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Owen J. Roberts Wildcats Wrestling District 1
Pioneer Athletic Conference

Bears cruise to Section Four team title

by Don Seeley, Pottstown Mercury Sports Editor

Posted on February 19, 2006

BOYERTOWN -- Forgive Boyertown head coach Pete Ventresca and his wrestlers if they have bad memories..if only for one weekend.

That down-to-the-last match setback to bitter rival Upper Perkiomen that cost them a Pioneer Athletic Conference title, and that down-to-the-last-match, one-point loss to Pennsbury that cost them a spot in the PIAA Class AAA Duals Tournament, well, no one could remember them Saturday night after the Bears overwhelmed the District 1-AAA Section Four field in their own gym.

Boyertown owned nearly half the gold medals, picking up six -- or three times as many as anyone else -- while amassing 211.5 points and finishing well ahead of runner-up Downingtown West (163.5) and third-place Spring-Ford (134.5).

Owen J. Roberts, which finished fifth, had a pair of individual champions in Jeremy Stierly (125) and Robert Hoffman (152), who was named the tournament's Outstanding Wrestler.

Boyertown's roll began at 112 pounds with Fred Rodgers, continued on with brothers Nick (119) and Asher Hyatt (130) and closed out with an impressive Mike Schwager (160), Jesse DeWan (171) and Josh White (215) bang.

Boyertown took control midway through the day and was never challenged.

Jamie Soupik (135) and Nick Rakowski (140) settled for runner-up honors, and teammates David Jones (152) and Todd Speilman (125) added fourths for Boyertown, which advanced 10 to next week's District 1-AAA South Tournament at Spring-Ford.

"We wanted this. It was definitely one of our goals," said Rodgers, the No. 1 ranked 112-pounder in the state who breezed with three pins, the last over Spring-Ford's John Martin. "We have a goal board, and this is up there on it."

Spring-Ford got its lone gold medal from 135-pound Matt Moley, who pinned down his fourth consecutive sectional title, believed to be a first for the Rams' program. In addition to Martin, heavyweight Jamie Maute added a second, while Cory Sutton (103) and Mike Platco (189) were both third, and Alan Gauger (119), Matt Patterson (145), Chad Duffy (152) and Scott Kodish (215) all settled for fourths. The combined efforts enabled head coach Tim Seislove to take nine of his Rams to districts.

Perhaps the biggest surprise for Boyertown was the eighth-seeded Asher Hyatt, who missed the entire regular season before making his debut in the district duals with three straight losses.

"It didn't start as good as I liked," Asher said. "But I wasn't surprised (beating the No. 1 seeded Bill Hasen of Great Valley), and I wasn't surprised winning (the weight class), either. If I was in shape I feel I would've done better.

"I worked a lot more on my moves (since the district duals). I was very disappointed. But now I'm feeling pretty good."

Moley had to be feeling rather well, too, considering no one in the long line of outstanding Spring-Ford wrestlers had ever swept four straight sectional titles.

"I didn't think about it, really, but coach (Seislove) mentioned it to me this morning," said Moley, who is attempting to become Spring-Ford's first three-time state medalist before he's done this season. "I'm glad I set the record for our school, though."

Moley decisioned Soupik, 10-1, to set the standard.

"I'm not looking ahead," Moley said. "I was focused on this. It's important to me. And it's another step closer to my goal."

If anyone was happier than Hyatt or Moley, well, it had to be Hoffman. The 152-pound senior, who worked his way to states a year ago, lost a 5-3 decision to Coatesville's Corey Blake earlier this season at the Kennett Tournament. The two met again in Saturday night's final, and this time Hoffman was considerably more aggressive and left with a 6-5 decision -- and the OW award.

"I wanted this one big-time," Hoffman said. "I've worked on everything since (that loss) because I thought I'd see (Blake) again. Losing to him made me want this that much more. I hate losing, and I hate losing to the same person twice.

"I was confident when I first stepped out there on the mat. I just got more physical in the third period."

Earlier, Stierly put on a clinic with a 15-0 technical fall over Unionville's Andrew Smith.

"I was definitely confident coming in," Stierly said. "The season's been going the way I want it to. The losses I have motivated me, motivated me to get better. I'm happy with the way I wrestled here."

OJR also advanced bronze medalist Connor McCormick (119), and fourth-place finishers Will Bentley (103), Andy Strubilla (130), Derek Eckhart (140) and Ryan Menkins (160).

NOTES

The PAC-10's three schools accounted for 26 of the 56 district qualifiers. ..Downingtown West tied Boyertown for the most qualifiers with 10 each. Spring-Ford and Great Valley, coached by Phoenixville graduate and Kimberton resident Joe Tornetta, were next with nine apiece.

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