This year’s battle for the Mark Sipler Memorial Unity Cup proved a classic wrestling affair. The air was electrified as members of the Council Rock youth organizations and supporters from both schools packed South’s gym to watch the present day Indians and Golden Hawks perform. Everyone, young and old, was not disappointed by the show of grappling excellence that went down to the last two bouts before South prevailed by a 34-29 score.
South coach Brad Silimperi summed up the night saying, “We had the middle school here. North had a lot of people. We had a lot of people. Wrestling is alive and well in district one. I’m proud to be a part of such great dual meets. We need the fans to come out and cheer their teams on.”
For South the victory was doubling satisfying. Not only did they beat their archrival for the ninth straight time but they atoned for their loss at Quakertown the night before. It was their first loss in seven years to a Suburban One League school.
Coach Silimperi valued his team’s resiliency. “We know were going to face some adversity. We didn’t get too down or too high, just stayed level headed. It’s just a real nice bounce back win. I’m really proud of the way all our guys stayed focused.”
Going into the meet the two teams had battled twenty-four times since the Council Rock district split in 2002. In regular dual meets the Golden Hawks held a decided 16-3 advantage. The two powerhouses had split their four District Dual meetings. North, led by its four Division One committed wrestlers, hoped to make this their year.
The match started with South getting needed bonus points thanks to Tom Woloshyn’s technical fall over Larry Tsai. The Indians were quick to counter. Sammy Hayes won a major decision, Cameron Robinson pinned his man, and Dillon Sheehy scored a 6-2 decision giving North a 13-5 team scoring advantage.
The seasoned Golden Hawks were not about to surrender. Matt Colajezzi recorded a pin, Lucas Doyle won by a technical fall, Giani Gilch recorded a pin in under three minutes, and Brendan Panchison decisioned his opponent Roni Elbarouki 6-3 in a seesaw bout. Only a pin by North’s Max Harar in his 285-pound bout interrupted the soaring Hawks as they took a 25-19 lead.
Cavan Kinne extended the margin to 31-19 when he pinned his man in 32 seconds. The Indians, however, retaliated with Anthony Burke scoring a major decision and Tomasso Meara earning an 8-3 decision.
With the score a close 31-26, the fans were treated to the match of the evening. North’s Kyle Hauserman squared off against South’s Kyle Waterman. Hauserman is a two time PIAA AAA State qualifier who finished third at states last year. He boasts a 20-0 record so far this year. Waterman, who is 16-2 this year, is another two time PIAA state qualifier who finished sixth in 2019.
Most importantly, these two stellar grapplers had met five times before with Hauserman coming out on top four times. As their bout showed they obviously knew each other’s moves and tendencies quite well. Waterman recorded a reversal 30 seconds into the second period and then held on the entire third frame to take a 2-0 victory.
Waterman summed up his decisive win saying. “I knew it (the match-up) was going to happen so I was ready for it. I focused on the mat and went out there and wrestled my match and ended up on top.”
A decision by North’s Luke Lucerne could not alter the meet’s final outcome. South, by way of their 34-29 team score, had added a ninth win to their impressive Unity Cup streak. For wrestling fans it was a great evening, one that may play out again come time for this year’s District One Dual-Meet Championships.