Marchesano pins way into record book, championship

Nick Marchesano picks up a pin in Ryan’s victory over La Salle in the Catholic League semifinals. CONTRIBUTED

Nick Marchesano was very happy.

But also a little jealous.

Last year, when he was a junior, his older brother Shawn was a senior wrestler and his teammate at Archbishop Ryan High School, and the younger brother was very excited to watch his brother pick up his 100th career victory.

It was a reason to celebrate, and Marchesano was pumped up for his big brother.

It also gave him a goal.

“It was fun, but I was a little jealous,” Marchesano said. “We’re really close. He’s wrestling at Ursinus now. He was really good, so everyone was happy. Whenever someone gets 100 wins, everyone is happy, but I was really happy for him because he worked hard. He deserved it.”

Now the brothers have something else in common.

On Wednesday night, Marchesano picked up a pin in the final bout of the night in Ryan’s 54-15 triumph over La Salle in the Catholic League semifinals. The win sends the Raiders to the Catholic League championship for the third year in a row.

This year, for the second straight season, they’ll meet Father Judge, the defending Catholic League champs. The Crusaders ran the gauntlet on Wednesday, first knocking off Roman Catholic 56-15 in the quarterfinals and then besting a rested St. Joe’s Prep team 39-25.

The rematch will be on Tuesday at Ryan.

“Winning my 100th was great, but that was more like a fun part of the night, the best part was definitely winning and going to the championship,” Marchesano said. “It was over before I went out, so the coaches asked me if I wanted to wait to try and win it in the championship, but no way! Way too much pressure. I’m just excited to go again.

“It’s fun that it’s Judge, too. We love beating them and they love beating us, but there’s a ton of respect between us. Everyone will be there. I’m glad it’s (at Ryan).”

Marchesano, who lives in Feasterville, is a two-sport star.

During the fall, he’s the center midfielder on the soccer team, which advanced to the Catholic League semifinals after upsetting Father Judge in the quarterfinals.

Playing two sports isn’t easy, but Marchesano believes it helped him in both.

“You do a lot of running in both,” Marchesano said. “We have to be in great shape in wrestling, especially when you get to the third period. But I did a lot of running in soccer, too. I think playing two sports helped me a lot because I was in shape. Wrestling is really hard, so I think having soccer helped me.”

Marchesano is the second Ryan wrestler in as many weeks to reach the century mark. Jon Swift hit the milestone in the team’s last regular season match of the year.

Just as he was when his brother hit the century mark, Marchesano was proud when Swift picked up his 100th.

“It was great because Jon, I didn’t grow up with him, but we’ve been good friends since freshmen year, we’ve been working hard trying to get us in the playoffs and hopefully a championship,” Marchesano said. “When he did it, it was like we all did it. It was a great feeling. Everyone was excited. Then tonight when I did it, everyone celebrated again. Tonight, everyone was excited about the playoffs. It was a huge win. I’m not downplaying it, because it’s an honor, but it was definitely secondary. The bigger thing was winning and going to the championship.”

Marchesano is excited about a chance to bring home a championship, especially because it’s his senior year and the bout is at his gym.

He expects an electric atmosphere.

“Everyone has been great about us,” Marchesano said. “Everyone. All the students, the teachers, the staff. Everyone is so supportive. They come, whenever we have a match they announce it. People love it. Everyone is supporting us, so it feels pretty good.”

Marchesano plans on going to college, but he could return to his high school some day.

He plans on majoring in education with hopes of someday becoming a history teacher. He’s unsure about where he’s going or if he’ll play a sport, but if he does compete in college, it will be in wrestling, not soccer. He could take after his uncle, Ryan Haney, who is the soccer coach at the school.

“I think teaching is a good fit for me,” Marchesano said. “I like to help people. And when I’m in school, I’ll look at my teachers and realize (they’re helping) us, so why couldn’t I do that? They really make a difference.

“I’m not sure if I’ll coach. If the opportunity comes up, maybe, I’d like to do it. I haven’t really thought about it, but I love sports.”

First comes the championship, and after that, he hopes to have a long run as an individual in districts, regions and hopefully beyond.

“I would love to make it to states, that would be the best and that’s my goal,” Marchesano said. “It’s hard. First we have Judge, then we’ll see what happens. But I definitely want to have a long run. I’m hoping.”

And get bragging rights on his brother?

“He never won a (Catholic League) championship,” Marchesano said. “I would love to get that.”