Father Judge captures Catholic title

Posted: January 31, 2014

Joe Galasso asked everyone he knew to come to the Catholic League wrestling championship. But Father Judge's reigning state champion gave a warning with their invitations: They might not get a chance to see him wrestle.

In the last two league finals, La Salle forfeited his weight class rather than face him. So when his 145-pound slot came up Wednesday night in a tied match, he hung back by the bench until a La Salle wrestler stepped on the mat.

Galasso sprinted to meet him, and Judge's Fox Gym vibrated with anticipation. Twenty-seven seconds later, Galasso pinned his opponent, and La Salle's five-year stranglehold on the league title began to unravel.

Judge defeated La Salle, 40-25, to win its first Catholic League wrestling championship since at least 2004, when the school reinstated its program. The Crusaders will face Northeast, the Public League champ, in Friday's District 12 final.

"It means everything to finally do it as a team," Galasso said. "It feels so much better because you have people to celebrate with."

Galasso was out with an injury when Judge snapped La Salle's 50-match league streak in the regular season. His win Wednesday began a streak of three pins and five wins overall by Judge wrestlers that took the score from 15-15 to an insurmountable 34-15.

The match began at 106 pounds, and having Galasso in the lineup allowed the Crusaders to maximize the advantage they thought they already had in the middle weights.

Judge coach James Savage said he felt confident went Tim McCall, Trevor Elfvin, and Kyle Mallon pulled out one-point decisions in the lower weights to get the match to Galasso and the rest of the heavy hitters with the score tied.

"He's a hammer," Savage said of Galasso.

Zac Stauffenberg and Vickson Krah followed with pins, and Nick Reidy and Idris won by decision.

The Crusaders had already wrapped it up when Jim Galasso, Joe's cousin, stepped in at heavyweight. He found a way to put the cherry on top by pinning his much larger opponent.

"I was on my back," Jim Galasso said. "And I was thinking, 'I can't go out like this. Not today, at least.' "

FATHER JUDGE 40, LA SALLE 25

106: Tim McCall, FJ, dec. Matt Rounbehler, 4-3; 113: Trevor Elfvin, FJ, dec. Matthew McLaren, 5-4; 120: Salvatore Anderson, LS, pin Charles Wallace, 3:32; 126: Kyle Mallon, FJ, dec. Pat McGinley, 4-3; 132: Andrew McLaren, LS, pin Adam White, 1:26; 138: Greg Konieczny dec. Dave White, 5-2; 145: Joe Galasso, FJ, pin D. Patrick, 0:27; 152: Zac Stauffenberg, FJ, pin Mark Anderson, 1:47; 160: Vickson Krah, FJ, pin Anthony Dadario, 1:59; 170: Nick Reidy, FJ, dec. Kyle Landis, 9-1; 182: Idris White, FJ, dec. Vincenzo Pelusi, 6-0; 195: Anthony Piscopo, LS, pin Kyle Palinkas, 5:47; 220: Antonio Pelusi, LS, dec. Tom Bayer, 15-3; 285: Jim Galasso, FJ, pin Bill Frusco, 3:57.


tmcmanus@philly.com

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