Bears' Jones moves on to semis with pair of impressive wins
by Don Seeley, Pottstown Mercury Sports Editor
Posted on February 25, 2006
ROYERSFORD -- Dave Jones admitted it's easy to be overlooked when you have three teammates like Mike Schwager, Jesse DeWan and Josh White following you onto the mat.
But it was hard not to notice the Boyertown junior Friday night during the District 1-AAA South Tournament at Spring-Ford High School.
The 152-pound Jones debuted with a clinic-like technical fall over Glen Mills' Joseph Maffei, then upset Section Five champion Zach Trimmer with a 41-second pin in the quarterfinals, a pair of impressive victories that put him into this morning's semifinals against Coatesville's highly touted Corey Blake.
"Right before my first match (assistant coach John) Cooley told me he felt everyone else looked dead, so he told me to go out there and set the pace," Jones explained. "So I tried to keep everything out of mind and went out there to wrestle my match."
He did, as did most of the Bears, who swept 10 of 13 individual bouts, advancing Fred Rodgers (112 pounds), Nick Hyatt (119), Asher Hyatt (130) and, of course, Jones, Schwager (160), DeWan (171) and White (215) into the semifinals. The effort also enabled Boyertown, in search of its second straight district title, to grab the early team lead with 56.5 points -- that's 9.5 better than second-place Downingtown West.
Host Spring-Ford was in fifth place (35), one spot in front of Pioneer Athletic Conference rival Owen J. Roberts (28).
The Rams have three semifinalists -- Alan Gauger (119), Matt Moley (135) and Mike Platco (189); the same number as the Wildcats -- Will Bentley (103), Jeremy Stierly (125) and Robert Hoffman (152).
"Seven of 10... but you always hope for more," Boyertown head coach Pete Ventresca said of his team's opening-night performance. "A lot of the matches went our way. For the most part, our kids wrestled well. But (today) is when it really counts."
Jones (28-12) made it count Friday night. Maffei (18-16) was simply no challenge for Jones, and he hardly broke a sweat in the 41 second encounter with Trimmer (34-7).
Perhaps the first match was just a warm-up of sorts.
"I think it's an advantage (having two matches)," Jones said. "The guys with the first-round bye get to rest, maybe get a little tight and nervous. But I feel having that first match gets me to relax a little, and then I can come out strong."
Jones was nonetheless impressed with his teammates' efforts, too. Rodgers (40-2) and Nick Hyatt (32-4) had first-period pins, Asher Hyatt (4-3) got his six-pointer in the second period. Schwager (37-6) worked up a 9-4 decision before DeWan (36-5) took a scant 32 seconds and White (38-4) used up 1:38 for their falls.
"(The team title) was mentioned in practice," Jones said. "We want to go out and win it, get the second one. Most of us feel we can do it, too."
"It's one of our goals for sure," added Ventresca. "We have pretty high expectations for this team, so we'd love to do it again. We just hope the guys are up for the challenge."
Spring-Ford, meanwhile, got a pair of wins from Gauger (29-9), bumped up to 119 for the postseason. Moley (34-4) needed just 1:21 to advance, and Platco (31-10) added two more pins -- his 24th and 25th of the season.
Owen J. Roberts got a big night from Bentley (24-9), a sophomore who had a major decision and pin to advance into a semifinal showdown with Rob Akers (34-1) of top-seeded Downingtown West. Stierly (29-2) pinned in his lone match, as did Hoffman (29-3) in his. Stierly now meets Sun Valley's highly touted Willy Mack (29-5), while Hoffman takes on Lower Merion's Gabe Pressman (22-5), that winner going against the other semifinal survivor between Jones' and Coatesville's Cory Blake.
This morning's first round of consolations begins at 9:30, followed by the semifinals. The consolation and championship finals get under way at 6 p.m. ..The top five in each weight class advance to next weekend's Southeast Regional at Norristown.