Boys Varsity Wrestling
Game Summaries & Headlines.
Exeter Senior Austin DeSanto defeats National and defending State champ Spencer Lee 6-5 in a dramatic wrestling match this weekend to claim his first State Championship. DeSanto avenges last year's defeat in the State Finals and hands Lee his first career loss. You can watch the complete match on the PNC channel's Facebook page.
The final seconds of the historic match...
Brian Rippey: Exeter's Austin DeSanto follows his heart to magical finish
Had Austin DeSanto not followed his heart, he never could have created one of the greatest moments in the 80 years of Pennsylvania high school wrestling.
Had he stayed a 132 pounds, DeSanto likely would have become the first Exeter wrestler to win a PIAA title. But it wouldn't have made nearly the impact as it did when DeSanto stunned the wrestling world with a dramatic last-second win over undefeated three-time state champion Spencer Lee of Franklin Regional.
DeSanto, going against the advice of his coaches, was determined to wrestle Lee again for a chance to prove he is much better than last year, when Lee defeated DeSanto by a second-period technical fall in the state finals.
DeSanto made his point with a 6-5 victory that denied Lee from becoming the 13th wrestler to win four PIAA titles and capture the Class 3A 126-pound title. With three takedowns in the last minute, DeSanto scored an exhilarating victory over Lee, who entered the match 144-0 and was in the conversation as one of the state's greatest wrestlers of all-time.
Clearly Lee wasn't the same wrestler who routed DeSanto a year earlier. He was wearing a heavy brace on his right leg to cover what reportedly was a torn ACL.
But DeSanto's historic victory doesn't need an asterisk. The injury didn't prevent Lee from scoring a fall in his first bout, winning by technical fall in the quarterfinals and beating Bethlehem Catholic's Ryan Anderson 6-0 in the semifinals.
Had DeSanto remained at 132 pounds and wrestled Council Rock South's Zac Trampe for a state title, Lee almost certainly would have limped out of the Giant Center Saturday night with a fourth state gold medal and another Outstanding Wrestler award.
Lee almost certainly would have beaten anybody other than a determined DeSanto, who was on a yearlong mission to wrestle Lee again, even if it hurt DeSanto's chances of winning a state title.
DeSanto, who went 53-0 and finished his career with a 188-7 record, had a much different strategy than the previous year. He wanted to stay aggressive and push the pace, but he also wanted to prevent handing Lee scoring opportunities.
For complete coverage of this match and to read the rest of this Brian Rippey story, check out the Reading Eagle.