Boy­er­town places five wrestlers atop podium, over­taken for team ti­tle by OJR

The Boyertown Area Times - - SPORTS - By Jeff Stover js­tover@21st-cen­tu­ry­ @Mer­curyXS­tover on Twit­ter

In­di­vid­u­ally, Boy­er­town put up some solid num­bers dur­ing the Pioneer Ath­letic Con­fer­ence Wrestling Cham­pi­onships Satur­day.

Over­all, how­ever, its to­tals came up short of Owen J. Roberts by the mer­est of mar­gins.

The host Bears went 5-for-5 in cham­pi­onship qual­i­fiers, had a to­tal of 13 wrestlers reach the medal round, and com­piled 216 team points ... num­bers com­pa­ra­ble to their re­cent post­sea­son show­ings.

But Owen J. Roberts, just like in the dual meet sea­son, had what it takes to edge out the Bears.

Though man­ag­ing just two weight­class cham­pi­ons — Ryan Res­nick at 160, Nick Du­li­akas at 195 — the Wild­cats matched Boy­er­town’s 13 medal­ists. Fac­tor in their four sil­ver fin­ish­ers, a fourth, four fifths and two sixths, and they scored 217 team points to wrest the PAC team plaque away from the Bears.

“To be hon­est, I didn’t know if we had enough left at the end,” OJR head coach Steve DeRafelo said. “We had a lot of guys who strug­gled to win big matches. We had kids who don’t have good records come up with big wins.”

And it all com­bined to give Owen J. its first team cham­pi­onship in an open­ing-round in­di­vid­ual tour­na­ment since the 2012 Dis­trict 1 AAA Sec­tion Four com­pe­ti­tion.

“We worked hard for it,” Du­li­akas, whose first-pe­riod fall put the ‘Cats on top, said. “It’s awe­some to say we’re the league champs. The team came

to­gether real well.”

Boy­er­town’s cham­pi­onship quin­tet of Matt Wilde (113), David Camp­bell (120), Jakob Camp­bell (126), Chris Berry (152) and Eli­jah Jones (182) was com­ple­mented by one third, four fourth places and three fifths. They were hun­ger­ing for a team cham­pi­onship in what will be Pete Ven­tresca’s fi­nal sea­son as head coach.

“Ob­vi­ously, we want to fin­ish it out for him,” Wilde, a 3-2 win­ner over SpringFord’s Bran­don Mered­ith in their lat­est matchup, said. “He’s a won­der­ful coach, and a great mo­ti­va­tor.”

“We all knew it’s his last,” Jakob Camp­bell added. “Get­ting the team ti­tle for him would be great ... a great end, and a high note.”

But the Wild­cats had their own cham­pi­onship de­signs, and those won out.

Af­ter Luke Res­nick (120), An­to­nio Petru­celli (132), Cole Mered­ith (138) and Daniel Mancini (145) ended up sec­ond in their bouts, Ryan Res­nick claimed his gold medal­lion with an 11-4 de­ci­sion of Up­per Perkiomen’s Ja­cob Folk. It capped a day that saw the se­nior pin his first two op­po­nents in 34 sec­onds and less ... a sat­is­fac­tory re­sponse to his be­ing re­quired to sit out the PIAA Class AAA Duals Tour­na­ment last week­end due to a rules sit­u­a­tion.

“I was frus­trated, but it hap­pens,” he said. “I try to wres­tle re­lent­less. If I do that, I know I can come out on top.”

Du­li­akas (22-6) had a breezy run of his own through the 195 bracket, a 28-sec­ond pin and 16-0 tech­ni­cal fall pav­ing his way to the fi­nals. He needed just 78 sec­onds to get the slap in the fi­nals, set­ting the stage for the Wild­cats’ fin­ish­ing flour­ish to the team cham­pi­onship.

“I knew it was close, and I had to get a cou­ple ex­tra (bonus) points,” he said.

Ale­jan­dro Acosta came up fourth at 285, David For­rest (106), Ricky McCutchen (152), Ja­son Zollers (170) and Grif­fin Ger­ber (182) scored fifths, and Eric Shana­han (113) and Con­nor Leis­ter (126) added sixths.

“We had guys bat­tle back in the third and fifth­place bouts,” DeRafelo said. “That’s what it came down to.”

Jakob Camp­bell, who scored a sec­ond-pe­riod fall, made his fi­nale in the Boy­er­town gym even more mem­o­rable by nail­ing down a fourth league cham­pi­onship. He shared that dis­tinc­tion with Nor­ris­town’s Eric Fuentes, who won out at 132 in the Ea­gles’ first PAC tour­na­ment par­tic­i­pa­tion.

“I think I get more gra­cious with each vic­tory,” he said. “This time, I en­joyed ev­ery minute of it. I went out to have fun in the last one.”

Chris Berry, an­other of Boy­er­town’s se­niors, pinned his way to gold at 152. Jones closed out the Bears’ goldmedal rush with a pin at 182.

“I was re­ally glad I got to do that,” Berry said of his first PAC cham­pi­onship. “I want to keep on go­ing all the way to states, and see what hap­pens.”

Methac­ton, which fin­ished third in the team stand­ings, got an Out­stand­ing Wrestler per­for­mance from Bryce Red­ding­ton. The War­rior se­nior, com­ing in with a 28-0 record, scored two pins be­fore post­ing a 5-0 de­ci­sion of Mancini.

“It’s all com­pe­ti­tion,” he said. “I don’t take any­thing off the mat.”

Red­ding­ton’s fin­ish was pre­ceded by Dy­lan Henry edg­ing Mered­ith, 3-2. Team­mate Bren­dan Mar­ion later topped Pottstown’s Isa­iah Mayes, 8-6, for gold at 170.

“A big part of our suc­cess is our 170-pounder,” Red­ding­ton said of Mar­ion. “He’s out rep­re­sent­ing the team as well as any­one.”

Michael Mo­dugno headed a 220-pound weight class dom­i­nated by Boy­er­town grad­u­ate Jor­dan Wood the pre­vi­ous four years. The Up­per Perk se­nior used two pins in the early go­ing, and a five-minute tech­ni­cal fall in the fi­nals, to emerge as Wood’s suc­ces­sor.

NOTES >> The top six fin­ish­ers from each weight class ad­vance to Dis­trict 1-AAA West Tour­na­ment next week­end at Spring-Ford . ... Mered­ith ex­ited the week­end with 99 vic­to­ries for his scholas­tic ca­reer. He will have the chance to reach that mark in his home gym. .


Boy­er­town’s Jakob Camp­bell, bot­tom, takes down Pottstown’s Alex Ca­ballero dur­ing the 126-pound fi­nal at the PAC Wrestling Cham­pi­onships Satur­day at Boy­er­town.


Above, the in­di­vid­ual cham­pi­ons of the PAC tour­na­ment were, top row, from left: SpringFord’s Matt Le­pore, Up­per Perkiomen’s Michael Mo­dugno, Owen J. Roberts’ Nick Du­li­akas, Boy­er­town’s Eli­jah Jones, Methac­ton’s Bren­dan Mar­ion, Owen J. Roberts’ Ryan...


Boy­er­town’s Matt Wilde, left, and Spring-Ford’s Bran­don Mered­ith lock up dur­ing the 113-pound fi­nal at the PAC Wrestling Cham­pi­onships Satur­day at Boy­er­town. Wilde won 3-2.


Boy­er­town’s Eli­jah Jones cra­dles Spring-Ford’s Chase Smith for back points dur­ing the fi­nal at 182 at the PAC Wrestling Cham­pi­onships Satur­day at Boy­er­town.

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