Holy Spirit High School’s Pat D’Arcy and Southern Regional’s Zach Wilhelm were the only area wrestlers to leave the nation’s premier high school wrestling tournament with some hardware Sunday.
D’Arcy finished seventh at 106 pounds and Wilhelm eighth at 132 at the prestigious Beast of the East Tournament at the University of Delaware in Newark.
“There is a lot of talent at this tournament,” D’Arcy said. “You just have to keep your head in it the whole time. You can’t let one loss get you down.
D’Arcy was seeded sixth at 106 and faced a pair of wrestlers in InterMat’s national rankings.
D’Arcy opened the tournament with a 34-second pin and followed that up with a 33-second pin. He went 5-2 during the grueling two-day tournament.
“It’s a cool tournament,” D’Arcy said. “I came up here to watch when I was younger. It’s exciting to be a part of it for the first time.”
D’Arcy is Spirit’s first Beast placewinners since Mac Mancuso finished fourth in 2008.
“I still have a way to go if I want to be as good as Mac,” D’Arcy said.
Wilhelm knows as well as anyone just how difficult the field is. The Beast features 102 of the top teams in the country.
Wilhelm, who was a New Jersey state placewinner as a freshman, went 0-4 in each of his two trips to Delaware prior to this weekend.
Thing went better this time around for Wilhelm, who opened the tournament with a major decision and a technical fall.
“I’m really excited and ecstatic about what happened down here,” Wilhelm said. “Going into this tournament I only wanted to win to breal the cycle of not winning the past two years.
“To come out and take eighth in the No. 1 tournament in the country is pretty incredible to me.”
Southern finished 21st in team scoring at The Beast. Buena was also at the tournament and finished 51st. Spirit, with only three wrestlers at the tournament, finished in 66th behind D’Arcy’s run to the podium.
Southern is known for seeking out the best competition around with the idea of being tested come tournament time.
“To me it’s a learning experience,” Wilhelm said. “It shows you where you are and what you need to improve on. This tournament prepares you for the rest of the year.
“You’re not going to face these kinds of guys that often and when you do you’ll be prepared from wrestling in tournaments like this.”
Contact John O’Kane:
Clayton 37, Cedar Creek 30
Friday at Clayton
106—Andrew Tolbert C p Dean Mazza 0:52; 113—Randy Jacobs C wins by forfeit; 120— Jodeci Robinson C p pinned Carlos Rivera 0:42; 126—Austen McGinnis CC p Mike Rettig 1:59. 132—Cory Jacobs C d Matthew Jiampetti 13-6; 138—Alan Campbell C p Dillon Garth 3:05; 145—Eric Hanusewicz CC d Bill Millward 6-0; 152—Steminto Rowe-Akins C d Kyle Murrey15-4; 160— Bryan Bellace CC p Curtis Carr Jr. 1:35; 170—Jose Quinones CC inj. default over Nick Rodriguez; 182—Stacey Solomon CC p Gabe Sastre 3:40; 195—Michael Robinson C d Thomas Rheault 9-4; 220— Benjamin Keating CC d Quaron Rowe 3-1; 285—Eric Weiss C d Christopher Brown 3-1, 2 OTs.