Westtown School Athletes Keep the Wins Coming In

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Westtown School athletes prevailed over tough competitors this past weekend to win two league championships in wrestling and the first Friends School League basketball trophy in more than 25 years last weekend. And the winning hasn't stopped yet.

This championship was 26 years in the making. We made a lot of sacrifices to get here. This was all about us being a family and trusting each other.

Despite snow and freezing temperatures, it was a beautiful weekend at Westtown School to bask in the warmth of victory. Wrestlers and hoopsters at Westtown, a Quaker pre-K – 12 college prep school in West Chester, PA, just kept the wins coming, earning league championships in both wrestling and basketball.

On Tuesday, February 7, Westtown wrestlers prevailed over tough competition from Wilmington Friends School to win a 5th consecutive Delaware Independent School Conference (DISC) championship. Building on the momentum, Westtown went on to defeat arch-rival George School 66-9 in the championship finals on Saturday, bringing home an 8th consecutive Friends Schools League (FSL) trophy.

In the semi-final and final rounds, senior co-captain Evan Rutenbar earned two first period pins to improve his season record to 24-1. Sophomores Clay McKee (23-6) and Jared Marshall (18-5) wrestled up a weight class, earning wins in support of Westtown's dominant performance.

Jay Farrow, in his 26th year as head wrestling coach, knows why Westtown Wrestling is so successful. “Our kids really benefit from a well-understood and consistently team-oriented work ethic. Newcomers and veteran wrestlers alike have been quick to get on the same page about these team values. Collectively, Westtown wrestlers are contributors and solid citizens both on and off the mat. They really work for these championships.”

And the wins kept coming.

A Westtown victory Friday over rival Academy of the New Church for boys varsity basketball clinched the Friends Schools League Championship. This win was especially sweet since it was Westtown’s first claim to the trophy in over 25 years. Villanova-bound Daniel Ochefu played like a man on a mission: winning the FSL championship was at the top of his goals list for his senior year. "This feels amazing," he said. "We finally got it!” Added sophomore Floyd Preito, "This was 26 years in the making. We made a lot of sacrifices to get here. This was all about us being a family and trusting in each other."

Led by Ochefu and fellow senior Jeremy Schulkin, Westtown fought its way to a 55-46 win over ANC. Preito, Yilret Yiljep and Jamie Moon also made key free throws to ice the win in the decisive fourth quarter. The team played great defense all game long to hold the high scoring Lions of ANC to only 46 points.

And the wins just kept coming.

Westtown dominated Episcopal Academy in Monday's first round of the state PAISAA finals, and yesterday, Westtown defeated the Kiski School Cougars of Saltsburg, PA, 55-45 in the state quarterfinals.

Westtown wrestling, under head coach Jay Farrow, has long been a dominant force in the Delaware Valley independent school world. Basketball, less so. Until now. In only four years, head coach Seth Berger has transformed Westtown from being a “middle of the pack” team to one of the best in the region. Westtown Athletic Director Jeannette Cooper credits Berger with the change. “He understood where we were and wanted to move us forward. Seth has an eye for players from all over the world who are scholars as well as athletes. Daniel Ochefu is a case in point. Seth’s coaching, along with growing numbers of talented players, is a huge draw for Westtown’s program.”

What comes next? Wrestlers head to Episcopal Academy Friday and Saturday for competition at the state level in the PAIS Wrestling Tournament, and on Friday, boys basketball plays the victor of yesterday's game between Malvern Prep and Perkiomen in the state semi-finals. Westtown fans are beyond pumped.

Keep the wins coming, Westtown.

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Lynette Assarsson
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