Kriczky, Wertz highlight Boyertown’s medal haul in Southeast Regional

POTTSTOWN — There were a couple unanticipated bumps on the latest leg of Boyertown’s postseason trek.

But the rough patches couldn’t detour the Bears from continuing their trip to Hershey for the PIAA’s state tournament. They cruised through the finish line of the Southeast Region AAA competition at Pottstown, picking up five individual medals and their third team-championship trophy in as many weeks.

Led by the gold-medal performances of seniors Eddie Kriczky (132) and Jordan Wertz (195), Boyertown emerged as the cream of the 49 schools that put wrestlers out on the Strom Gymnasium mats this weekend. It was sufficient to bypass second-place Pennridge, whose four medalists all scored gold to give their team 80.5 points.

“The guys overall performed well. I was pleased with that,’ Boyertown head coach Pete Ventresca, weighed down by all manner of trophies and plaques, said. “Getting to Hershey is a huge deal. It’s a big step up for a lot of kids.’

A couple surprising outcomes sobered the program’s overall euphoria over its latest postseason performance. Freshman Jakob Campbell (106) and sophomores Gregg Harvey (160) and Jordan Wood (220) — sectional and district champs all, alongside Kriczky and Wertz — were stopped in their various championship finals, relegated to silver-medal status.

Wood’s 5-2 loss to Coatesville’s Michael Boykin was particularly numbing. Both wrestlers came in with unbeaten records, but it was Boykin (36-0) who left with a perfect mark still intact and the tourney’s Outstanding Wrestler award.

“You have to put everything in the rear-view mirror and focus on the future … turn things around,’ Ventresca said. “It’s nice to have five going to Hershey.

“Are we capable of placing a lot there? Absolutely. But there will be a lot of teams with quality kids there. That’s where you have to get it done.’

Huge steps at states are the goal for Kriczky, who came up one win short of a podium finish last year, and Wertz, who didn’t even get to the 2013 regional. And both took equally huge steps this weekend in prelude to their upcoming visits to Chocolate Town U.S.A.

Kriczky (44-6) had his own brush with an unbeaten opponent in the form of Bensalem’s Tommy Stokes, who cruised through the top part of the 132-pound bracket while Kriczky did the same at the bottom end. They engaged in a rough-and tumble regulation periods, Stokes (39-1) reversing out of a second-period bottom start for the early lead. But Kriczky answered with escapes in the second and third to force a 2-2 tie and overtime session.

“He was staying away pretty much, trying to shoot from outside,’ Kriczky recalled.

Kriczky got it done early in the “fourth period,’ shooting at Stokes’ legs for a takedown.

“I could tell he was tired,’ Kriczky said. “We work so hard every day — I wrestle our 160-pounder (Harvey) in practice — so I was confident in my conditioning.’

Wertz (47-3) was pretty much in charge of Plymouth-Whitemarsh’s Karon Lucas-Tiller in the course of his 5-1 win. He broke out with a second-period takedown, then did an escape-and-takedown sequence in the third to seal the deal, his Colonial opponent mustering only a late escape.

“My goal is to attack all the time,’ Wertz said. “If I do that, I’ll be fine.

“I wrestled him as a sophomore in districts and beat him 6-1. We’ve practiced with each other in the summer, but I did a couple things different from what I showed him.’

OJR’s Derek Gulotta and Demetri D’Orsaneo scored championships in their respective 113- and 138-pound divisions to keep their own postseasons in gear. Gulotta (33-5) ran up a 9-3 win on Spring-Ford’s Ryan Hayes in the eighth edition of their long-running rivalry, and D’Orsaneo (33-9) had a similar time with Henderson’s Brad Patton, posting a 10-3 victory.

“It’s a matter of figuring out all his skill set and moves,’ Gulotta said. “I’ve got to be prepared for what he does, and capitalize on it.’

The rivals went all even through the first period, but Gulotta broke the stalemate with five second-period points to one by Hayes. That proved enough of a lead to get Gulotta rolling on his third straight trip to states.

“I felt more comfortable out there,’ Gulotta said. “I just let go of the pressure and wrestled him.’

D’Orsaneo broke up the tight match with Patton by scoring nine points in the second period. He will be accompanying Gulotta and teammate Dominick Petrucelli, a third-place finisher at 145, in his first wrestling visit to Hershey.

“It’s been mostly head all season,’ D’Orsaneo said of his mentally-focused wrestling style. “It’s nice to have speed and style, but it’s mostly head for me.’

Another developing rivalry continued at 285, where Methacton’s Tracey Green and Pottsgrove’s Pat Finn, locked horns in a tournament final a third straight week. It ended up another epic duel, Green going overtime for a 3-1 victory.

Both wrestlers traded escapes in regulation time before Green (36-1) got a clinching takedown. Finn (13-3) again ended up on the short side of the score with Green, the losses all decided by two points.

“He seemed to be more tired, which worked to my advantage,’ the Methacton senior said. “I work to be in good shape.’

Along with the championship finalists, five other area wrestlers qualified for Hershey with third-place finishes: Upper Perkiomen’s Dustin Steffenino (113), Pottstown’s Bryant Wise (132), OJR’s Petrucelli, Pottsgrove’s Nico Demetrio (152) and Perkiomen Valley’s Nick Giangiulio (160).



The Southeast Pennsylvania Wrestling Hall of Fame inducted its latest class in ceremonies prior to the finals. Upper Perkiomen head coach Tom Hontz was one of the honorees, and he presented former wrestlers Brent Fiorito, Chris Sheetz and Zack Kemmerer with their induction plaques. … Ventresca was named District 1’s Coach of the Year in other pre-match ceremonies.

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