Inspired team effort lifts Boyertown

FORT WASHINGTON — Eddie Kriczky handed Boyertown’s latest piece of wrestling hardware to Pete Ventresca Saturday.

“Here,’ the Bear senior said to his head coach. “You earned it.’

“WE earned it,’ Ventresca corrected him.

“Team’ has been the theme of Boyertown’s 2013-14 mat campaign. It’s been the Bears’ watchword through a perfect Pioneer Athletic Conference run thus far, an unblemished (22-0) overall mark and strong outings in their own Bealer Memorial Duals, the King of the Mountain and Beast of the East tournaments, and the Cumberland Valley Winter Duals.

It remained in evidence this weekend when the District 1 Duals Tournament resumed at Upper Dublin High School. In a format where a team’s overall showing meshes all its individual performances, Boyertown got the best of both worlds.

Kriczky (138, 145), Gregg Harvey (160), Cody Richmond (170), William Scholl (182, 195), Jordan Wood and Jordan Wertz (both 220 and 285) all went 3-0 during the weekend. Wood racked up pins in all his bouts — in a combined time of two minutes, six seconds — while Scholl and Wertz scored two apiece.

Add to that four other Bears who went 2-1 — Jakob Campbell (106), Garrett Mauger (120), Lucas Miller (126) and Chris Berry (132) — and two who had one victory to show for the weekend.

“We knew at the beginning of the year we had a good group,’ Ventresca said. “We have seniors and some young talent. That gives us a lot of depth.’

And, with it, hopes to continue this latest successful duals experience. Since 2009, the Bears have two prior district championships (2009, 2010), a second (2008) and third (2012)

Spring-Ford had its share of success in the district duals, too. The Rams (20-2) qualified for states by getting to Saturday’s title round, where a 31-21 loss to Boyertown — the second setback to their Pioneer Athletic Conference rival in four days — proved the only blemish on an otherwise inspired run past their district opponents.

“The kids battled all weekend,’ head coach Tim Seislove said. “It was a big thing for us to get to the finals.’

Getting there was a new feeling for Spring-Ford, which had gotten as far as the semifinals in its numerous tries — seven or eight, by Seislove’s estimation. Its next goal is to qualify for a trip to Hershey, where the state duals start Thursday after a handful of preliminary-round matches Monday.

“That’s been our theme all year, to get to Hershey,’ Seislove noted.

The Rams’ perfect performers this weekend were Ryan Hayes (113), Jonathan Cooper (145) and Frankie Krauss (152). Hunter Mitch (120), Adam Dombrosky (138), Taylor Westlake (170, 182) and Mason Romano (220) all went 2-1.

Not to be overlooked was 106-pounder Jimmy Frank’s showing against Downingtown East. Frank’s second-period pin of James Strommer padded the Rams’ 21-19 lead before Hayes (pin) and Mitch (decision) closed out their semifinal victory.

“That was big,’ Seislove said. “We went back and forth with some close matches. Both teams wrestled hard, but our kids rose to the occasion.’

Next on tap for Spring-Ford: A match Monday with District Three fourth-place finisher Exeter.

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