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Owen J. Roberts Wildcats Wrestling District 1
Pioneer Athletic Conference

District 1 wrestlers have banner weekend

by Don Seeley, Pottstown Mercury Sports Editor

Posted on March 13, 2005

HERSHEY -- It was no secret District 1 packed a legitimate punch coming into the 68th renewal of the PIAA Class AAA Wrestling Championships.

After three days at the Giant Center, those usually unknown and non-threatening qualifiers delivered a roundhouse to Pennsylvania's collective gut.

The scorecard, the official scorecard, that is:

• A record four state champions in Upper Perkiomen's Chris Sheetz (112), Council Rock South teammates Mike Rappo (119) and Austin Carter (160), and Pennridge's Dan Goetter (215) -- erasing the district record of three, originally set in 1966 and equaled five more times, the last back in 2001.

• A record five state champions overall when adding in Class AA gold medalist Mike Letts of Octorara.

• A record 29 medalists -- devouring the mark of 21 the district set a year ago and, for the first time since the state tournament's inaugural run in 1938, more overall medalists than any other district in the state, including the mighty District 11 (16), District 3 (21) and District 7 (24).

• A record 104 individual wins overall by the district qualifiers -- far and above any previous victory total.

• Council Rock South tied PIAA-Class AAA team duals champion Connellsville for the team title with 68 points each, one better than Easton. Head coach Brad Silemperi's team thus helped end a run that has seen either Easton or Northampton win all but one of the team titles since 1993.

"Just a great performance," said Upper Perkiomen head coach Tom Hontz.

That it was.

In addition to the state champions, District 1 had runners-up in Council Rock South's Rick Rappo, a defending champion upset by Sheetz in the 112-pound final; Quakertown's Nate Nauroth (130), who became the district's 20th three-time state medalist; Upper Merion's Clint Collins (140), duplicating his effort of two years ago; and Quakertown's Pat Flynn (189), who was fifth last year.

FIRSTS

Penncrest freshman Chuck Mulloy became the school's first state medalist after finishing eighth at 112 pounds.

Upper Dublin's Jason Parisi finished fourth at heavyweight, becoming his school's first state medalist since 1987.

CLASS AA NOTES: It was Super Saturday for Octorara's Mike Letts.

The 160-pound junior became the district's first underclassman to win a Class AA state title and the district's first gold medalist in the AA bracket since Oxford's Nate Burroughs accomplished the feat at 171 pounds in 1994.

And Saturday afternoon's victory, his 43rd against just two setbacks this season, also happened to be the 100th of Letts' career.

Teammate Justin Parker was eighth at 171 pounds.

Braves head coach Mark Durante, a middle school science teacher at Octorara, is a graduate of Spring-Ford.

•••

Wyalusing's Matt Fisk, a two-time state runner-up before pinning down a gold medal last year, made it two in a row Saturday at 125 pounds. Fisk also broke the state record for career wins, finishing his phenomenal career with a 175-9 mark.

FAN-TASTIC

The three-day wrestling spectacle attracted 28,517 fans for Class AA and 32,527 for AAA -- a total of 61,044.

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