Blair - Team 149 - Competes at Ursinus
The able-bodied members of the Blair Academy Post-Graduate team traveled to Ursinus College this past weekend for the fast-paced, and well-run Ursinus Homecoming Tournament. In addition to Ursinus, this small-but-tough NCAA Division III tournament field included teams from Rhode Island College, West Chester, Oneonta, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Centenary College and Apprentice.
The participating Blair PG's, Mark Cirello and Dominick Maurillo (AKA: Team 149), fought hard the entire tournament, proving themselves against tough NCAA level competition.
Maurillo started the day off by pulling out a takedown to win in overtime against Joey Hauser from Oneonta. He did a good job of maintaining his composure in the match, and executing when it counted. His second match involved the application of a vicious double arm bar, which resulted in a quick and certain fall over Dan Butcher from Centenary. The second round fall put him in the semi-finals against Ricky Anderson from Apprentice., where a quick takedown on the whistle put Maurillo behind in the first period. But a locked hands call and an escape quickly evened the score back up. What looked to be a very good match sprialed out of control as a blatant headbutt knocked Maurillo off his game, and forced a series of injury stoppages. Eventually, after a slow return to the center of the mat, he was forced to default for medical reasons. Despite the forced withdrawl, Maurillo had continued to wrestle well, and keep himself focused and in the match, even after the initial injury.
Cirello had a long day, starting off with a fall over John Robinson from Ursinus in the very first match of the tournament. Another close win over Steve Armour in the second round pushed him forward into the quarter finals. In the quarters, Cirello wrestled top-seed, and eventual tournament champion, competing for Rhode Island College , Kevin Sutherland, who is currently ranked 9th in Division III at 149 lbs. Cirello wrestled well, and held his own, but eventually came up short in the match. In the wrestlebacks, Cirello had a fall over Geoff Riccio from Rhode Island College, and a win over Joey Hauser from Oneonta along with a medical withdrawl advancement which put him into the consolation final against John Stillo from Centenary College. Stillo is currently an the Honorable Mention on the Division III rankings. In his sixth and final match of the day, Cirello scrapped hard against the brawny Stillo, but fell behind on a very controversial takedown call at the buzzer in the first period, and had trouble making up the difference against a reticent and defensive opponent. The match ended with a 3-1 final score, and a 4th place for Cirello.
Overall, both wrestlers made good improvements over the course of the day as they continue to fine tune their skills. Next up for them will be the Messiah College Open, where they look forward to the possible return of one or two of their injured teammates.
Also in attendance for the day was Ursinus wrestler and Blair Alumnus Eric Mannes, who was unable to compete due to a recent back injury, but did a fine job helping out at the scoring table on mat 1