UPPER PROVIDENCE — Upper Perkiomen had been struggling as a team coming into Wednesday night's Pioneer Athletic Conference wrestling match at Pope John Paul II. And some of the individuals in the lineup had fallen onto tough times more than others in the last week or so. But all of the Indians got back on track as they won six bouts by pins and three by decisions against the Golden Panthers in a 70-0 win.
"We just came off a tough stretch with Boyertown (a 67-6 loss last Wednesday) and Methacton (a 48-16 setback on Saturday),' said Upper Perk coach Tom Hontz. "We were chomping at the bit to get out there and do some good things. Everybody wrestled well.'
"The Indians (2-3, 4-10) began the night with consecutive pins by Casey Cook (at 195 pounds), Justin Crossley, and Mahlon Schaffer, all in under three minutes. Dan Jordan (145 pounds), Mike Lockhoff, and Michael Felix also won by falls back-to-back-to-back late in the match.
In between, Noah Folk rolled up a 13-2 major decision and Jacob Folk won by a 9-3 score. Then 182-pound junior Owen Leister, who came into the match with a 2-10 record, pulled off a 12-6 upset to wrap up the night.
"Both Leister and Felix wrestled really well,' said Hontz. "They've taken some lumps. That was good for us and good for them personally.'
On the other hand, the wrestlers for Pope John Paul II (0-4, 3-7) were just a little slow to react and made too many mistakes to compete successfully against a strong team like Upper Perk, according to coach Selden Staples.
"We made mental mistakes,' he said. "And when we did that, they knew how to take advantage of it. They're well-coached. You stay on your back for two seconds too long. Your hands don't go to the proper place for five seconds like they should.
"They (the Indians) always wrestle hard. I tried to prepare them for what was coming. Obviously, we weren't ready. We've got to get a little smarter.'
The most competitive, and hardest fought, bout of the night was the final one between Leister and Kirk Cherneskie (9-4). That one was tied at 3-3 after a period before Leister picked up a takedown and a near fall in the second period and then held off Cherneskie's tries for a quick takedown and pin at the end.
"We wrestle a pretty stiff schedule,' said Hontz. "They (Felix and Leister) have taken their lumps a little bit. It was nice to see them go out and get a win personally. The few wins that Leister had were good wins for us. Against Downingtown West, he had a good win for us.
"It's nice to get a decisive victory like tonight.'
The Indians also won four bouts by forfeit and there was no match at 106 pounds. ... Upper Perk's PAC-10 losses had all come against opponents who were undefeated in the league heading into Wednesday's action. ... Cook improved his record for the year to 12-2 and he now has nine pins. ... The win snapped a six-match losing streak for the Indians. ... PJP will be right back at it on Thursday night at Pottsgrove.