griffin Hollingsworth (120), his senior brother Gavin (138) and Colin Deery (285) also won.
Griffin Hollingsworth and Deery won for the second year in a row. Nick Puliti (126), Dillon Conlon (170) and Joe Morrone (220) placed second, while Christopher Wood (113), Desmon Perry (145) and Sam DiTrolio (195) were third-place Jags.
“We knew that we had to come in here and prove we were Central League champions, which we did,” Deery said. “I’m very proud of the way my teammates wrestled today. It was awesome.”
The Jaguars scored 251.5 points to claim the team title after an 8-0 run through the league’s dual meet season. Conestoga (176.5) was second, followed by Ridley (149) and Upper Darby (128).
Ricci, the youngest son of Garnet Valley football coach Mike Ricci, was one of two freshmen to come away with an individual title. He went 3-0 won by major decision over Upper Darby’s Farhan Chowdhury (14-4) to claim his first league title and set the tone for the rest of his teammates.
“It’s a great feeling,” said Ricci, who wrestled most of the season at 113. “We’ve had a great couple of weeks of practice. The coaches worked us hard and we wanted to wrap up the Central League title and I was glad to get some points for the team.”
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