It’s no coincidence five of the remaining eight teams in the District 1 Class 3A Duals lead the district in wins by decision.
Council Rock South, Downingtown West, Methacton, Owen J. Roberts and Boyertown lead District 1 in winning the tight ones, and this time of year, those types of bouts are the difference.
The quarterfinals for the district duals begin Friday night, and by Saturday afternoon, the four PIAA representatives will be locked in. Friday’s action will be at Pottsgrove High, with the quarters beginning at 6 p.m., and the semifinals and first round of consolations to follow at 7:30 p.m. Saturday’s action starts with the consolation semifinals at 1 p.m., with the championship finals and consolation finals at 3 p.m.
The District 1 Class 2A Duals will take place Saturday, with the semis at 1 p.m. and the finals at 3 p.m, with Church Farm the lone local participant.
Of the aforementioned quintet, No. 1 Boyertown, No. 2 South and No. 4 OJR have been mainstays in the 3A tournament, while No. 3 Methacton and No. 6 West are trying to crash the party as rising challengers.
Here’s a look the quarterfinal matchups and beyond, with the stats and rankings from pa-wrestling.com.
No. 1 Boyertown (18-2) vs. No. 8 West Chester Rustin (15-3)
Ranked wrestlers: Boyertown — Matt Wilde (1st, 113), David Campbell (1st, 126), Jakob Campbell (2nd, 132) Chris Berry (4th, 152), Hunter Vogels (3rd, 160), Elijah Jones (1st, 182). Rustin — Brett Kaliner (4th, 132), Collin Hurley (5th, 160)
Best potential matchup: Jakob Campbell vs. Kaliner, 132.
Outlook: Boyertown has been banged up but the Bears are as battle-tested as any team after a grueling schedule and three straight District 1 titles. Rustin is inexperienced at the top and bottom of its lineup, and the Golden Knights won’t be able to dominate in the middle of the lineup like they’re used to. It’ll be an uphill battle for Rustin, even if some Bears are out with injuries.
From there: The winner takes on the winner of the OJR-Garnet quarter. The losers drop down to face each other. A win there will force a dual against the loser of the opposite semifinal.
No. 4 Owen J. Roberts (13-1) vs. No. 5 Garnet Valley (18-3)
Ranked wrestlers: Owen J. Roberts — Luke Resnick (3rd, 120), Cole Meredith (4th, 138), Dan Mancini (2nd, 145), Ryan Resnick (2nd, 160), Nick Duliakas (1st, 195). Garnet — Matt Marino (3rd, 132), Nick Puliti (3rd, 145), Ryan Mortimer (HM, 182).
Best potential matchup: Mancini vs. Puliti, 145.
Outlook: This will be a great contrast in styles. The Wildcats are that typical hard-nosed, don’t-give-an-inch type team from the Pioneer Athletic Conference, while Garnet wins with a bit more flair. The Jaguars lead District 1 with 133 pins as a team, but have just 44 decisions, while OJR is fourth with 67 decisions, but has only 89 pins. If Garnet can get the Wildcats to their backs, it’ll get very interesting, but OJR is one of the best at preventing that, giving up just 42 falls all season.
From there: The winner takes on the winner of the Boyertown-Rustin quarter. The losers drop down to face each other. A win there will force a dual against the loser of the opposite semifinal.
No. 3 Methacton (11-2) vs. No. 6 Downingtown West (14-3)
Ranked wrestlers: Methacton — Corey Morabito (5th, 106), Kibwe McNair (HM, 120), Dylan Henry (5th, 138), Bryce Reddington (1st, 145), Michael Blakemore (4th, 160), Brendan Marion (2nd, 170). Downingtown West — Doug Zapf (3rd, 113), Gavin Hale (HM, 145), Joe Shafer (HM, 170), Cole Zapf (3rd, 182).
Best potential matchup: Marion vs. Shafer, 170.
Outlook: This duo met two days before Christmas, with the Warriors coming out a one-point victor. The Whippets will have the revenge card, but Methacton is coming off a tough loss to OJR, Wednesday, and will be eager to get back at it. West is tied with South for the most wins by decision with 74, and is third in pins at 114. Methacton has 73 decisions and has given up five less pins than the Whippets. Expect another battle.
From there: The winner takes on the winner of the South-Spring-Ford quarter. The losers drop down to face each other. A win there will force a dual against the loser of the opposite semi.
No. 2 Council Rock South (11-0) vs. No. 7 Spring-Ford (15-2)
Ranked wrestlers: South — Maximo Mendez (1st, 106), Ben Radner (4th, 120), Zach Trampe (1st, 132), Cary Palmer (2nd, 138), Riley Palmer (2nd, 152), Joe Doyle (2nd, 220). Spring-Ford — Brandon Meredith (2nd, 113), Matt Lepore (HM, 285).
Best potential matchup: Cary Palmer vs. Jonathan Westlake, 145
Outlook: South appears to have gotten healthy at just the right time. Radner, Trampe and Riley Palmer have missed extended time this season, but all wrestled this week. If South comes fully loaded, it’s the team to beat. Spring-Ford isn’t great at anything, but the Rams scrap and always seem to be in the mix. On paper, it doesn’t seem like the Golden Hawks will have much trouble, but count on the Rams to make them earn it.
From there: The winner takes on the winner of the Methacton-West quarter. The losers drop down to face each other. A win there will force a dual against the loser of the opposite semi.
No. 2 Faith Christian Academy (5-1) vs. No. 3 Church Farm School (5-3)
Ranked wrestlers (AA rankings): Faith — Andrew Park (1st, 113), Cole Peterson (4th, 120), Kristian Courtney (1st, 132), Max Schultz (1st, 138), Logan Moore (1st, 170), Christian Bodder (3rd, 195), Jason Price (3rd, 220), Justin Reed (3rd, 220). Church Farm — Emir Edwards (3rd, 113), Sebastian Corrales (1st, 126), Yonbue Tanco (3rd, 145), Shane Carter (3rd, 160), Joel Gilgeous (3rd, 170), Noel Gilgeous (2nd, 195), Brian Santos (3rd, 220), Emmanuel Lawal (1st, 285).
Best potential matchup: Courtney vs. Corrales, 132.
Outlook: The Lions defeated Church Farm, 51-30, just last week in a dual that had 12 pins. If the Griffins can stay off their backs they can have a fighter’s chance. Corrales, the returning state qualifier, is 17-1 in his sophomore season, with his only loss a pin at the hands of Courtney.
From there: The winner faces the winner between District 12 champ, Bishop McDevitt, and No. 4 Bristol. The loser is eliminated, as only the champion advances to states.