Wrestling

Late pins send William Penn past Charter

Charlie Hope delivers final pin for William Penn
Charlie Hope scored a pin in the final match at 285 to clinch William Penn’s 39-31 victory over Charter of Wilmington
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NEW CASTLE – William Penn coach Marvin Dooley had this match circled on his calendar for an entire year.

When the night finally came, the Colonials’ biggest wrestlers delivered.

William Penn scored a technical fall and three pins in the final four matches to rally for a 39-31 home victory over Charter of Wilmington in a raucous Blue Hen Flight A showdown Friday.

The Force edged the Colonials 33-30 on Jan. 15, 2016, on the way to their first Flight A title. The William Penn coach had been thinking about it ever since.

“After they beat us last year, I marked my calendar,” said Dooley, sweat pouring down his face after an emotional victory. “We talked about it all summer, all winter.

“I knew it was going to be like this tonight. I knew we’d be down early. I thought we had the horses at the top to do it.”

The Colonials (4-0, 4-0 Flight A) conceded a forfeit in the first match at 106, then got a pin from Brandon Pike at 113 and a major decision from Anthony Rispoli at 120 to take a 10-6 lead.

Then Charter (2-2, 1-1) took control. Jessey Muaka (126) and Quinn Huddleston (132) scored back-to-back pins. Ryan Juarez-Robertson earned a 7-5 decision for William Penn at 138, but the Force answered with a major decision from Jaeah Yoo at 145 and a 12-6 win from David Flanigan at 152 before the Colonials’ Luis Rodriguez won a 12-7 decision at 160.

“I thought our middle weights would bring it a little more than they did,” Charter coach Reese Rigby said. “We expected to get bonus points at 145, 152 and 160, and they just wrestled tougher than we did in those weight classes.”

Still, Carter Lamey’s pin at 170 pushed Charter’s lead to 31-16 with four matches remaining.

They all went to the Colonials – decisively. Nick Lane started it with an 18-3 technical fall at 182.

“We talked about it all week, what our jobs were,” Lane said. “We needed to not just win, but get bonus points. With everyone behind us, it gave us that extra push.”

Messiah El continued to build the Colonials’ momentum with a 45-second pin at 195.

“Everybody was counting on me,” El said. “We see ourselves as a family, and I had to go out there and do what I had to do. It was important.”

Then Myles Goodson-Tatum scored his pin in 2:27 at 220 to send William Penn into the final match with a 33-31 lead.

“I knew if I got anything above a decision, the win was going to be there,” Goodson-Tatum said. “I knew Charlie Hope was going to pin up top.”

Hope did just that, finishing his opponent in just 27 seconds at 285. The All-State linebacker leaped into his teammates’ arms after sealing the victory.

“It was a perfect ending to the night,” Hope said. “Last pin of the night, it makes a statement. We want to get the conference back after losing it the past two years. It just felt really good.”

The Force knew William Penn would be out for revenge. They just couldn’t score enough points in the earlier matches to hold off the Colonials.

“Every year for the last six or seven years, we’ve wrestled really competitive matches,” Rigby said. “It’s really our favorite match. We circle it as well. It’s good old fashioned, old school, kind of slug it out wrestling. We know no matter how good we are, or how good they are, it’s going to be a battle.”

Contact Brad Myers at bmyers@delawareonline.com. Follow on Twitter: @BradMyersTNJ.

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William Penn's Charlie Hope (top) pins Wilmington Charter's Kyle Lank (bottom) in the 285 pound final match to take a 39-31 win over Charter at William Penn High School.

William Penn’s Charlie Hope (top) pins Wilmington Charter’s Kyle Lank (bottom) in the 285 pound final match to take a 39-31 win over Charter at William Penn High School.

William Penn's wrestling team holds Charlie Hope up in the air after defeating Wilmington Charter's Kyle Lank in the 285 pound match to defeat Charter 39-31.

William Penn’s wrestling team holds Charlie Hope up in the air after defeating Wilmington Charter’s Kyle Lank in the 285 pound match to defeat Charter 39-31.

Wilmington Charter's David Flanigan (right) wrestles William Penn's Joe Bedwell (left) in the 152 pound match at William Penn High School.

Wilmington Charter’s David Flanigan (right) wrestles William Penn’s Joe Bedwell (left) in the 152 pound match at William Penn High School.

Wilmington Charter's Carter Lamey (top) wrestles with his headgear over his eyes in the 170 pound match against William Penn's Ulises Pizarro at William Penn High School.

Wilmington Charter’s Carter Lamey (top) wrestles with his headgear over his eyes in the 170 pound match against William Penn’s Ulises Pizarro at William Penn High School.

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