BOYERTOWN >> It was scary to see how Boyertown came out of the starting blocks Saturday.
Even scarier to think how much better the Bears could be once they set their lineup for the 2015-16 season.
Boyertown opened the current campaign by hosting the Brian Bealer Memorial Bear Duals. It repeated as champion with a 5-0 run through this year’s 10-school field, capped by a 51-12 romp over Bethlehem Liberty in the title match, and also came away with the event’s Outstanding Wrestler award courtesy of Hunter Vogels.
In doing so, the Bears (5-0) dominated opening day in mind-boggling fashion. They outscored the opposition by a combined 301-46 — or an average match score of 60-9. They gave up no more than 13 points to any one opponent, the total Governor Mifflin tallied in a 57-13 loss, and had no less than the 51 they posted against Liberty.
Their other victims were Interboro (73-3), Harry S. Truman (62-6) and Garnet Valley (58-12).
“The kids really came out,” Boyertown head coach Pete Ventresca said while holding the sizeable first-place team trophy. “They fought hard and tough.”
Boyertown had eight wrestlers go 5-0 on the day while another seven posted winning records. Heading the list of unbeatens was Vogels, whose sweep at 152 pounds earned him the tourney’s OW honors.
The quality of the competition Vogels faced played a large part in his achievement of the top individual prize.
“He beat two state qualifiers,” Ventresca said, in reference to Interboro’s Eric Thomas (138) and Harry S. Truman’s Dustin Stone (145). “He faced tough kids and wrestled a hell of a day.”
The win over Stone was especially satisfying for Vogels, giving him vindication over an opponent who left him one win short of qualifying for last year’s PIAA Championship Tournament at Hershey.
“That kid ended my season,” Vogels said. “I was definitely determined.”
Boyertown’s other 5-0 performers were Matt Wilde (106), Jakob Campbell (113), David Campbell (120), Lucas Miller (126), Gregg Harvey (182) and Jordan Wood (220). Four of them — Jakob Campbell, Miller, Harvey, Wood — were part of the program’s Fab Five contingent that qualified for, and scored medals at, states … headed by Wood’s gold-medal showing in Class AAA’s 220-pound bracket.
“We’re working to do big things,” Harvey, who registered two pins and a technical fall, said. “We’ll do all we can to accomplish them.”
To that end, Harvey downplayed any expectations the team might face from a school population and fan base clamoring for an even higher level of success.
“We’ll keep to ourselves and do what we do,” he said. “We’re not listening to what others say. Pressure is not a physical thing, and it’s not going to weigh us down.”
Wood opened defense of his state title in classic fashion, scoring three pins — all in the first period, the fastest a 16-second drop of Liberty’s Aundre Velazquez — and a technical fall. Jakob Campbell, a third-place state medalist at 106, racked up four pins and a tech-fall, while Mauger had three falls splitting time between the 132 and 138-pound brackets.
One particularly compelling effort by the Bears belonged to Elijah Jones, who saw action at 170 alongside teammate Zak Reck (2-1). Against Liberty’s Damen Moyer, Jones (2-0) rebounded from an initial 5-0 deficit to post a 12-5 decision in the day’s final bout.
“That shows why you never give up … you never stop,” Ventresca said. “That’s a great metaphor for life.”
Another area team, Owen J. Roberts, was again in the Bealer Duals field. The Wildcats went 3-2 to start their season, finishing fifth with a 49-24 win over Garnet Valley in the final round.
Roberts got off to a good start with wins over Dallas (40-33) and Unionville (45-24) before falling to Liberty (56-12) and being edged by Council Rock North (36-35). Against GV, the ‘Cats were led by pins from Micky Kohn (182), William Scherfel (285), Zachary Englehardt (120), Cole Meredith (145) and Rickey McCutchen (152).
“One thing is, we have a lot of kids we haven’t seen wrestle,” head coach Steve DeRafelo said. “I was excited to see them in action.”
Going 5-0 for OJR were Luke Resnick (106), Ryan Resnick (138) and Connor Mitchell (220). Scherfel was 4-0 at 285, and freshman Daniel Mancini debuted with a 4-1 at 132.
“The Resnick boys wrestled very well,” DeRafelo said in his overview of the day’s action, “and Dan Mancini … keep your eye on him. He’s fundamentally sound, and a smart wrestler.”
Tyler McCutchen also went 4-1 at 113, and Cole Meredith was 3-0 wrestling at both 145 and 152.
“We’re going to be making changes in our lineup,” DeRafelo said. “One of the biggest problems will be how to keep our young guys in the lineup.”
Both Boyertown and OJR will be back on the tournament scene next weekend, as part of the “King of the Mountain” competition hosted by Central Mountain.
NOTES >> Boyertown also had Tommy Killoran (4-1), J.T. Cooley (3-2), Zak Reck and Christian Fox (both 3-2) come out of the day with winning records. … All but three of the Bears’ 18 competitors scored at least one win. … Owen J. put 17 out on the mats. … Council Rock North ended up the third-place team off a 41-31 victory over Gov. Mifflin. … The OW award was again made in memory of the late Don Seeley, longtime member of the Pottstown Mercury sports department who also logged 15 years as sports editor.
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