After Father Judge defeated Archbishop Wood in last year’s wrestling championship, the odds of the Crusaders successfully defending their title seemed bleak because so many standouts graduated.
So much for the odds.
On Tuesday night, Jan. 31 at Father Judge, the Crusaders once again upended Archbishop Wood. The Crusaders’ 32-27 victory represented the program with a back-to-back championship celebration. Two nights later, Father Judge tripped Central High, 42-15, to snare the PIAA District 12 championship and a berth in the PIAA state meet on Feb. 8 and 9.
Seven bouts into the Catholic League championship, Judge was ahead by a seemingly comfortable 24-6. Seven matches still remained.
Tapping into its sense of pride and fortitude, the Vikings stormed back with three straight victories to close to within 24-21, but the Crusaders split the final four battles and emerged with a 32-27 victory.
For Judge, victors included Erik Lindemann at 182 pounds, Alex Chokas at 195, Dean Jakeman at 285, Liam Logue at 106, Eamonn Logue at 113, Caesar Fountain at 138 and Trevor Elfvin at 152.
Winners for Wood included Harry Green at 170, Connor Bishop at 220, Stephen Veneziale at 120, Alex Shaffer at 126, Zach Shaffer at 132, Matthew Palage at 145 and Austin Gillick at 160.
With less than one week remaining in the Catholic League girls’ basketball regular season, Archbishop Wood and Neumann-Goretti remain undefeated at 9-0. On Feb. 5 at 3 p.m., the two will tangle at Goretti for what amounts to the regular-season championship.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, Conwell-Egan will visit Little Flower that day at 5:15. Both teams will enter with an 0-11 record.
Boys’ Basketball Standings
(Through Feb. 2)
Archbishop Wood: 8-1
Roman Catholic: 8-1
Archbishop Ryan: 6-3
Father Judge: 6-3
St. Joseph’s Prep: 6-3
Archbishop Carroll: 4-5
La Salle: 3-6
Lansdale Catholic: 2-8
Bishop McDevitt: 1-8
West Catholic: 1-8
Cardinal O’Hara: 0-9