by Dennis Weller and Don Seeley, Pottstown Mercury
Posted on November 30, 2007
BOYERTOWN Head coach: Pete Ventresca, 3rd season (41-12 career record). Last year's record: 8-0 in the PAC-10, 22-5 overall. Wrestlers to watch: Freshman Zach Heffner (160); sophomores Matt Malfaro (112-119); Alex Pellicciotti (130-135), Ryan Schwager (145), and Denis Mulligan (215-285); juniors Tim Feroe (152), Justin Duncan (119-125), Charles Jones (140), Zach Rodgers (189), and Bill Kiefer (215-285); and seniors Dennis Kriczky (112-119) and Tom McNamara (171). Notes: Bears are coming off their first PAC-10 title after five straight runner-up finishes. ... Lost seven regulars to graduation who combined for 200 wins last year, including all-time team career win leader and fourth-place state finisher Jesse DeWan (143), Jamie Soupik (125), and Dave Jones (102). ... State qualifier Malfaro (38-11), Pellicciotti (38-7), and Feroe (34-12) are back after strong seasons, but senior Brian Rakowski (31-11) is out with a football injury. ... "We're very young," said Ventresca. "We have some talented guys, but we're paper-thin, too. The PAC-10 is going to be up for grabs among a lot of teams. Spring-Ford is going to have an excellent team. Upper Perk is always tough."
PERKIOMEN VALLEY Head coach: Tim Walsh, 1st season. Last year's record: 3-5 in the PAC-10, 11-13 overall. Wrestlers to watch: Juniors Hassan Elghawy (119-125), Jordan Deane (135-140), Bobby Angst (171), Brett Petriello (189) and Chase Godfrey (285); and seniors Mike Radicioni (130), Ryan Beyer (145), Jacob Beitler (152) and Dan Bisazza (285). Notes: Walsh, who wrestled at Methacton in the mid-80s, takes over the program from Charlie Kramer, who was the head coach for 25 years and amassed 258 career wins.... Elghawy could have a breakout season, while Deane. Beyer, and Beitler give the Vikings a formidable punch through the middle of the lineup. Great battle at 285 between Godrey and Bisazza. ... "Obviously, it's going to be a big transition for me from junior high school to high school, but my goal is to make things better," said Walsh, who guided the PV middle school program for 18 years, the last 17 as the head coach. "In any sport at any level, when you're a new coach, you want to try and make things better. This league's tough, so we want to be competitive and continue to make progress."
PHOENIXVILLE Head coach: John Tornetta, 5th season (28-66 career record). Last year's record: 3-5 in the PAC-10, 8-17 overall. Wrestlers to watch: Large freshmen class includes Max Card, Kenny Cenci. Matt Cermanski. Frank Chisca, Nick Disantis, Dan Giannone, Jeff Hulse, Andy Kaye, Torin Killeen, Mason Kulp, and Brandon O'Hara; sophomore lightweights Chris Onder and Derek Wright, middleweights Andrew and Tom Cappelli; junior upperweights Michael Edwards and Joe Mandrusiak; and senior lightweight Steve Lord and upperweights Eric and Rob Newcomb. Notes: Tornetta has two legitimate lightweights in Onder and Lord, who were first and second, respectively, at districts last year. Rob Newcomb was also ' a district runner-up. ... The Cappellis will likely go at 145 and 152 and set up Mandrusiak, one of the area's most promising talents who has been slowed by another knee injury. ... "We're basically a very young and inexperienced team, but if these guys stick together and work together, we can see them doing good things in the future," Tornetta said. "Our goal is to get them to challenge one another to become better wrestlers."
POTTSGROVE Head coach: Matt Pawlik, 2nd season (5-20 career record). Last year's record: 1-7 in the PAC-10, 5-20 overall. Wrestlers to watch: Seniors Matt Michaels (125-135), Justin Miklich (152-160), Julius Williams (171-189), and Mike Noto (215). Notes: Michaels, Noto, and Williams are among those off to a late start after the Falcons football team advanced to last weekend's District 1-Class AAA championship game. ... Numbers are up after forfeiting an average of six bouts in league matches last year. ... "We're looking good number-wise this year," said Pawlik. "We'll have most of our lineup, which is nice. Hopefully, we get a few more guys out of districts and into sectionals, regionals, and states."
POTTSTOWN Head coach: Eric Dusko, 3rd season (15-19 career record). Last year's record: 4-4 in the PAC-10, 11-14 overall. Wrestlers to watch: Freshmen John Jensen (103) and Jihad Johnson (160-171); sophomores David Deboer (112), James McKinney (119), and William Carter (285); and seniors Seth Ecker (112), Eric Daniels (130), Tim Penrose (130-135), Ray Shaffer (130-135), Kyle Musso (160), Anthony Mazzerle (171), Bryant Grimm (171-189), Fred Holly (171-189), and Patrick Judge (285). Notes: Trojans lost just two starters to graduation and have as good a lightweight combination in Ecker and Daniels as anyone in District 1. Ecker is a two-time state medalist and 100-match winner: Daniels put up 36 wins a year ago. ... Musso, Mazzerle, Grimm, and Holly could easily combine for 100 wins or more this season. ... "We have everyone back but two (Josh Sechrist and Lew Mazzerle)," Dusko said. "So we have a lot of familiar faces and some new faces. We really feel good about this team going in. We feel we should be decent."
SPRING-FORD Head coach: Tim Seislove, 9th season (105-50 career record). Last year's record: 7-1 in the PAC-10, 11-7 overall. Wrestlers to watch: Junior Ryan Kemmerer (140-145); and seniors Allan Gauger (125), Brandon Duffy (130), Gareth Cooper (135), Matt Patterson (160-189), and Alex Kanakis (189-215). Notes: Kanakis (32-11) and Patterson (30-13) earned the most wins for the Rams last year. ... Kemmerer went 49-10 at Upper Perkiomen and finished fifth in the state. He begins the season with 95 career wins. ... "We have a good group of seniors and a lot of young kids - freshmen and sophomores," said Seislove. "Upper Perk, Boyertown, and Owen J. are going to be very, very good'. We're just hoping to be competitive with those teams."
ST. PIUS X Head coach: John Martucci, 6th season (36-89 career record). Last year's record: 2-6 in the PAC-10, 7-27 overall. Wrestlers to watch: Promising freshmen John Anuszewski, A.J. Ebersole, Colin Martucci, Conor Myers, Anthony Pugliese, and Anthony Yerger: sophomores John DeStefano, Josh Rogers and Rob Weber; junior Bobby Burns; and seniors Frank Anuszewski, Andrew Bone, Enzo Carannante, Kyle Laxton, Ryan Miller, and Grant Sturgeon. Notes: Burns, a defending district champion who won 30 bouts, and Miller, who posted a school-record 34 wins last season, headline a group of nine returning lettermen. ... Lions have had at least one district champion nine straight years. ... Lost to Pottstown in the semifinals of the District 1-AA Duals last season. ... "We have (Burns and Miller) to lead a team that has nine letterwinners. That, coupled with an experienced freshmen class, should prove to be an exciting year for us." Martucci said.
UPPER PERKIOMEN Head coach: Tom Hontz, 18th season (234-115-1 career record). Last year's record: 2-6 in the PAC-10, 3-24 overall. Wrestlers to watch: Freshman Jared Bennett; sophomores Marty McStravick (112-119), David Irwin (112-119), Nick Edmunson (171), and Nick Hale (189); juniors Garrett Fellman (125) and Mike McStravick (130-135); and senior Hoyt Emmons (152). Notes: String of PAC-10 titles was halted at nine when Indians forfeited most of their matches because of an ineligible wrestler. ... Graduated four wrestlers with more than 40 wins last season, including two-time state champion and four-time state medalist Zack Kemmerer (199-18), and one-time state champion and three-time state medalist Chris Sheetz (189-23). ... "We're very young," said Hontz. "We're probably looking at starting upwards of eight freshmen and sophomores this year, with only two seniors. There's probably going to be a tot of growing pains this year, but nobody's going to feel sorry for us. We'll just work hard and see what we can do."