Clay Durham has been waiting for someone to do what J.P. McCaskey did to Delone Catholic at Saturday’s Canner Duals.
Since July 2014, the state’s Catholic school wrestling teams have been banned from allowing females to join their squads. The policy against co-ed contact sports competition was instituted by the Diocese of Harrisburg and the rest of Pennsylvania’s Dioceses, and mandates that male wrestlers must forfeit matches against females.
Durham, a longtime Pennsylvania wrestling scorekeeper and pioneer of the successful 2013 “Save Olympic Wrestling” petition, waited for a public school to use the new ruling to its advantage.
It finally happened on Saturday, after a Ryan Hart pin vaulted the Squires into a 30-30 tie with the Red Tornado with three matches remaining. J.P. McCaskey quickly broke that tie for good when coach Isaias Rodriguez sent out junior varsity girls with no varsity experience in the next two matches, forcing Delone Catholic to forfeit both matches and fall behind 42-30 on the way to a 42-36 loss. Neither Mariah Polite-Lemon nor Yanahis Arredona wrestled in any other matches during the Canner Duals.
“That’s the first time I’m aware of it happening,” Durham said of J.P. McCaskey sending out girls who are not normal starters to earn forfeits. “I’ve been expecting someone to pull that against Bethlehem Catholic, because a lot of people in that area don’t like Bethlehem Catholic. They beat up that area so bad because they recruit from all over the state and from New Jersey, and it’s left people with a bad taste. I’m surprised nobody’s pulled that against them yet.”