The ever resilient Ridley Raiders Wrestling team has begun their third season under experienced Head Coach, Tony Fabri.
Key Returning Wrestlers: Leo Cassidy (Sr.) John Sheldon (Sr.) Jimmy Cooper (Sr.) Davis Huth (Jr.) Jake McGrath (Jr.)
The returning wrestlers are spearheaded by Heavyweight John Sheldon and 220 pounder Leo Cassidy. The duo was able to battle their way to the regional tournament a season ago, but came just short of their goal to qualify for the state tournament. Jimmy Cooper is also a returning senior who missed the cut to get to districts a year ago. Davis Huth, a junior is coming off a solid sophomore effort that took him to districts is eyeing the regional tournament and beyond at 132 pounds. Jake McGrath is a returning starter who is looking to do some damage this season at 126 pounds.
Wrestlers to Watch: Matt Cowan (Jr.) Kyle Stradzus (Jr.) Dom Toriello (Sr.)
Matt Cowan (145lb) and Kyle Stradzus (138lb) are coming into their third season on the team. The juniors have earned their way to starting spots in the varsity lineup and are looking to cash in on their hard work. Dom Toriello is an extremely motivated senior with a work ethic like no other. Dom is coming off of some late season heroics a year ago, and is looking to make a big impact at 170 pounds.
Captains: Leo Cassidy, Jimmy Cooper, John Sheldon, Jake McGrath, Matt Cowan
“The saying for this year is, ‘Tougher’,” said captain, Leo Cassidy. “Everyone on the team is working harder, and starting to develop an attitude.” The team is looking to carry this attitude to the Central League title race.
The team has started out 2-3 so far this season dropping matches to league favorites Garnet Valley, Upper Darby, and Archbishop Wood, but with solid wins against Avon Grove and Springfield-Monaco. Key upcoming Central League matches with Marple Newtown (Jan.4th), and Conestoga (Feb.8th) will determine the rest of the Raiders season.
Tony Fabri – 3rd season as Head Coach, Fabri has been around wrestling for over 30 years, building a vast assortment of knowledge of the sport. Fabri began his coaching career at Glen Mills, winning multiple league titles in the early 2000s. During his time at West Chester Rustin H.S in which he helped coach multiple state placers, and Division 1 wrestlers. Fabri runs a club team known as “Turks Head” that is decorated as one of the best club teams in Pennsylvania.
Nick Papa – Assistant Head Coach, a Penncrest and Rider wrestling alumni, also coming into his third year with the team. Nick compiled a high school record of 96 wins and 43 losses, while qualifying for the regional tournament three times.
Jeff Cerbus – Ridley wrestling alumni, Jeff took the opportunity to join the staff last season to come help the kids he has helped coach them since youth wrestling.
Connor Moran – A Solanco and Drexel Wrestling Alumni, Connor Moran was coached by Fabri on his club wrestling team since he was young, so he took the opportunity to come try his hand in the coaching world. Moran is a two-time Pennsylvania state medalist with a career record of an outstanding 147 wins with 28 losses. This is his second season coaching the Raiders and is enjoying the coaching aspect of wrestling
Cory McQuiston – One of the most decorated wrestlers in West Chester Rustin history, Cory was coached all four years in high school by head coach Tony Fabri. In those four years, Cory qualified for the state tournament every year, and medaling in one of them. Following his 154 win career, he attended Lock Haven University, and is looking to use his experience to carry the team forward.
Matt Idelson – A Columbia and Garnet Valley graduate, has been brought in to help with the heavier weight classes. Matt brings his experiences of successful collegiate and scholastic wrestling careers to help move the team forward in his first year at Ridley.