It's a wrestling team built for the long haul.
The long haul of this year's postseason trek ... and years to come.
There's no denying Boyertown has the foundation in place to be a power beyond this storied 2013-14 campaign.
The Bears were the unquestioned leaders of the Pioneer Athletic Conference this winter, sweeping through the regular-season matches before topping the league's individual championship tourney at home last weekend. Their next shot at superiority takes place Saturday, when they head to Spring-Ford for the District 1-AAA West Tournament.
The top five finishers from the PAC-10 tournament's weight classes will clash with the top six from the Central League for berths in next weekend's Southeast Regional AAA Tournament. The field will be top-heavy with Bears and Rams, both teams advancing 13 through the PAC-10 competition.
And Boyertown's contingent remains heavy on the underclassman side. Six of its nine individual champions range from juniors (William Scholl) and sophomores (Garrett Mauger, Lucas Miller, Gregg Harvey, Jordan Wood) through freshmen (Jakob Campbell). The Bears' four other district qualifiers — David Campbell, Hunter Vogels, Dylan Wertz, Brody O'Connell — also fall in the underclass ranks.
"They have great potential,' head coach Pete Ventresca said, "but you can always improve on potential.'
The current crop of Boyertown stars got their starts as early as their kindergarten years, participating in the Boyertown Area Wrestling Association. From there, the progression continues through the junior-high programs at Boyertown East and West before reaching the high-school level.
"The coaches at those levels do very well developing the kids,' Ventresca said. "It makes it easier for me when I get them, because they know the basics of the sport.'
But Ventresca noted instances where ninth-graders in the system can be elevated to the high-school program as opposed to spending another season at the junior-high level. That was the case for current sophomores like Harvey, Mauger, Miller and Wood last year; and freshmen like Jakob and David Campbell, Vogels, Chris Berry and J.T. Cooley this season.
"Basically, you have to get the OK from the principal and the OK from the parents for someone to be eligible to do that,' he said. "We evaluate the kids, and if we decide they're ready, we discuss it with the coaches.'
For the Boyertown wrestlers who've gone through that elevation process these past two years, their performances have amply validated those decisions.
Wood is currently 33-0 following a freshman season that saw him go 46-2 and win a silver medal at states. Jakob Campbell (33-6), Miller (35-8) and Harvey (35-6) join senior teammates Eddie Kriczky (38-6), Cody Richmond (31-8) and Jordan Wertz (41-3) in the Bears' 30-win club while Mauger (28-8) and Scholl (26-7) are within reach of that standard.
"It's a test of mental toughness,' Ventresca said. "A lot of kids take their lumps as freshmen.'
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Treiskadekaphobia (the fear of the number 13) is obviously not an issue at the 1-West tournament.
Along with Boyertown and Spring-Ford, a third team will bring a 13-man crew to districts. Penncrest will have its own "baker's dozen' in attendance, which will rank as the biggest Central League entry in attendance.
The Lions' hefty pride is headed by individual champions Ryan Dougherty (33-2) at 152, Liam Frank (31-3) at 182 and Austin Jacque (31-3) at 195. Its other 10 wrestlers placed between second and sixth.
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Garnet Valley was the class of the Central League this year, going 11-0 in the regular season and winning its championship tournament.
The Jaguars had four individual titlists among the 11 they advanced to districts: Freshman Nick Puliti (26-3) at 106, senior Mike Marino (30-6) at 120, sophomore Gary Pizzuto (28-4) at 132 and senior John Dambro (31-3) at 170. Four other teammates took seconds in their weight classes.
Conestoga boasted a pair of Central champs in sophomores Danny Iredale (28-4) at 145 and Mike Karas (19-9) at 220.
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Their member schools may not share any common boundaries, but that didn't stop the PAC-10 and Central League schools from interacting on the mats during the regular season.
The leagues had a combined 10 matches between their schools. Pottsgrove saw the most action against the Central League, wrestling Strath Haven twice and Radnor once, going 2-1. Phoenixville (Ridley, Radnor) and Perkiomen Valley (Conestoga, Marple-Newtown) each wrestled against the Central twice, the Vikings going 2-0 while the Phantoms split at 1-1. Pottstown fell to Ridley in its lone crossover.
Boyertown and Upper Perkiomen both saw Upper Darby on the opening night of the District 1-AAA Duals Tournament. The Indians lost to UD in the opening round, 35-24, but the Bears rolled up a 63-7 victory in the second round.
In total, the PAC-10 went 6-4 against Central League opposition.
DISTRICT 1/12 AA
After being tested by the rest of the Pioneer Athletic Conference's bigger schools, Pope John Paul II will get a crack at teams in its own classification this weekend.
The Golden Panthers will venture to Springfield-Montco for the District 1/12 AA Tournament. They take a 10-man contingent of predominantly underclassmen to the other end of Montgomery County in the wake of last weekend's Pioneer Athletic Conference championships.
Kirk Cherneskie heads the list of PJP hopefuls, the senior 182-pounder sporting a 20-9 record. Cherneskie gets a bye in the quarterfinals while four other teammates — freshmen Nick Yerger and Sean McQuaid, juniors Vinnie Togno and Luke Genetti — have pairings in that round.
Yerger (13-17) opens against New Hope-Solebury's Colin Frankhouser, McQuaid (14-12) faces Academy Park's Jeromy Fincham, Togno (13-17) takes on Springfield-Montco's Noah Doman and Genetti (12-11) duels with Bristol's Hasan Zivali. Three Panthers will open in the first round: Will Heid (3-18) at 152 against Archbishop Carroll's Thomas Scott, Kevin Shirley (9-18) against Girard College's Christopher Williams and Daniel Murphy (6-10) at 182 against Springfield-Montco's Briheem Brown
Two other PJP grapplers will start out with first-round byes: Chase Sheldon (8-18) at 160 and Brandon Rau (4-12) at 220.
The top four AAA wrestlers from each weight class will advance to the Southeast Regional, which will again be hosted by Pottstown. The Southeast AA Regional will return to Wilson-West Lawn. ... Marple-Newtown's Patrick Callaghan was the Outstanding Wrestler from the Central League tourney. The senior 145-pounder brings a 29-2 record to districts. ... Radnor junior Tom Meyers is unbeaten on the year, hoisting a 29-0 record at 160.
Follow Jeff Stover on Twitter at @MercuryXStover
District 1-AAA West Tournament
(Year and record in parentheses)
KEY: Boyertown (Bt), Conestoga (Con), Garnet Valley (GaV), Harriton (Har), Haverford (Hav), Lower Merino (LMe), Marple Newtown (MN), Methacton (Me), Owen J. Roberts (OJR), Penncrest (Pc), Perkiomen Valley (PV), Phoenixville (Px), Pottsgrove (Pg), Pottstown (Pt), Radnor (Rad), Ridley (Rid), Springfield-Delco (SfD), Spring-Ford (SF), Strath Haven (SH), Upper Darby (UDa), Upper Perkiomen (UP).
106-Brian Marshall, PV (Sr., 25-8) vs. Vince Tavani, Hav (So. 22-10); Ryan Resnick, OJR (Fr., 13-9) vs. Eric Appenzeller, Rid (Fr., 15-16); Ty D'Ortone, Pc (Fr., 17-17) vs. Nick Suero, SF (Sr., 9-7).
113-David Campbell, Bt (Fr., 19-19) vs. Robbie Hazzard, LMe (So., 24-10); Dustin Steffenino, UP (Jr., 24-5) vs. Pete Moore, Hav (Jr., 20-12); Noah Frantz, SH (So., 22-11) vs. Bryce Reddington, Me (Fr., 25-6).
120-Eric Straup, Me ( Sr., 26-11) vs. Danny Redmond, Rad (Sr., 18-9); Hunter Mitch, SF (So., 24-18) vs. Ryan Stoucku, PNC (Fr., 22-13); Michael Rtarrant, Con (Jr., 15-7) vs. Garrett Serwatka, Px (Jr., 24-7).
126-Alec Pupo, OJR (Sr., 9-14) vs. Chris Sciarrino, SfD (So., 24-11); Mason Pennypacker, Pt (So., 25-9) vs. Zach Groses, Pc (So., 12-17); Mike Sklar, Con (Jr., 22-9) vs. Matt Krieble, SF (So. 18-15).
132-Dan Jordan, UP (Sr., 21-15) vs. Noah Nelson, Pc (Sr., 14-8); Nick Beauchamp, SF (Jr., 24-19) vs. Scott Christy, Con (Jr., 14-19); Justin Bianchi, Har (Jr., 22-11) vs. Dylan Henry, Me (Fr., 22-9).
138-Adam Dombrosky, SF (Sr., 26-15) vs. Byrum Saam, Har (Sr., 18-15); Demetri D'Orsaneo, OJR (Jr., 26-9) vs. Mike Houlihan, Rid (Sr., 16-15); Ben Simonson, Hav (Jr., 20-13) vs. Hunter Vogels, Bt (Fr., 14-18).
145-Jon Cooper, SF (Jr., 26-15) vs. Patrick Kane, UDa (Jr., 24-12); Trey Romance, Px (Jr., 8-6) vs. Daniel Boyer, SfD (Jr., 20-15); Matthew Young, Pc (Jr., 14-11) vs. Dylan Wertz, Bt (Jr., 22-15).
152-Nick Fioravanti, PV (Sr., 12-20) vs. Kyle Wadell, Rad (Jr., 22-11); Frankie Krauss, SF (Jr., 36-6) vs. Mike Dougherty, SH (Jr., 15-19); Dan Wadell, Con (Jr., 19-11) vs. Michael Felix, UP (So., 18-15).
160-Jack Ryan, Me (Sr., 15-16) vs. Joey Sciarrino, SfD (Jr., 27-7); Trevor Weeks, UP (Jr., 16-6) vs. Matthew Venit, Rid (Jr., 12-15); James Morris, Pc (Sr., 20-12) vs. Evan Weneck, Pg (Jr., 28-8).
170-Chris Kramer, UP (Sr., 10-18) vs. Mike Wiley, SH (Jr., 18-10); Aarom Sturm, PV (23-10) vs. Fran Bascelli, Rid (Jr., 16-14); Zach Taylor, Rad (Jr., 17-11) vs. Christopher Quintrell, Pg (So., 11-17).
182-Tyler Smith, Pg (So., 10-13) vs. Kit Schoefield, Con (Sr., 9-8); Brendan Zimmie, SF (Jr., 9-7) vs. Madhat Fares, UDa (Jr., 12-9); Addison Hansen, Rad (Sr., 21-5) vs. Casey Cook, UP (Sr., 19-5).
195-Tom McKeown, GaV (Sr., 18-17) bye; Chris DeFrancesco, Pg (So. 25-7) vs. Elijah Crew, SH (So. 15-10); Ethan Pentz, Con (Jr., 17-13) vs. Stephen Stajnrajh, Me (Jr., 13-14).
220-Jim Jones, Me (Sr., 10-11) vs. Kenty Chance, Rad (Jr., 16-10); Mason Romano, SF (Sr., 23-3) vs. Thomas McHale, MN (Sr., 11-13); Jack Spearing, Rid (Jr., 16-10) vs. Josh Slody, Pt (Sr., 25-9).
285-Paul Hossler, Px (Sr., 16-11) vs. Troy Bailey, Pc (So., 12-19); Joshua Boyer, SF (Sr., 29-12) vs. Peter Augustin, UDa (So., 11-19); Eric Trainor, MN (SR., 12-19) vs. Brody O'Connell, Bt (So., 15-10).
106-Jakob Campbell, Bt (Fr., 33-6) vs. Marshall/Tavani winner; Anthony Petril, UDa (Sr., 28-4) vs. Resnick/Appenzeller winner; Max Shepherd, Px (So., 21-8) vs. Nate Frantz, SH (Sr., 30-3); Nick Puliti, GaV (Fr., 26-3) vs. D'Ortone/Suero winner.
113-Derek Gulotta, OJR (Jr., 27-5) vs. Campbell/Hazzard winner; Matthew Marino, GaV (Fr., 21-9) vs. Steffenino/Moore winner; Ryan Hayes, SF (Jr., 33-5)v s. Eric Hutchinson, Con (Fr., 22-8); Austin Petril, UDa (Sr., 31-1) vs. Frantz/Reddington winner.
120-Garrett Mauger, Bt (So., 28-8) vs. Straup/Redmond winner; Donte McCarthy, Rid (Sr., 26-4) vs. Mitch/Stocku winner; Logan Pennypacker, Pt (So., 28-6) vs. Luke Charamella, SfD (Sr., 18-4); Michael Marino, GaV (Sr., 30-6) vs. Rtarrant/Serwatka winner.
126-Lucas Miller, Bt (So., 35-8) vs. Pupo/Scirarrino winner; Ben Tuohey, GaV (So., 20-9) vs. Pennypacker/Groses winner; Eric Miller, UP (Jr., 29-6) vs. Colin Cronin, UDa (Fr., 27-8); Patrick Callaghan, MN (Sr., 29-2) vs. Sklar/Krieble winner.
132-Eddie Kriczky, Bt (Sr., 38-6) vs. Jordan/Nelson winner; Tim Abbot, SfD (Sr., 11-4) vs. Beauchamp/Christy winner; Bryant Wise, Pt (So., 25-4) vs. Max Livingston, UDa (Fr., 19-15); Gary Pizzuto, GaV (So., 28-4) vs. Bianchi/Henry winner.
138-Joe Staley, Me (Sr., 29-2) vs. Dombrosky/Saam winner; Ronnie Frank, Pc (Sr., 16-9) vs. D'Orsaneo/Houlihan winner; Tyrelle Robinson, PV (Sr., 22-4) vs. Patrick Rowe, GaV (Jr., 27-8); Dennis Charamella, SfD (Sr., 31-2) vs. Simonson/Vogels winner.
145-Dominick Petrucelli, OJR (Jr., 25-6) vs. Cooper/Kane winner; Sean Lyons, GaV (Sr., 27-8) vs. Romance/Boyer winner; Patrick Bohn, Pt (Sr., 27-7) vs. Brody Brush, LMe (So., 24-9); Danny Iredale, Con (So., 28-4) vs. Young/Wertz winner.
152-Nico Demetrio, Pg (Sr., 32-2) vs. Fioravanti/K.Wadell winner; David Tustin, Hav (So., 23-7) vs. Krauss/Dougherty winner; Darien Hain, Pt (Sr., 26-4) vs. Matthew Sauselein, Rid (Sr., 24-7); Ryan Dougherty, Pc (Sr., 33-2) vs. D.Wadell/Felix winner.
160-Gregg Harvey, Bt (So., 35-6) vs. Ryan/Sciarrino winner; Wyatt Martin, Hav (Sr., 25-5) vs. Weeks/Venit winner; Nick Giangiulio, PV (Sr., 28-3) vs. Charles Livingston, UDa (Sr., 26-9); Tom Meyers, Rad (Jr., 29-0) vs. Morris/Weneck winner.
170-Cody Richmond, Bt (Sr., 31-8) vs. Kramer/Wiley winner; Joe Pyfer, Pc (Jr., 26-6) vs. Sturm/Bascelli winner; Taylor Westlake, SF (Sr., 29-7) vs. Matthew Bloxton, Hav (Jr., 26-8); Joe Dambro, GaV (Sr., 31-3) vs. Taylor/Quintrell winner.
182-William Scholl, Bt (Jr., 26-7) vs. Dawson/Schoefield winner; Lawrence Aikins, Rid (Jr., 16-14) vs. Zimmie/Fares winner; Devin Bradley, Me (Sr., 26-4) vs. Mark Morey, GaV (Sr., 24-11); Liam Frank, Pc (Sr., 31-3) vs. Hansen/Cook winner.
195-Jordan Wertz, Bt (Sr., 41-3) vs. McKeown; Markos Katrakazis, MN (Sr., 23-7) vs. DeFrancesco/Crew winner; Nick Perri, SF (Sr., 26-14) vs. Charles Rossino, Hav (Sr., 29-4); Austin Jacque, Pc (Sr., 31-3) vs. Pentz/Stajnrajh winner.
220-Jordan Wood, Bt (S0, 33-0) vs. Jones/Chance winner; J.C. Zweier, GaV (Sr., 15-17) vs. Romano/McHale winner; Luke DiElsi, PV (20-4) vs. Bob Long, Pc (Sr., 24-9); Mike Karas, Con (So., 19-9) vs. Spearling/Slody winner.
285-Tracey Green, Me (Sr., 30-1) vs. Hossler/Bailey winner; James Hong, Rad (Sr., 22-4) vs. Boyer/Augustin winner; Pat Finn, Pg (Jr., 9-1) vs. Nick Apostolu, SfD (Sr., 18-13); Justin Fremont, SH (Sr., 27-4) vs. Trainor/O'Connell winner.
District 1/12-AA Tournament
Pope John Paul II pairings
(Year and record in parentheses)
152: Will Heid, PJP (So., 3-18) vs. Thomas Scott, Archbishop Carroll
160: Chase Sheldon, PJP (Sr., 8-18) bye
170: Kevin Shirley, PJP (So., 9-18) vs. Christopher Williams, Girard College
220: Brandon Rau, PJP (Fr., 4-12) bye
285: Daniel Murphy, PJP (Jr., 6-10) vs. Briheem Brown, Springfield-Montco
113: Nick Yerger, PJP (Fr., 13-17) vs. Colin Frankhouser, New Hope-Solebury
132: Sean McQuaid, PJP (Fr., 14-12) vs. Jeromy Fincham, Academy Park
145: Vinnie Togno, PJP (Jr., 13-17) vs. Noah Doman, Springfield-Montco
182: Kirk Cherneskie, PJP (Sr., 20-9) bye
195: Luke Genetti, PJP (Jr., 12-11) vs. Hasan Zivali, Bristol