The good news that came out of Saturday's District One Class AAA East tournament was that five area wrestlers qualified for this weekend's South East AAA Regional at Pottstown.
Penn Wood's top-seeded Karon Lucas-Tillery had a smooth path to the 195-pound championship and a return trip to regionals. Samson Akporotu of Academy Park upset the second seed en route to a second-place finish at 160. And three Interboro entries — Eric Thomas (132), Joey Gonzales (138) and Steve Phillips (170) — each fought his way through the consolation bracket to finish third.
The bad news was the overall performance of the Del Val League, which ended the day with 42 wrestlers combining for a record of 21-54, with 30 of those losses coming by pin.
On the flip side, local Central League programs left their mark in Saturday's District One Class AAA West tournament by getting 15 athletes through to this weekend's South East AAA Regional, and had a half-dozen more entries come within one win of making the grade.
Garnet Valley led the way with four qualifiers, as Michael Marino (120) and John Dambro (170) punched their return tickets to regionals by capturing titles. Ben Tuohey (126) and Sean Lyons (145) gave the Jaguars a pair of third-place finishes.
Marple Newtown's Pat Callaghan (32-2) kept lifting the Tigers' spirits with a crown at 126, while Penncrest took a leap forward by having three reach the finals — with Liam Frank winning the championship at 182 and Ryan Dougherty (152) and Austin Jacque (195) each taking second.
Ridley's Donte McCarthy upset the top seed in reaching the 120-pound final and was joined by teammate Lawrence Alkins (182) in placing second.
Even though he saw his unbeaten streak end at 31, Tom Meyers of Radnor took second at 160, and Strath Haven's Nate Frantz (106) and Springfield's Dennis Charamella (138) also fought their way to runner-up finishes.
Even Upper Darby's Anthony Petril (106) and Radnor's Zak Taylor (170) had to turn in exceptional efforts to nail down their weights' third and final berths.
As Penncrest coach Greg Jacobs said afterward, "The PAC-10 is tough, but some of our guys (in the Central League) are pretty tough, too."
A week after bagging Ches-Mont League championships, Sun Valley juniors Alex Elliott and Steve Okoorian parlayed their top seeds at the District One Class AAA Central tournament into berths at this weekend's South East Class AAA Regional.
Okoorian improved his record to 32-5 with a run to the 152-pound title match, where he was pinned by Norristown's Mike Springer, who was later named the tourney's Outstanding Wrestler.
Elliott (32-3) finished third at 138, sending him to regionals for the second consecutive year.
Junior Sean Donohue went 2-2 at 126 and freshman Christian Bateman was 1-2 at 132. While neither qualified for the regionals, both pulled off upsets as the Vanguards finished 12th in team scoring, with Downingtown East taking the team title.
In a bracket that included just six entries, Bonner-Prendergast senior Joe DePhillipo needed just two wins to claim the 152-pound crown in Saturday's District 12 Class AAA tournament.
The top-seeded Friar repeated as champ, kept his unbeaten record intact at 26-0 and punched his ticket to this weekend's North East AAA Regional at Bethlehem Liberty.
Cardinal O'Hara seniors Mike Maloney and Tyler Oliver are also making the return trip to regionals, thanks to Maloney's runner-up finish at 120 and Oliver placing third at 126. Teammate Mike Lewis will be joining them as well, after the junior came in fourth at 138.
The Lions had five wrestlers combine for a 6-8 record, putting them ninth behind team champion La Salle. Bonner's two athletes combined for a 3-3 mark, good for 13th in team scoring.
Scott Pendell of Delaware County Christian School had quite a week.
Wednesday the senior repeated as the Bicentennial Athletic League's 285-pound champion and was named league co-MVP while his father, Greg, was honored as the league co-Coach of the Year.
Three days later, Pendell lived up to his top seed by capturing the heavyweight title in dominant fashion at the District One/12 Class AA tournament.
Pendell, who finished third at districts as a junior, ran his season record to 25-3 and won all three of his matches at Springfield-Montco by pin — while totaling just 4 minutes, 48 seconds on the mat.
The Knights do not have any other wrestlers headed to the South East AA Regional this weekend at Wilson West Lawn, but the program's future gained some valuable experience when 170-pound freshman Jake Gutowski finished third in the league championships.
The revival of Archbishop Carroll's program gained momentum in the District One/12 Class AA tourney Saturday when juniors Nick Forman and Jacob Poulos earned berths for this weekend's South East AA Regional.
Forman, seeded third, followed up consecutive pins with an 8-3 decision over the top seed in the 138-pound final. Poulos won three of his four matches by pin to finish third at 170.
The Patriots' nine entries at districts combined to go 9-15, putting them seventh in team scoring with 49 points.
Haverford School coach Bruce Kennett's assertion that L.J. Barlow will go down as the greatest wrestler in program history sounds less like hyperbole and more like fact after the top-seeded junior medaled for the third consecutive year in the National Prep championships at Lehigh University.
Barlow, who was third at 182 as a freshman and returned last year to take fourth at 195, added to his storied career by going to overtime before falling, 6-4, to No. 2 seed Daniel Hawkins of Mount Saint Joseph (Md.) in Saturday's 195-pound championship.
Following a pair of pins that totaled just more than two minutes on Friday, Barlow posted a quarterfinal fall and then outlasted Mike Rogers of Wyoming Seminary, 7-6, in the semifinals. Rogers would go on to finish third and help Wyoming Seminary end Blair Academy's 33-year run as National Prep team champs.
Haverford School finished 17th in team scoring with 2-2 records posted by Freddy Corradetti (120) and Chauncey Simmons (285). Simmons' final win was a 12-1 major decision in the second round of the consolation bracket over Episcopal Academy freshman Dallas Taylor.
The Churchmen wound up 66th in the standings, with Julio del Pion (126) and A.J. Cutrufello (170) each going 2-2 on the weekend.