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Owen J. Roberts Wildcats Wrestling District 1
Pioneer Athletic Conference

Twelve medalists lead Bears to team title

by Don Seeley, Pottstown Mercury Sports Editor

Posted on February 20, 2005

BOYERTOWN - The first week of high school wrestling's postseason is getting a bit monotonous, at least for those people who don't live in or close by Boyertown, or any others who don't give two hoots about the high school's program.

That was the general consensus Saturday night after the Bears pinned down their third straight District 1-AAA Section 4 Tournament title - and seventh in a row if counting the four they swept while competing in the District 3-AAA Section 3.

It wasn't exactly a runaway for head coach Bruce Hallman and his Boyertown bunch, but it sure was close.

The Bears, getting first-place efforts from Fred Rodgers (103 pounds), Austin Jones (112), Dave Fabian (145) and Jesse DeWan (152), seconds from Nick Hyatt (119) and Josh White (189) and six other medalists to advance a school-record 12 of their 14 entries into next week's district showdown, amassed 197 points.

That was well in front of runner-up Downingtown West (143.50), and quite comfortably ahead of Pioneer Athletic Conference rivals Spring-Ford (126.5) and Owen J. Roberts (100.5), who finished third and fourth, respectively.

"Coming in our goal was to win, but we didn't expect to win this big," said Hallman, who also got thirds from Asher Hyatt (125), Jamie Soupik (130), David Jones (171) and Bob McNamara (215) and fourths from Brian Rakowski (135) and Mike Schwager (160).

"We're just happy to be advancing 12. Our goal was to take 10 out of here."

Spring-Ford and Owen J. Roberts both had three gold medalists. The Rams were led by Matt Moley (119), who was named the Outstanding Wrestler, Eric Smith (135) and Mike Moley (140), while teammate Drew Casagrande (275) was second.

OJR's headliners were Jeremy Stierly (125), Robert Hoffman (160) and Tony Fuschino (171).

Overall, the area's three entries in the nine-team field - Boyertown, Spring-Ford and OJR - swept 10 of the 14 gold medals and qualified 25 wrestlers for the District 1-AAA South Tournament at Spring-Ford this Friday.

But Saturday night, Boyertown played bully from the outset, albeit rather dramatically, to put the team title well out of the Whippets' reach.

At 103, Rodgers (34-2) trailed Downingtown West's Rob Akers by a 4-2 count heading into the third period. However, just as it appeared Akers was going to post the decision, Rodgers came up with a reversal and pinned the junior Whippet at the 5:12 mark.

"I felt weak all week," Rodgers said. "I still thought I'd win this, but I guess I may have under-estimated (Akers) a little bit because I tech-falled him last year. He was strong. I was just able to roll him through and get the pin.

"We had been talking about the team title, so I wanted to get things started. You always want to do that when you go first."

Rodgers got it rolling, and Jones (26-11) turned it into a snowball effect with his thrilling 6-4 decision over Downingtown West's D.J. Evans at 112.

"If (Rodgers) lost it would've brought down my confidence because we're drilling partners and when he does well it just boosts my confidence," Jones said. "So when he put that kid on his back and pinned him it just got my psyched."

Nick Hyatt (31-8) would've loved to have made it three in a row for Boyertown, but he was beaten by returning state runner-up Matt Moley, 5-1.

Fabian (33-8) got a forfeit Saturday morning and followed it up with two pins for his gold medal. And DeWan (26-5), who had a 30-second pin and 14-1 major to get into the final, showed some intestinal fortitude by defeating top-seeded Corey Blake of Coatesville, 4-3 in overtime.

"All but one of our kids scored points today," Hallman said. "It feels great. This doesn't get old at all ..winning never gets old."

It didn't seem that way for either the Rams or Wildcats. Spring-Ford was 3-for-4 in the final round, OJR a perfect 3-for-3.

After Moley's big decision, Smith (34-6) - who leads all active area wrestlers with 122 career wins - posted a workmanlike 9-2 win over Downingtown West's John Girafalco. Then Mike Moley (8-1), despite injuring his arm in the final two seconds of the final, dominated defending champion Chris Reynolds of Downingtown West, 12-3.

Owen J. Roberts' hat trick began with Stierly (28-3) and his 7-2 nod over Great Valley's Bill Hasen at 125. Then Hoffman (27-1) had little trouble in an 11-3 major over Unionville's Scott Ely at 160, and Fuschino (27-1) had little trouble in an 8-2 decision of Unionville's Dave Musaccio at 171.

NOTES

OJR had four others medal. Andy Strubilla (119) was third, while teammates Connor McCormick (112), Phillip Rupert (140) and Bill Minahan (275) were all fourth. Spring-Ford's other medalists were John Martin (103) and Allan Gaugler (112), both third in their brackets. ..Great Valley, coached by Phoenixville graduate Joe Tornetta, was fifth (97). The Patriots' Scott D'Annunzio (140) picked up his 100th career win in Saturday morning's quarterfinals. ..Downingtown East (88), Unionville (80), Coatesville (56.5) and Kennett (33) rounded out the team scoring.

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