The Boyertown Area Times

Spring-Ford downs Conestoga in 1st round

- By Evan Wheaton ewheaton@medianewsg­ @EvanWheato­n on Twitter

No. 4 SpringFord’s wrestling team has enough depth to allow flexible play in its lineup. But the Rams often draw consistenc­y from their hammers in lower weights.

And in the opening round of the District 1 Class 3A Duals against No. 13 Conestoga, Spring-Ford once again drew from its deep talent in a 35-23 win over the Pioneers in the opening round of the District 1 Class 3A Duals tournament.

“We have a pretty good lineup and we can choose where we want our guys to be. If they have a good guy and we want to wrestle up and bump one of our guys, we’re able to do that,” Rams senior Cole Smith said. “We have the amount of people and the guys we need at the certain weights we need to be able to bump around to win the matches we need to win.”

With Thursday’s win, Spring-Ford (13-3) advances to the District 1 Duals quarterfin­als and will face No. 5 Boyertown on Feb. 4 at Upper Dublin High School at 8:30 a.m.

Having started at 145, the scale was tipped in the Rams’ favor at heavyweigh­t. Down 16-10, Connor Hudak tied the match for SpringFord by pinning Hayden Leon in 2:47.

At the bottom of the lineup, Gus Smith followed up with a pin of his own against Ryan Kramer in 1:57 to go up 22-16. The Rams never looked back after that 12-point swing.

“I knew it was going to be close and I had heavyweigh­t as a swing-match, could go either way,” Spring-Ford coach Tim Seislove said. “I was hoping if we could keep it close at the turn there, we’d be in good shape.”

Gus Smith (No. 5), Cole Smith (No. 2) and Quinn Smith (No. 6) are all ranked within the Top 10 of District 1 3A at their respective weights. All three had bonus-point wins to springboar­d ahead of the Pioneers (17-2) after Hudak’s heavyweigh­t fall.

The match marked Conestoga’s first appearance in the District 1 Duals in school history, having claimed the Central League title along with 17 wins on the season.

Anchored by a one-two punch in Hayden McLellan (172) and Jake Allred (189) — both ranked No. 2 in District 1-3A — the Pioneers have thrived in their heavier weights this winter. It was much the same in Royersford as Conestoga went toe-to-toe with Spring-Ford from 145 to heavyweigh­t.

“We did our best. We fought and as I tell the kids, it’s not about winning matches, it’s about winning positions,” Pioneers coach Gary Baker said. “If you win every position you’re in, the match will take care of itself and the team score will take care of itself.”

While Conestoga looks like the new kid on the block after making it further than it ever has as a team, Spring-Ford continues as the old guard. The Rams have made it to the last five PIAA Duals tournament­s and have a chance to keep that streak alive.

Four District 1 teams qualify for the PIAA Duals tournament. Both finalists earn automatic berths to the Giant Center in Hershey while third and fourthplac­e finishers wrestle a preliminar­y match Monday, Feb. 6 at the higher seed to reach the state bracket.

December was a rocky first month for Spring-Ford with a 20th-place finish at the Cumberland Valley Kickoff, 18th-place finish at the Bethlehem Holiday Classic and two dual meet losses.

Since then, the Rams have pounded the drum and finished with a Pioneer Athletic Conference team title ahead of districts, which they’ve now taken the initial round in.

“We just keep working harder and harder every day. We knew at the beginning of the season, we weren’t starting off too strong,” Cole Smith said. “We had a couple of our guys missing out and once we started getting our guys back in, we started getting back into the routine of winning.”

Spring-Ford 35, Conestoga 23

145 - Matt Offner (SF) pinned Alec Calvitti, 1:05 (6-0)

152 - James McGill (SF) maj. dec. John Hauser, 17-6 (10-0)

160 - Matthew Boye (C) maj. dec. Drew Dotterer, 19-7 (10-4)

172 - Hayden McLellan (C) dec. Mason Richards, 4-1 (10-7)

189 - Jake Allred (C) pinned John Kelly, 1:20 (10-13)

215 - Bryce Beltrante (C) dec. Daniel Borzillo, 6-3 (10-16)

285 - Connor Hudak (SF) pinned Hayden Leon, 2:47 (16-16)

107 - Gus Smith (SF) pinned Ryan Kramer, 1:57 (22-16)

114 - Cole Smith (SF) maj. dec. Parker Warkentine, 12-1 (26-16)

121 - Steven Wiechecki (C) maj. dec. Dominick Ferrizzi, 12-4 (26-20)

127 - Quinn Smith (SF) pinned Charlie Mucklow, 1:37 (32-20)

133 - Miles Warkentine (C) dec. Brennan McGrann, 3-1 (32-23)

139 - Jamie Silva (SF) dec. Teddy McKenzie, 7-3 (35-23)

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