Fate and destiny are the words Plymouth Whitemarsh wrestling coach Nate Wachter used to describe it. That’s probably why, at least in part, Wachter found time to draw his cell phone from his pocket mid-match to record a little video footage.
The star of the film: Colonials senior John Staudenmayer (H.M. @ 171), wearing scarlet tights that could have been his red carpet. And if he were the celebrity adorning the marquee, Wachter and assistant coach Justin Giovinco sat in his corner as co-directors.
Last Saturday in Hershey, Pa., in the late evening, Staudenmayer staged a 15-2 major decision over Spring Grove’s Neal Grudi worthy of an Oscar (or maybe just a YouTube upload) to become Pennsylvania’s 171-pound king.
After meticulously working over Grudi – and after the final moments of a life without a state title had ticked away – Staudenmayer gave his acceptance speech. Rising to his feet, he liberated the accumulation of angst that had brewed inside for more than a year with one raspy, muscle-flexing scream.
“That’s all year. That’s even since last year,” Staudenmayer said. “Today, it just all came out.”
The state championship punctuated a perfect senior season (43-0) a year after what Staudenmayer considers a disappointing third-place finish. Ranked No. 1 in the state in his weight class, he was the only area wrestler to go undefeated this season and is The Inquirer’s 2010-11 Wrestler of the Year for Southeastern Pennsylvania.