Photos/Videos: Zac Wilson & Ryan Nix
By: Zac Wilson
PHILADELPHIA – Another season of wrestling in the Inter Ac League is in the books, and for the 12th year in a row Malvern Prep has ended the season with another championship. In front of a packed gym the Friars defeated Springside Chestnut Hill Academy by a score of 75-3 on Friday Feb. 2.
It was a quick start for Malvern Prep, winning the first three matches before SCH’s Nasir Yard was able to wrestle his way to his team's only victory of the night in the heavyweight division. Malvern Prep would end the night winning the last two matches to secure the win and championship.
“I couldn’t be more proud of this group of young men,” Malvern Prep head coach Nathan Lauter said about his team and the success they have had this year.
Springside Chestnut Hill wrestling was having their Senior Night, sending off their only senior this year, Andrew Mahony, who was unfortunately unable to compete due to a shoulder injury that has plagued him for most of this season.
SCH, a newer team that only had five wrestlers last year before jumping to 18 this year, really leaned on the leadership of their only senior. Even from the sidelines this season, Mahony’s impact has been felt by the team. SCH head coach Joe Aversa was quick to commend the terrific job Mahony has done this year.
“He (Andrew) really did a great job laying the foundation and showing the type of work ethic it takes to be a successful wrestler and student athlete,” said Aversa.
Mahony may have only been able to wrestle a few times this year but his passion and love of the game has led him to also coaching SCH’s middle school team.
“Andrew will do anything to stay involved, he is that kind of person,” Aversa said.
Aversa was not the only coach this year to rely on his older wrestlers to produce wins and ensure their team was running as successfully as possible.
Lauter also looked toward his six seniors to maintain the Friars’ program and ensure the success would continue even when their senior boys moved on.
“My seniors have been unbelievable. They have stepped up every tournament we have gone to this year. They’re great leaders,” Lauter said.
While the winning is impressive and fun for the boys, Lauter knows that the relationships and positive culture he has created is just as if not more important. 12 consecutive years of championships doesn’t happen unless the players have bought all the way into the process.
“That's what I focus on, it's all about team culture and creating a family-like atmosphere. It really makes them want to go out and do their best wrestling for each other,” Lauter said.
The Malvern Prep players have benefited from Lauter’s coaching style and his players are aware of the positive impact he has had on them.
“Even though I wasn’t the best guy there, he (Coach Lauter) was still appreciative of me and worked with me and I owe a lot of my success and development to him,” senior Philip Tabasso said about his coach.
Success for his competitors goes further than just winning wrestling matches, what he is most proud of is the places his seniors are headed after graduation. All six of Lauter’s seniors are headed to college/university in the fall.
Jack Consiglio, the No. 33 ranked recruit in his class, is headed to Stanford to continue his wrestling career. He was incredibly successful at Malvern Prep wrestling his way to a career record of 126-18.
Nick O’Neill, who won his second straight Powerade championship tournament earlier this season, is heading to Army West Point where he will look to build off his 60-24 record in high school. He will be joined by his longtime teammate Shane Reilly.
Wrestling is not the only sport these seniors have excelled at, as senior Nick Wehmeyer is attending Yale to play lacrosse while fellow senior Tabasso heads to Colgate to continue his football career.
Both programs will now turn their focus to the PA Prep State tournament qualifier on February 16/17th hoping to qualify a few of their wrestlers. Mahony is hopeful he will be able to hit the mat for the first time in a few months for SCH looking to end his high school wrestling career on a high note.