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Owen J. Roberts Wildcats Wrestling District 1
Pioneer Athletic Conference

Boyertown bounces back from setbacks to down Wildcats

by Don Seeley, Pottstown Mercury Sports Editor

Posted on January 19, 2006

BUCKTOWN -- In a period of four days, Boyertown came up short against Upper Perkiomen, Bald Eagle Area and Cumberland Valley, three of the premier wrestling teams in all of Pennsylvania.

But in the next four days, the Bears regrouped and looked like their ol' selves, proving they were shakened and awakened by bouncing back Wednesday night with a 50-23 victory over Owen J. Roberts.

Head coach Pete Ventresca's team took a quick 11-0 lead, withstood the Wildcats' brief flurry to get them within 20-19, then answered with five straight pins to deny their much-improved and heady hosts any hopes of an upset.

"We were actually pretty good about things coming back this week," said 215-pound Josh White, who was ranked No. 2 in the state again this week despite knocking off No. 1 ranked Mike Cook of Bald Eagle Area last Saturday.

"Some of us were mad about what happened last week, but we didn't wrestle too bad here.

"The coach takes care of things. He's a good motivational speaker. We just buckled down tonight and made it happen."

That they did, using Fred Rodgers' pin in the 112-pounder opener and Nick Hyatt's technical fall in the ensuing 119-pund bout for that quick 11-0 advantage. Teammates Jamie Soupik (decision at 135) and Brian Rakowski (pin at 140) offset a pair of earlier wins by OJR, which got to within in a point on Phillip Rupert's major decision at 145 and a forfeit to Robert Hoffman at 152.

But then the strength of Boyertown's lineup delivered the knockout blow -- the five consecutive falls from 152 through heavyweight by Dave Jones (1:54), Mike Schwager (1:35), Jesse DeWan (27 seconds), White (1:02) and Mike Holloway (1:35).

"Looking at (OJR's) lineup we felt they could've won six or seven matches," White said. "We knew we had to go hard. I think we did well."

"I think we held together pretty good since last week," added Hyatt, who picked up his 100th career last weekend. "We could've wrestled some matches a little better, but we wrestled well."

Ventresca, whose Bears are now 4-1 in the Pioneer Athletic Conference (13-5 overall), felt his team was ready for Wednesday evening's feature.

"We had a few pretty good days of practice," he said. "We were ready for this. You never underestimate Owen J. They have a great staff and they're always ready. You can't underestimate them because they're always in the match."

OJR, which stayed close early on with Jeremy Stierly's pin at 125 and Andy Strubilla's decision at 130, also got a match-ending major from 103-pound Will Bentley.

"I thought we wrestled OK," said head coach Steve DeRafelo. "It came out pretty muchthe way we planned. We hung in there, but we knew their upperweights are pretty good. They have quality state-level kids from 152 on up. But we're seeing improvement, and that's the important thing."

NOTES

Boyertown is back on the mats Saturday with rival Spring-Ford. ..OJR slipped to 3-2 in the league and overall.

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