Good Counsel tops DeMatha for WCAC wrestling title

By Andy Marso
Special to The Washington Post
Sunday, February 6, 2011; 12:16 AM

Host Good Counsel won five weight classes and scored 214 points to defending champion DeMatha's 198 Saturday, earning their first Washington Catholic Athletic Conference crown in 30 years.

"I've never seen a group of kids as a collective unit wrestle this well," Good Counsel Coach Skylar Saar said. "Even the kids who lost in the finals, they laid it all on the line and wrestled the full six minutes."

It was a two-team meet going into the finals, with Good Counsel at 183 points, DeMatha at 175 and no one else within 85. The Stags had seven head-to-head championship matchups with the Falcons to help erase the eight-point deficit.

DeMatha freshman Ben Prada won the first head-to-head, beating Good Counsel's Jake Collins 10-6 at 112 pounds. In one meet Prada matched the number of WCAC titles won by his decorated brother Pat, who graduated last year.

"But he won two states," Prada said. "He taught me a lot."

Jon Turcotte took the second head-to-head matchup for DeMatha as well, topping Jhared Simmons, 5-3. When Tito Onyekweli went up 5-0 on Shane Arechiga early in the 135-pound championship, the momentum seemed all in DeMatha's corner.

But Arechiga stormed back to win 6-5, on his way to being named the meet's Outstanding Wrestler.

"We've always talked about winning WCACs," said Arechiga, a senior. "We've been talking about it when we lift, when we wrestle [in practice] and over the summer. We've always talked about it, but we've never been able to do it. We've always been underdogs."

That hunger was evident Saturday. Saar got down and pounded the mat, then leaped up and pumped his fist, his yellow tie flying wildly as Arechiga completed his comeback.

"He's one of the kids that just works so hard and he's such a good kid," Saar said. "He never got a WCAC title in three years. . . . Him doing that, it meant a lot to me and I know it meant a lot to him."

Josh Cuoto tried to swing the momentum back to DeMatha, defeating Good Counsel's Philip Robilotto, 3-1, in the 145 championship and then leaping into the arms of his mother, who crouched nervously at the side of the mat for the entire match.

"She's my biggest supporter," Cuoto said.

Matt Foster defeated DeMatha's Gearet Fitzpatrick, 7-4, to give Good Counsel another championship at 152, and Sean Guy followed with a Falcon title at 171. Stephen Snyder finished the meet with an overtime win over McNamra's Khari Brown for the 285-pound title.

DeMatha's Shane Cockerille avenged an early-season loss to Good Counsel's Spencer Neff with a 3-2 win in the 189 championship, but by then time was running out on the Stags.

Kyle Snyder, the Falcons' undefeated 215-pound freshman, had told Saar he would pin DeMatha standout Dylan Devine in the championship if need be. By then, the Falcons didn't need all six points, but Snyder earned them anyway, attacking relentlessly until Devine succumbed at the 4:37 mark.

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