Wrestling season got underway as Northeast hosted South River and rival Chesapeake for a tri-meet on December 6.
South River, county champion in two of the last three seasons, came away with a pair of victories, defeating Northeast 60-21 and Chesapeake 51-21 to start its year 2-0.
In the night’s main event, Chesapeake outdueled their rival hosts to take a 50-30 win over Northeast.
The two Pasadena schools have alternated victories in the rivalry each winter going back to the 2013-2014 season. Northeast owns the last streak in the rivalry, winning in both 2012-2013 and 2013-2014, and the Eagles edged out the Cougars in last year’s matchup, 42-35.
This year, it was Chesapeake’s turn to take the showdown.
“We’re happy with the result,” said Chesapeake head coach Randy Curtin. “There’s a few things we need to sharpen up, but overall we’re very happy with the end result. We’re excited for the team this year. We have a lot of guys back from last year.”
Chesapeake freshman Chase Listorti began the night by notching a first-round pin of Andrew Petrusis in the 120-lbs matchup.
“Our two schools have a huge rivalry, and we all joke, ‘If you don’t win, we’re throwing you off the team,’” said Listorti. “So, I dunno, it was kind of blur. I love this sport. You try your hardest, sometimes you end up pinning him.”
Listorti also won his bout by decision against South River earlier in the evening and was one of three Cougars to come away with two victories on the day.
The Cougars’ Reese Russell followed at 126, and he led 11-7 in the third round when he was able to pin Northeast’s Dustin Morrow and give Chesapeake a 12-0 lead.
Chesapeake’s Aiden Yost wrestled up a weight class at 132, and Northeast’s Owen Schmidt took advantage, notching a first-round pin to keep the Eagles within striking distance at 12-6.
The Eagles were forced to forfeit the 138-lbs weight class, a less-than-ideal scenario they’d have to repeat at 195. Northeast coach Chris Dyke anticipates having a full lineup soon once roster members reach their goal weights.
Trailing 18-6, Northeast punched back into the match behind Billy Katzenberger at 145. Katzenberger was able to subdue Chesapeake’s Bryce Carleton for a second-round pin in a super athletic bout that zig-zagged all over the mat.
Not wanting to be outdone by his younger brother, Victor Listorti got Chesapeake back on track at 152 in a great matchup with Northeast’s Jayden Mason. The athletes were tied 2-2 after one round, and Listorti scored five unanswered points in the second round to lead 7-2. He threatened to pin Mason in the third round, but Mason held him off before ultimately surrendering a 9-4 decision to Listorti in the full three rounds.
Said Dyke, “It’s been every other year [with Chesapeake]. We can’t get pinned and we can’t forfeit. We got pinned twice when we shouldn’t have. Jayden did a great job not getting pinned and lost a decision to their best wrestler.”
Northeast’s Thomas Gargano notched a swift pin in the first round of his 160 match with Chesapeake’s Dion Ambrose to get Northeast back to within three points, trailing 21-18. (Ambrose had won his match at 160 earlier in the evening against South River, pinning his Seahawk opponent).
That’s when the Cougars went on a run. At 170, Chesapeake’s DJ Hoover led Northeast’s Brayden Young 2-0 in the second round when he caught Young for a pin and a 27-18 Cougar lead. It was Hoover’s second victory of the day; he won an 8-2 decision in his match at 170 against South River.
Hunter Beck followed for Chesapeake with an outstanding match at 182 against Northeast’s Josh Arnold. Beck led 8-1 after two rounds and wore Arnold down enough to pin him in the third round and give the Cougars a 33-18 advantage.
After the Eagles’ forfeit at 195, Chesapeake’s Zakary Hardin scored a second-round pin of Northeast’s Nick Oliver at 220, and the Cougars led 45-18.
In the heavyweight matchup, Chesapeake’s AJ Richardson, who had wrestled at 220 earlier in the night against South River and won his matchup against the Seahawks, gave up about 60 pounds to Northeast’s Jeff Stinchcomb, but Richardson was able to use his speed and stamina to win by tech fall, 19-4, in the third round, and put Chesapeake up, 50-18.
“I was really trying to outlast him, because usually heavyweights are a little slower in the third round, so I was just trying to do my thing,” said Richardson.
Northeast won the last two bouts to make the final score line a little more respectable. At 106, Jeisel Delerme-Sanchez led 7-2 over Chesapeake’s Aaron Golden when he notched a second-round pin of Golden. At 113, Northeast’s Colin Cook won by fall in the first round of his match with Chesapeake’s Adam Taifouri to end the evening with six points for the Eagles and make the final score 50-30 in favor of Chesapeake.
For Northeast, Schmidt, Katzenberger and Gargano were all 2-0 on the day including their bouts against South River, with Katzenberger and Gargano both notching two pins. Mason won by fall against his South River opponent, and Schmidt won his match against South River by decision.
Chesapeake’s Jacob Rosenbloom did not wrestle against Northeast but wrestled a great match at 145 against his South River opponent, earning a third-round pin.
Richardson, a senior who played this fall for the Chesapeake football team, said he sees big things for Cougar wrestling moving forward. Kicking off the winter with a rivalry win is a good start.
“We’re feeling very confident,” he said. “This year and the next two years are going to be really good for this team, because we’re really young. We’ve got a bunch of freshmen and sophomores starting. So, the future is bright, but I feel like this year is going to be good as well.”
Correction, Dec. 11: This article is corrected from an earlier online version and from the version in the December 2018 Pasadena Voice print issue. In both the print issue and the earlier online version, the author mistakenly identified the weight classes for Chase Listorti and Reese Russell as 106 lbs and 113 lbs, respectively. In fact, Listorti wrestled at 120 lbs against Northeast, and Russell wrestled at 126 lbs.
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