Phoenix Wrestlers Win Big in Winter Classic, Tabor Invite

Seems like only yesterday the Phoenix Varsity and JV Wrestlers celebrated huge wins in the Winter Classic vs. The Wolfpack of Hyde  – CT.

The Phoenix Varsity squad rolled to a dominating 48 – 27 victory against the Wolfpack on the strength of consecutive victories in 6 of the final 7 contested bouts.  Juniors Hang Zhao (126), Jake Deutschlander (170), Zac Messina (195), and seniors Darvin Anderson (152) and Jared Jensen (182) all earned victory in front of the home crowd in our only home dual meet of the season.  The aforementioned Messina, making his season debut at 195 pounds wrestled the match of the evening for the varsity squad, linking techniques in commanding fashion to earn his first win of the season!

Hang Zhao about to score.
Hang Zhao about to score.

The Phoenix Junior Varsity earned their first win over the Wolfpack since the inception of the Winter Classic 3 years ago!  It is rare that JV squads have the opportunity to face each other in a dual meet format, and both teams made the battle fierce.  Woodstock held the early lead in the team points though Phoenix efforts were valiant.  With just 3 bouts remaining to decide the team victory, Woodstock held the lead in the team tally.  The Boys from Bath won all three closely contested matches to seal the victory with junior Paul Xi, and freshmen Jeremy Jing and Jack Gao deservedly earning the Men of the Match recognition for their stupendous victories!

 Bright and early on December 20, 2013, the first day of the winter break, four of the Phoenix Varsity Wrestlers competed in the Tabor Holiday Invitational at Tabor Academy in Marion, MA.  We finished in 9th place of the 11 teams participating, but that only tells one side of the story.  The other side of the story is that the four Phoenix Wrestlers who competed made strong statements and left the Tabor gym as two weight class Champions and one runner up.

Darvin Anderson Tabor Invitational Champ!
Darvin Anderson Tabor Invitational Champ!

Senior Captain Darvin Anderson, wrestled with sound fundamentals and blended technique and power to defeat opponents from Choate- Rosemary Hall and Loomis Chaffee to earn 1st place in the 152 pound weight class.

Jake Deutschlander looking for the pin!
Jake Deutschlander looking for the pin!

Junior 160 Jake Deutschlander was simply a force of nature.  He racked up four takedowns before earning the pin against his first round opponent and earned the fall against his Loomis Chaffee opponent in the Championship Finals in just 13 seconds!

Senior 220 Jack Howarth struggled to get into a solid rhythm in his opening round match and found himself on the short end, losing by fall to his Tabor opponent.  In his next match, Jack made solid improvements though he ended up losing to his Williston foe by the score of 5-3.

 

Jared Jensen scores winning takedown in semis
Jared Jensen scores winning takedown in semis

Senior Captain Jared Jensen (182) entered the tournament seeded third.  He earned a dominant win in the first round before squaring off against Loomis Chaffee’s defending New England Prep Champion at 170 pounds in the semifinals.  This was an incredible match!  Jared found himself down early against a much bigger, stronger opponent and had to claw his way back into the match.  Down 6-4 in the third period, Jared adjusted his tactics and ratcheted up his intensity to score two takedowns in the final :45 seconds to win 8 – 7!  Though he lost in the championship finals to the same Lawrence Academy opponent who bested him the weekend prior, anyone who saw the match would say that Jared put forth his best effort against a very tough, nationally ranked opponent.  Jared wrapped up the Tabor Holiday Invitational in 2nd place.

The Phoenix have enjoyed a long, hopefully restful break but will need to shake any rust off quickly in the Gary Kent Wrestling Center.  We jump right in to 3 weekends of dual meet competition on Saturday 11 January 2014 at Phillips Academy Andover in a quad with Andover, Deerfield Academy, and Hyde – CT.

On 18 January, we head to western Mass for the NMH Duals at Northfield – Mt. Hermon where we are scheduled to face the host Hoggers as well as Phillips Exeter, Loomis Chaffee, Choate – Rosemary Hall, Long Island Lutheran of NY, and Wyoming Seminary of PA, ranked #7 nationally.

On 25 January, we will conclude our dual meet season in a quad at Avon – Old Farms School in CT before we return home to host the 2014 Northern New England Invitational on 1 Feb.

We have had a great start to the season, but we should know that our mettle will indeed be tested in the month of January!  Every day is an opportunity to become just a little bit better than the day before and every Saturday is an opportunity to test what we are becoming.

Dreaming Big, Working Hard… Hyde Wrestling.

Logan Kidwell