It's the long-awaited, much-anticipated battle for Pioneer Athletic Conference wrestling superiority.
In the center circle will be teams that are not only the gold standard of the PAC-10, but players throughout District One and other parts of eastern Pennsylvania — teams that have steamrolled their ways to this critical clash by dominating any opposition that's come their way since the beginning of December.
It's Boyertown vs. Spring-Ford, coming to a gym near you ... provided, of course, the gym near you is the one inside Spring-Ford High School, where the action unfolds Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.
That should take care of the hype. Now bring on the Main Event.
"At the very beginning, we know this was going to be huge, regardless of the others,' Boyertown head coach Pete Ventresca said. "We knew they (Spring-Ford) had a tough team back. We were anticipating this.'
That was the sentiment down in the Spring-Ford community, where Tim Seislove and his coaching staff were putting together another championship contender. Like Boyertown, it's taken care of business both in the PAC-10 and at non-league outings — a second at Cumberland Valley, a fifth at Manheim Central, 5-0 runs at Biglerville and Northampton — in prelude to Wednesday's showdown.
"We knew, at the beginning, Boyertown was the team to beat,' Seislove said. "They're the best in the league. I was kind of hoping we could put ourselves in this position.'
In terms of team statistics, there's not a lot separating the programs.
Both come in with 18-0 records, though Boyertown (7-0) has one more PAC-10 match than Spring-Ford. Their domination of opponents has been relatively parallel: The Bears' average margin of victory has been 56-9; the Rams' has been 54-13.
But team statistics aside ...
"I hope we can make it entertaining,' Seislove said. "We're a huge underdog.'
Depth and flexibility have been trademarks of both programs to date.
Boyertown has been able to get 20 wrestlers out on the varsity mats, eight of whom have 20 or more victories while seven others boast winning records from significant action. Jordan Wood, a PIAA silver medalist at 220 as a freshman, and Jordan Wertz lead the way with their respective 21-0 and 30-3 marks. Jakob Campbell (106, 23-5), Garrett Mauger (120, 20-5), Lucas Miller (126, 25-6) Eddie Kriczky (138, 27-5), Gregg Harvey (160, 25-3) and Cody Richmond (170, 22-5) are other high-production performers.
And Ventresca's had the luxury of putting various winning lineups out on the mats. At the upper end, Jordan Wertz, Wood and Brody O'Connell (285, 12-7) have been joined in the mix by junior Michael Fretz, who's gone 8-2 since cracking the varsity alignment earlier this month. It's been more of the same in the middle weights as freshman Chris Berry (11-0 at 132) has meshed with J.T. Cooley (10-5), Kriczky and Dylan Wertz (19-10) in January.
"Mike Fretz has helped us a lot with our flexibility,' Ventresca said. "It's been the same way around 138, with Eddie, Hunter Vogels and Wertz.'
Spring-Ford has its own sizeable corps of varsity-season veterans: 20, to match Boyertown. Four of them have already hit or topped the 20-win plateau, with three others a win away from joining them.
Ryan Hayes (113, 23-2), Adam Dombrosky (145, 20-7), Frankie Krauss (160, 23-5) and Joshua Boyer (285, 22-5) head the list of the most active and productive Rams. Jon Cooper (152). Taylor Westlake (170) and Nick Perri (195) each have 19 wins to date.
Then there's Mason Romano, who's been on a tear since making himself a fixture in the lineup through January. Romano, 12-0 at 220, has helped give Spring-Ford a formidable upper-weight lineup along with Westlake, Perri and Boyer.
"I would not say this was unexpected,' Seislove said of his club's successful stance. "We had a lot of kids who put time in after the year was over. We've seen improvement each year — them trying to get better.
"We went to Bloomsburg for clinics, we got together with Downingtown East, and we've been up to Boyertown to work out with their kids.'
One main watchword for Wednesday: Come early, because it's a safe bet seating in the Spring-Ford gym will fill up fast.
"There's always a lot of interest when Spring-Ford and Boyertown get together,' Ventresca said. "They have a great program, and Tim is a great coach.'
"We're hoping for a good crowd,' Seislove added.
Boyertown and Spring-Ford could conceivably face off for a second wrestling title later in the week.
Provided, of course, other events support the scenario.
The Bears and Rams could meet for the District 1 Class AAA Duals Tournament championship when the action moves to Upper Dublin Friday and Saturday. Top-seeded Boyertown and third seed Spring-Ford are at opposite ends of the winners' bracket, which means they wouldn't encounter each other until the final round.
First, though, both teams have to take care of their preliminary business. The Bears will have to dispatch eighth-seeded Quakertown in Friday's quarterfinal round, then either fourth seed Garnet Valley or fifth seed Council Rock South in the semifinals to reach the championship. Spring-Ford, in turn, has sixth-seeded Pennridge as a quarterfinal opponent, with either seventh-seeded Methacton or second-seeded Downingtown East awaiting in the semis.
"We've got to get through Wednesday first,' Boyertown coach Pete Ventresca said. "We're focusing on them one at a time. We have our eyes on Spring-Ford now ... getting through them, then focusing on the next one.'
DO OR DYE II
Jordan Wood was part of the planning for the Boyertown wrestling team's recent hair-dying movement.
And the Bears' sophomore co-captain was more than happy to expound on the matter Thursday, when the Bears were taking part in the District 1-AAA Duals Tournament at Methacton.
"It's a great team-bonding thing,' Wood said following his team's 63-7 rout of Upper Darby. "We had several mothers come in to do the work.'
Other notes of interest about the procedure:
THE COLOR SCHEME (RED AND BLACK): "The team captains came up with it. Originally, we were going to do it all red, but then we decided to go half red and half black.'
THE PROCESS: "There were five people dying hair at once. It took about a half-hour to get one person's hair done completely.'
THE RESPONSE: "We got a lot of weird looks from people. But they know it's for wrestling ... a cool team-bonding thing.'
THE DURATION: "It should last at least until after team states. It's permanent, so it will be there until our hair grows out.'
Based on their performance last week, there should be no question about Spring-Ford's stamina.
The Rams came out of the break forced by Tuesday's snowstorm with a full head of steam. They wrestled seven matches between Thursday and Saturday, going 7-0 as a tuneup for Wednesday's title bout with Boyertown.
The capper was a 5-0 run in the Konkrete Duals at Northampton — a recent addition to their schedule. Head coach Tim Seislove noted his squad took on that event as a replacement for the Abington Duals in early December, a cancellation casualty from one of the various snowstorms that have hit the region this winter.
"It was not too demanding,' Seislove recalled. "We weren't sure about the teams we faced. Northampton (host) has a good team.'
But that didn't stop Spring-Ford from steamrolling the field, highlighted by a 78-0 whitewash of Notre Dame-Green Pond. It won 55 of 70 contested bouts, with 24 pins and four technical falls in the mix.
Five individuals going 5-0 on the day — Ryan Hayes (113), Adam Dombrosky (138), Frankie Krauss (152), Taylor Westlake (170, Joshua Boyer (285) — headed the list of productive Rams. All but three of 16 wrestlers seeing action came home with winning records.
The Northampton trip came on the heels of Thursday's 60-6 rout of Unionville in the District 1-AAA Duals, and a 74-3 domination of Pope John Paul II in Friday's PAC-10 pairing.
The Mercury area's career win chart added yet another member this past week.
Pottsgrove's Nico Demetrio reached the 100-win mark for his scholastic career Thursday, during the District 1-AAA Duals Tournament. His 9-3 decision of Council Rock North's Drew Burschlag was the milestone victory, and the high point for the Falcons in their opening-round loss to the Indians.
Demetrio became the fourth Pottsgrove wrestler to reach a triple-digit win total, following Zach Robinson and T.J. Demetrio (Class of 2011) and Danny Michaels (Class of 2012). Robinson ranks as the program's all-time wins leader with 126.
Pottsgrove is coming off a strong outing in Bucks County this past weekend, going 3-1 in the Central Bucks East Invitational Duals. The Falcons won out over Octorara (48-33), host East (42-30) and Bishop McDevitt (45-34) but lost to Strath Haven (44-19).
Chris DeFrancesco, Nico Demetrio, Ryan Finn, Kylif Underwood and Evan Weneck ll went 4-0 on the day while Pat Finn added a 3-0.
Follow Jeff Stover on Twitter at @MercuryXStover.