by Dennis Weller, Special to The Pottstown Mercury
Posted on January 12, 2006
BUCKTOWN -- When the lineup boards are hoisted at the end of the gym before a wrestling match and it becomes apparent that one of the teams is going to forfeit a bunch of bouts, it might sometimes be difficult for the other side to maintain its focus.
That could have been the case Wednesday night when Owen J. Roberts hosted a shorthanded Perkiomen Valley squad.
But the Wildcats did a good job of keeping to the business at hand and racked up seven pins and a decision to go with three forfeits in a 63-9 Pioneer Athletic Conference win.
"It seems Perk Valley is just decimated by injuries," noted Owen J. Roberts coach Steve DeRafelo. "I was a little worried. Sometimes it seems your kids kind of let down. But I was happy with how they wrestled. It's difficult. I try to bump kids and try to get as many matches as I can."
The Wildcats showed they were ready to wrestle when Eckhart pinned his opponent at 140 pounds in 2:16 and Derix followed with a fall in 1:30. Geoff Melle responded with his pin and Pete Melle followed a 41-second pin by Hoffman with a 1-0 win to draw Perk Valley to within 18-9.
But Brissland boosted the lead for the hosts with a fall in just 30 seconds at 189 pounds and a Viking forfeit came next. Then heavyweights Tipton and Jay Geyer battled into the third period of a close match before Tipton pulled off a quick reversal and pin and Bentley officially wrapped things up with a fall in 1:17. A double forfeit, a Perk Valley forfeit, JeremyStierly's pin, a 4-0 decision by Nick Fuschino over Jacob Beitler at 130 pounds, and another forfeit ended the night.
"We're trying to get better," said Viking coach Charlie Kramer. "Injuries are killing us. We've lost our third starter due to some serious injury and we don't see them coming back the rest of the year. Three injuries and two ineligibles -- we need to get better every day. (The Wildcats) are doing a great job. That's all you can say."
DeRafelo is pleased with the progress of his team up to this point of the season.
"I'm happy with where we're at right now," he said. "Compared to other years, we're ahead of schedule. If my kids can stay healthy, we're going to be in pretty good shape."
Senior Hoffman and junior Jeremy Stierly are each now 16-1 with seven pins and sophomore Bentley raised his record to 13-6. ... Pete Melle, the only senior in the PV lineup, owns the team's best mark for the season at 8-2 and Geoff Melle is now 6-4. ... Things won't get any easier for the Vikings, who will host Spring-Ford Saturday and then travel to the Daniel Boone Duals Monday.