The wrestling rivalry between Chaminade and St. Anthony's could not have been closer this year. At the CHSAA state championship Saturday, Chaminade came out in front, first overall with 226 points. St. Anthony's finished second with 219.5 points.
Previously, there was the Flyers' 38-36 victory in a dual meet Jan. 9 that helped lead Chaminade to the dual meet championship.
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The Friars exacted some revenge at the league tournament, edging out the Flyers, 341.5-330, but Chaminade came away with the last laugh.
"The guys really worked hard. We sent 20 guys up there and 12 placed," Chaminade coach George Dlugolonski said. "Even the guys who didn't place made contributions."
Chaminade had only two champions (Declan Gray at 152 pounds and Danny Fowler at 195) compared with St. Anthony's six but had six other wrestlers place in the top three.
Fowler impressed Dlugolonski the most. Fowler hadn't wrestled since ninth grade. He used the time off to focus on lacrosse and is the nationally ranked Flyers starting goalkeeper with a scholarship to Duke.
"At the start of this year, he came to me and said, 'I don't know if you heard the rumors or not but I'm coming back to the wrestling team,' " Dlugolonski said. "I was elated but I was also very surprised."
The move paid off as Fowler came away with the title in his senior year and earned the No. 5 seed at Friday's NYSPHAA championships in Albany.
"This year was a year to really turn us around," Dlugolonski said. "We went 27-4 in dual meets and we really did well in tournaments."