READING >> It was a definite uptick on a season where success has been somewhat limited.
Daniel Boone came away from the Berks County Interscholastic Athletic Association (BCIAA) Individual Tournament this weekend on the heels of a solid showing. The Blazers had two champions among their seven medalists ... all of whom enabled them to place fifth in the team standings from the two days of mat action at Reading High’s Geigle Complex.
A decided high, considering Boone came into the weekend sporting a 2-3 record in the Berks Conference, and 4-5 overall.
“Ultimately, our goal is to get better every week,” Blazer head coach Kevin Oswalt said. “We didn’t walk into the season with 14 state champions. We walked into the season with kids who needed work.
“It’s been a roller-coaster,” he added. “We’ve wrestled some great teams, and got beat by some great teams.”
Heading Boone’s showing were Brenden Valverde and Jesse Enck, who claimed gold at 182 and 220, respectively. Valverde (17-2) outlasted Hamburg’s Ignacion Reyes, 9-7, while Enck (16-2) scored a 5:04 pin on Exeter’s Jon Greenleaf. After them, the Blazers got a trio of bronze-medal efforts from Owen Powell at 138, Joey Yohn at 145 and Cinque Ramsey at 195, with Sam Zummo fourth at 113 Tyler Ring placing fifth at 152.
It all added up to the 139 team points that put Boone fifth in the 16-school field, which Exeter topped with help from five weight-class champions.
“I think we started slow Friday,” Oswalt said, “but we picked it up and finished strong. Overall, it was a great tournament.”
Oswalt was particularly cheered by the performances of Ramsey and Ring. Ramsey (12-1) won five of six bouts on the weekend, highlighted by a 4-0 run through wrestlebacks after losing in the quarterfinals to Oley Valley’s Charles Wildermuth; and Ring (11-12) rebounded in consolations with a 3-2 drive after losing his pigtail-round bout.
“Ramsey came out of his shell this weekend. He started clicking, ” Oswalt said. “And Ring came out of nowhere to place fifth.”
Powell (18-3) and Yohn (16-30 also received kudos from their coach for their medal finishes after both lost Friday.
“I felt both of them could have gone to the championship round,” Oswalt said. “But after they lost in the quarterfinals, to come back and finish third ... my hat’s off to them.”