Boyertown’s Wood wins 220 gold at PIAA Championships, leads 5 Bear medalists

His gesture spoke volumes.

Jordan Wood’s upraised arms at the conclusion of Saturday’s title match at the PIAA Class AAA Championships signaled more than just victory over an opponent. They signaled the end to two years’ of frustration at coming up one step short of a gold medal on the state’s biggest stage.

“The monkey’s off my back,’ Wood said after accepting the top prize in the 220-pound bracket. “It’s nice to win one (first place), not two.’

His 4-0 victory over South Western’s Seth Janney was a fitting finish to Wood’s junior campaign — one that made up for duration with achievement. After ending up with silver medals his last two visits to the Giant Center for the season-capping individual competition, Wood finally got to stand on the top step of the awards podium, head and shoulders above the bracket’s other high-finishing medalists.

“This is definitely fun,’ Wood said while going through a hectic run of photographs, handshakes and hugs from teammates, fans and family. “I’m loving every second of it.’

Wood’s gold-medal outing headed a standout showing by Boyertown, which saw its five state qualifiers all come away with medals. Jakob Campbell scored a third at 106, Lucas Miller locked down a fifth at 132, and Gregg Harvey (182) and Tommy Killoran (285) posted sixths.

It was good enough for the Bears to place fourth in the team standings. Their 75 points was one short of Great Latrobe’s 76 in a field where Franklin Regional took top honors on the strength of a record-setting 152.

“It was great to have all this support,’ Wood said.

Along with Boyertown’s “Fab Five’ — a concept the program coined at the 2014 tournament, when it also had five state qualifiers — wrestlers from three other Pioneer Athletic Conference schools boasted medalists. Owen J. Roberts had a pair in Derek Gulotta (120) and Demetri D’Orsaneo (138), Upper Perk had one in Dustin Steffenino (113) and Spring-Ford had another in Frankie Krauss (160) while in Class AA, Pope John Paul II’s Michael Collins (182) took fourth.

A scamper escape in the third period gave Campbell (32-9) his margin of victory over Council Rock North’s Aiden Burke. It provided the Boyertown sophomore (32-9) both vindication for previous encounters with the Southeast Regional runner-up and a satisfactory cap to his first-ever participation in a state individual tournament.

“That kid beat me two times,’ Campbell said. “I didn’t want to go out on a losing note.’

With his back-and-forth 6-5 victory over Northampton’s Daniel Moran, Steffenino (39-2) brought his high-school career to a satisfactory conclusion. His third-place finish at 113 was a big step up from his junior-year visit here, where he ended up eighth in the same weight class.

“The ultimate goal is to win,’ he said, “but third is a great accomplishment. I’m not disappointed.’

Gulotta (35-10) was unable to wrestle in his bracket’s fifth-place bout due to injury. He was scheduled to face South Western’s Derek Wilson, but ended up forfeiting.

“It’s not the way I wanted to finish,’ Gulotta, who had top 8s in each of his three previous state-tournament outings, said about placing sixth in his scholastic finale. “I’m happy I medaled, but I’m upset my career is over.’

Like Campbell, Miller was making his first visit to the Giant Center for the individual tournament. And like his Bear teammate, he scored a first-time medal with a sixth at 126.

“It’s pretty special,’ the Boyertown junior (42-12) said after his 3-1 decision of Shippensburg’s Chandler Olsen. “Coming out to wrestle three days in a row is tough. You just have to keep moving.

“I was down in the dumps after I lost, but I still thought I could win here.’

D’Orsaneo (42-7) capped a down-and-up final trip to states with a 3-1 victory over Bethlehem Catholic’s Stephen Maloney. It was a rematch from the King of the Mountain tournament earlier in the season, when the Wildcat senior came away a 2-1 victor.

“I remember he didn’t do much,’ D’Orsaneo said. “(Coach) DeRafelo reminded me how hard I had worked, and to just go out and have fun.’

Krauss (46-5) saw his seventh-place bout at 160 extended into overtime. But he came away with a 6-4 victory over Sun Valley’s Alex Elliott that secured a winning finale to his high-school career.

“Not a lot of people can say they ended their career with a win,’ Krauss said. “It was my goal every year to get to states and medal. To do it is exciting.’

Harvey (46-9), making his first visit to states, ended up sixth after a 3-2 loss to Cedar Cliff’s Josh Colello. Killoran (42-14), making states in his first year as a varsity-level competitor, also came home with a sixth-place medal after an 8-2 loss to Neshaminy’s Bruce Graeber.

Collins capped his history-making senior season at Pope John Paul II by finishing fourth in the Class AA 182-pound bracket. He was nipped by Bermudian Springs’ Colton Dull in the third-place final, 1-0.

Collins (34-4) and Dull (39-2) went all even through the first two periods, neither wrestler able to get any points. Dull broke the deadlock by escaping from a bottom start in the third, and Collins was unable to complete a takedown as time expired.

“I was having trouble getting out from the bottom. That cost me the match. You can’t always lead the match in the hands of the referee.’

It was the climax to a season that saw the Golden Panther senior become the program’s first state-level qualifier — and, subsequently, its first medalist.

“It’s a huge achievement, more than I expected,’ he said. “I took the matches one at a time, not wanting to get my hopes up.

“It was great to be able to be here going against some of the best wrestlers in the country.’

NOTES — Franklin Regional’s Eric Mauser was named the Pennsylvania Wrestling Coaches Association’s “Coach of the Year’ in prematch ceremonies. … Waynesburg’s A.C. Headlee, champion at 132 pounds, was named the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler.

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