LIMERICK — He’s been wrestling at an astronomically-high level for the better part of two years … and has the equally sky-high results to go with it.
In spite of that, Jordan Wood approaches each time out on the mats like any other contestant for whom victory is not a rubber-stamp guarantee.
“I still go into every match with a game plan,’ Wood said at the conclusion of the District 1-AAA West Tournament Saturday evening. “If something doesn’t go the way I want, I try my next move.’
As has been the case so many times during his stellar scholastic career, there wasn’t much that didn’t go Wood’s way in this second step of the post-season. Boyertown’s standout sophomore again dominated the 220-pound bracket of a tournament, getting both a gold medal and Outstanding Wrestler award from the day’s action at Spring-Ford.
Spending little more than a combined 2½ minutes on the canvas all day, Wood pinned all three of his opponents en route to another district-title finish. They were familiar faces, all from other PAC-10 schools: Methacton’s Jim Jones in the quarterfinals, Spring-Ford’s Mason Romano in the semis and Pottstown’s Josh Slody in the medal round.
He got the slap in the first two bouts inside the first minute. Slody took Wood into the second minute before experiencing a similar fate.
“I still take every match seriously,’ he said. “In any given match, there’s someone who can beat you.’
Wood’s run capped another solid showing by the Bears, resulting in another team championship. With five individual champions among its eight medalists, Boyertown collected 158.5 points to run away from host Spring-Ford (94) and the other 19 teams in the combined PAC-10/Central League field.
“It was a pretty good day, with as many finalists as we had,’ head coach Pete Ventresca said afterward. “For our kids who didn’t advance, wrestling at districts was like getting playoff experience.’
Wood emerged from the tourney as the lone unbeaten wrestler in the field. And he had teammate Gregg Harvey to thank for that.
Harvey’s finals opponent was Radnor’s Tom Meyers, who brought a 31-0 record into the bout. But the Boyertown soph (38-6) — himself fresh from an OW showing in last weekend’s PAC-10 tourney — dealt Meyers an 11-4 decision that ended his run of perfection.
“It’s mostly a matter of letting people they’re not going to score on me,’ Harvey said. “I go out there looking to dominate everyone.’
Jakob Campbell got Boyertown rolling at 106 with his third-period pin of Strath Haven’s Nathan Fraantz. Campbell (36-6) dueled Fraantz to a 2-2 draw through the first two periods, then turned him into a body press/arm bar combination to get the slap at 4:52.
It was a contrast to earlier bouts that ended in close scores. Campbell edged Perkiomen Valley’s Brian Marshall 4-3 to start, then nipped Upper Darby’s Anthony Petril 3-2.
“It was a big scramble out there,’ Campbell recalled. “When you have flurries going on, you’re going to come out with some big points.’
Eddie Kriczky’s path to a gold medal again went through Pottstown’s Bryant Wise, who he bested in the 132-pound final at the PAC-10 tournament. It ended with a similar result, although the 4-3 decision Kriczky (41-6) scored came under a different circumstance.
“He was more aggressive, but cautious,’ Kriczky observed. “I had to put my pace up.’
Kriczky used a second-period escape and takedown to get a 3-0 lead on Wise. That advantage was cut when Wise reversed off a bottom start in the third, but Kriczky escaped from the situation with what proved to be his winning point.
“Once I realized he was pushing the pace, I knew there would be more opportunities,’ he said. “I took advantage on the edge in the second period, and that proved to be the difference this time.’
Jordan Wertz put his own Wood-like signature on the 195-pound bracket en route to a gold-medal showing. Wertz (44-3) pinned Garnet Valley’s Tom McKeown and Marple Newtown’s Markos Katrakazis in the first period of the quarterfinal and semifinal-round bouts, then scored a technical fall on Penncrest’s Austin Jacque with 20 seconds left in regulation.
“95 (Wertz) was great all day, and so was 20 (Wood),’ Ventresca said.
Locally, Owen J. Roberts was sixth in points but second to Boyertown in champions with three. Derek Gulotta (113) and Dominick Petrucelli (145) followed up their PAC-10 titles with district gold, and Demetri D’Orsaneo (138) elevated his performance from a third-place finish the previous weekend.
Gulotta has quite a history with Spring-Ford’s Ryan Hayes, facing him three times this year and seven for his scholastic career. But in his latest encounter — a 6-0 decision for the 113-pound title — the Owen J. junior (30-5) had to respond to a style change on Hayes’ part.
“He likes to wrestle outside now,’ Gulotta observed, “so I had to change up to create a scramble. Usually I figure it out (changes) after the first period, but it’s more me wrestling my match.’
Gulotta did that early on, building a five-point lead in the first on a takedown and three back points. He then escaped from a bottom start in the second, proceeding to keep Hayes under wraps the rest of the way.
D’Orsaneo (30-9) went into the 145-pound title bout against Dennis Charamella with no advance scouting on the Springfield-Delco senior. But it mattered little to him as he capped a 4-0 day with a 5-1 decision.
“I kept control of the match … kept my pace out there,’ D’Orsaneo said. “I knew with my high level of conditioning, if I went out there and worked hard, the other guy would get tired out.’
Petrucelli (28-6) opened with a decisino of Spring-Ford’s Jon Cooper, following it with another decision against Garnet Valley’s Sean Lyons. In an all-PAC final with Pottstown’s Patrick Bohn, Petrucelli racked up a 10-6 decision by scoring eight of his points from the second period on.
“I wanted to make sure I kept things in check, to not overthink things,’ he said. “When I got an opening, I capitalized on it.’
At 152, Pottsgrove’s Nico Demetrio (35-2) rolled up a 14-4 major decision on Penncrest’s Ryan Dougherty to highlight his own strong showing. Demetrio started out with a technical fall on Radnor’s Kyle Wadell and handled Spring-Ford’s Frankie Krauss, 13-8, in the semifinals.
Closing out the night’s medal action was Tracey Green’s championship at 285. The Methacton senior (33-1) faced Pottsgrove’s Ryan Finn for a third time — the second weekend in a row for an individual championship — and was extended to overtime before recording a 4-2 decision.
The top three finishers in each weight class will advance to the Southeast AAA Regional being hosted by Pottstown next weekend. The Trojans had four medalists and finished fifth in the team standings with 65 points. … Spring-Ford had five medalists, with Methacton scoring three. … Prior to the medal matches, Ventresca was named the PAC-10’s Coach of the Year. … The PAC-10 had 34 wrestlers in the medal round, 17 of them going for gold.