Keep Away: Boyertown’s late push enough to keep upstart Methacton at bay

BOYERTOWN >> Wednesday’s wrestling match looked very much like a clash between a pair of brothers.

Boyertown, a well-tested and highly-experienced group, hosting a youthful but aspiring Methacton team in what stood to be a back-and-forth battle.

In the end, it would be the elder brother — the Bears — that prevailed, 37-25, behind their experience despite getting down against the Warriors early on.

“We knew this one was going to be a dog fight,” said Boyertown head coach Pete Ventresca. “I was really happy to see our guys come out and perform. We had a lot of guys who were able to step up and perform for us wherever we needed them to be.”

Methacton’s Corey Morabito adjusts his headgear after pinning Boyertown’s Noah Fisher at 106. (Sam Stewart – Digital FIrst Media)

With Boyertown trailing 19-15 midway through the match, Boyertown’s Chris Berry came up huge. The senior posted a second-period pin of Methacton’s Michael Blackmore just seven seconds before the buzzer sounded during their bout at 160 to kick-start a five-weight swing which eventually sealed it.

The win improves Boyertown to 2-0 in the Pioneer Athletic Conference’s Liberty Division and 14-1 overall. The loss was Methacton’s (0-1, 8-1) first of the year.

“I knew we’d need to pick up some extra bonus points, especially trailing them at that point,” Berry said of his bout. “My teammates always look to me for some cradles and some pins, so I’m glad I could come up with something.”

Hunter Vogels followed right behind Berry with an 8-0 major decision at 170 before decisions by Elijah Jones (182) and Michael Porreca (220) bookeneded Jacob Miller’s pin at 195 to give the Bears an insurmountable lead.

Methacton’s Liam Donovan works to flip over Boyertown’s Chase Stehman during their bout at 113. (Sam Stewart – Digital First Media)

After Corey Marabito’s match-opening 15-second pin for Methacton, Boyertown rattled off four straight wins.

Chase Stehman (113) and Matt Wilde (120) posted consecutive decisions before David Campbell’s first-period pin at 126. Aiden Hager then closed the run with an 8-2 decision at 132.

“Our lower weights stepped up and really showed their impact right from the start,” said Vogels.

Despite the loss, Methacton head coach AJ Maida saw plenty of positives from his Methacton squad. Going up against the defending state champions — a team that sent five of its current wrestlers to the PIAA Championship last season — he admits that there is a lot his team can take away from the match.

“Boyertown is certainly a measuring-stick for us,” he said. “They’ve been the best team in our league for four, five, six years in a row, maybe. Last year, they were the best team in the state of Pennsylvania. So that’s a team we have to compare ourselves to if we want to continue to improve.”

After Marabito’s opening pin, Bryce Reddington (152) and Tonnee Ellis (285) also posted wins by fall. Dylan Henry posted a major decision at 138 before Roman Moser (145) followed with a 7-2 decision as Redington’s pin gave Methacton its final lead at 19-15.

Boyertown’s Chase Stehman takes down Methacton’s Liam Donovan during their bout at 113. Stehman won be decision, 11-5. (Sam Stewart – Digital First Media)

“There were a lot of good matches in this one,” said Maida, “a lot of good matches between guys ranked in the district. So that was really good to see for both sides.”

Just like brothers do, Maida is well aware that the Methacton and Boyertown’s roads will very likely cross again before the end of the season.

“Like I was saying to our kids afterward, though, ‘We’re gonna see these guys three or four more times this season,” he said. “So we’ve got to go back and get back to work, because the PAC won’t get any easier from here.’”

On the Radar

Methacton’s focus now shifts to Saturday, when they host Spring-Ford at 11 a.m.

“We’ve never beat Spring-Ford since we joined the PAC,” said Maida. “So again — measuring sticks. Boyertown is one, Spring-Ford is one, Owen J. is one. Those teams have been the class of District One wrestling the past decade. We want to be able to compete with those teams.”

Boyertown will travel to Perkiomen Valley at 11 a.m.

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