Boyertown looks to keep with another tradition at District Duals

Boyertown is trying to keep four-peats coming this winter season.

The Bears got off on the right foot back in December, winning their Brian Bealer Memorial Bear Duals tournament a fourth straight year. They will look for a similar outcome this weekend, when the quarterfinal round of the District 1 Duals heads to Pottsgrove for two days of competition between the district’s top Class AAA and AA programs.

Boyertown comes in as the district’s top AAA seed, sporting an 18-2 overall record. Opening last week with a 62-15 romp over Neshaminy, the Bears will take on West Chester Rustin in one of four 6 p.m. quarterfinals Friday.

“We’re pumped,” Jacob Miller, one of the heroes of Boyertown’s 32-26 win over Spring-Ford Wednesday, said. “This was a big win, and we’re looking forward to a big weekend. We’ll try to keep the momentum going.”

Boyertown’s Christian Fox goes for back points against Neshaminy’s Luke Landman during a District 1-AAA Duals first round match at Methacton on Jan. 26. (Gene Walsh – Digital First Media)

Miller’s decision at 182, and Elijah Jones’ first-minute pin at 195, brought the Bears back for a victory that left them a 4-1 record in the PAC’s Liberty Division. They face an eighth-seeded Rustin unit whose 15-3 record was bolstered by Wednesday’s 41-33 win over Unionville.

Boyertown’s lineup was beefed up with the return of twin brothers Jakob and David Campbell from medical issues. Jakob had been on concussion protocol since the consolation-semifinal round of the Jan. 15 “Escape The Rock” Tournament at Council Rock South, and David was dealing with a fever and stomach bug since last Wednesday (Jan. 25).

Both marked their returns in solid fashion. David’s first-period pin at 126, and Jakob’s technical fall at 132, reversed Spring-Ford’s 13-6 lead into a 17-13 Bear advantage.

“I couldn’t wait to be back,” Jakob said. “I knew this was going to be a big match and I was ready to go.”

“We should be at 100 percent,” David added. “We want to get that fourth district title.”

Spring-Ford will be joining Boyertown in the district duals as the seventh seed. The Rams (15-2) open with a second-seeded Council Rock South unit with an 11-0 record that makes the Golden Hawks the only unbeaten team in the AAA field.

Spring-Ford’s Brandon Meredith wrestles Neshaminy’s Hunter Pagonis in the 113 -pound bout Jan. 14, 2017. (Bob Raines–Digital First Media)

“Council Rock South will be no easy task,” Spring-Ford head coach Tim Seislove said following the Boyertown match. “We’ll show up and see what happens.”

Boyertown and Spring-Ford will be joined by fellow PAC grapplers Owen J. Roberts and Methacton. The fourth-seeded Wildcats (13-1), boasting a 4-0 mark atop the PAC’s Liberty Division, will square off against fifth-seeded Garnet Valley (18-3) while the third-seeded Warriors (11-2) take on sixth-seeded Downingtown West (14-3) in the day’s opening round.

Semifinal and first-round consolation matches in the double-elimination format will follow at approximately 7:30 p.m.

Saturday’s schedule lists the AAA’s consolation semifinals at 1 p.m., with the championship and third-place matches at 3 p.m. The top four AAA teams will advance to the PIAA Duals Tournament, the third and fourth seeds wrestling Monday to qualify for the weekend phase being staged Feb. 9-11 at the Giant Center in Hershey.

The district’s Class AA will also be in action 1 p.m. Saturday. Bishop McDevitt, the District 12 champion, has the top seed and will face fourth-seeded Bristol, while second-seeded Faith Christian takes on third-seeded Church Farm School.

The AA title match will take place at 3 p.m., with the champion advancing to states.

NOTES >> The district’s AAA champion and runner-up will automatically go into the tournament’s Hershey field. The champion will open against District 7’s runner-up, with the second-place team squaring off against the District 3 champ in the opening round. … Owen J. Roberts was the district’s duals champ during the 2013-14 season, going on to make a 2-2 showing at states. Spring-Ford was third in the district in 2015. … Methacton’s last district-duals qualification came during the 2013-14 season, when the Warriors went 1-2. … In maintaining their duals tradition, the Boyertown wrestlers all colored their hair in similar style. This year’s look is an all-blond one.

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