Bears notch second straight team title, advance nine to regionals
by Don Seeley, Pottstown Mercury Sports Editor
Posted on February 26, 2006
ROYERSFORD -- The gold-medal count may have not have been any better and the point-differential may have been somewhat tighter, but the performance was another award-winner.
In other words, Boyertown was just as imposing this weekend as it was a year ago.
The Bears, behind dominating efforts by Fred Rodgers, Nick Hyatt, Mike Schwager and Jesse DeWan and as nearly as impressive showings by five others, pinned down its second straight District 1-AAA South Tournament title Saturday night at Spring-Ford High School.
Rodgers (42-2) breezed through at 112 pounds, while Hyatt (34-4) punched up a technical fall to go with his two earlier pins at 119. Schwager (39-6), arguably one of the more underrated upperweights in the district and now within one of his 100th career win, swept at 160, and DeWan (38-5) capped his weekend with a pin in the final at 171.
Overall, Boyertown -- which also got seconds from Asher Hyatt (130) and Josh White (215), thirds from Jamie Soupik (135) and Brian Rakowski (140), and a fourth from Dave Jones (152) -- accumulated 184 points. That was well in front of runner-up Downingtown West (148) and third-place Conestoga (102.5).
It also gave the Bears a District 1-South tournament-high nine qualifiers for next week's AAA Southeast Regional at Norristown.
Spring-Ford's Matt Moley (135) and Owen J. Roberts' Robert Hoffman (152) were also golden and, together with their teammates and the Bears' entourage, gave the Pioneer Athletic Conference six champions and a very respectable 17 regional reservations.
"It was good to win this again," Rodgers said. "But everyone came out fired up this time, too, and I think things went as planned for us."
"One of our goals this year was to win districts again and take eight to regionals," added Nick Hyatt. "We met those goals, so it's a big accomplishment for us."
"It's definitely nice getting the title again," said Schwager. "It shows we did well as a team, and a lot of the guys really gave it up for the team. That's the big thing ..we did this as a team."
Head coach Pete Ventresca did get contributions from everyone, including a win earlier from sophomore Todd Speilman (125), who failed to advance. Another of the big producers was Rakowski, who avenged a semifinal setback to Chichester's Larry Conte with a no-doubt-about-it 12-0 clinic over Conte in the third-place final.
Moley (36-4) dominated at 135 with three pins, the last a 3:44 decking of Glen Mills' Tom Wren.
"I had a good tournament," Moley said. "I wasn't feeling all that great for my last match. I didn't feel good, but I thought I wrestled good.
"But I stay focused for every match. I don't look ahead or past anybody. (Wren) was strong, really strong."
The Rams also got a fourth from John Martin (112) and fifths from Cory Sutton (103), Alan Gauger (119) and Mike Platco (189), who recorded his school-record 27th pin Saturday night, to give head coach Tim Seislove five regional qualifiers.
Hoffman (31-3) faced a familiar foe in Coatesville's Corey Blake in the final and, for the second straight week, worked a 4-3 decision over the Red Raider senior for the gold medal.
"It doesn't bother me going up against him again," Hoffman said after gaining the season series lead on Blake, 2-1. "I didn't think I'd see (Blake) in the finals because other guys matched up well with him. But that kind of stuff doesn't effect me.
"It doesn't matter who I wrestle. You still have to go out and get the job done. You only have to win by one point. Sure, you'd like to pin, but it's rewarding however you get the win."
OJR head coach Steve DeRafelo also has Will Bentley (fourth at 103) and Jeremy Stierly (fifth at 125) joining Hoffman for regionals. Stierly, a defending champion, was upset in the semifinals and again in the consolation semifinals before finishing with a win and the regional berth.
Boyertown, Upper Perkiomen (District 1-AAA North) and Pottstown (District 1-Class AA) gave the Pioneer Athletic Conference a weekend sweep of the three district titles. ..Spring-Ford (82) and OJR (55.5) finished seventh and ninth, respectively, in the team standings. ..Downingtown West (eight), Conestoga (seven) and Upper Darby (six) followed Boyertown with the most regional qualifiers.