Blogs > The Best of Don Seeley's Columns

Former Mercury sports editor Don Seeley passed away in June 2013 from a heart attack. For more than a decade Seeley wrote about local sports. Featured here are his columns that were previously printed in The Mercury.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

OJR students getting with the program

This column originally ran in the Feb. 2, 2010 edition of The Mercury.

BUCKTOWN – Steve DeRafelo has noticed a number of Owen J. Roberts students walking the hallways with wrestling sweatshirts on this winter… wrestling sweatshirts, mind you.

And they’re not wrestlers attempting to make a fashion statement for their program, either.

“I’ve been surprised to see so many of them,” DeRafelo said.

The entire season has been kind of a surprise for DeRafelo, in his eighth year as Owen J. Roberts’ head coach.

The Wildcats are very young. Their roster features just three seniors, one of whom hadn’t stepped onto the mat until this season, and six juniors, and only two of the seniors and four of the juniors are regulars. Three of the four sophomores have occupied slots in most of the matches, and a promising but unproven gang of eight freshmen round out the roster. And, with the exception of regional qualifier Jonathan Dempsey and state medalist Scott Syrek – both juniors – most of the Wildcats got bumped and thumped as well as twisted and turned every which way imaginable throughout a grueling December.

That first month included the Brian Bealer Memorial Bear Duals and match-ups with Big Spring, among the top seeds in this week’s District 3-AAA Team Duals; nationally ranked St. Mark’s of Del.; and Council Rock North and Upper Moreland, who are lined up for Friday night’s District 1-AAA Team Duals quarterfinals. Then there was the Buckskin Classic out at Conestoga Valley, and the Pioneer Athletic Conference showdown with three-time defending champion Boyertown. And soon after flipping the calendar there was the brutal Escape The Rock tournament over in Bucks County.

“We’ve had a tough, tough schedule this year,” DeRafelo explained. “Early on it was difficult at times to gauge where we were at, especially with such a young team. But these kids have really been stepping it up lately.”

Others have noticed, too.

For the first time since rejoining their former Ches-Mont League rivals in the Pioneer Athletic Conference back in 1988-89, Owen J. Roberts has beaten both Upper Perkiomen (39-25) and Spring-Ford (37-23) in the same season. If they avoided an upset by Methacton on Monday night, and can get the best of longtime rival Pottstown on Wednesday night and Phoenixville in their finale next week, the Wildcats will finish second – behind Boyertown – in the PAC-10 for the first time.

The talent cycle sure has helped, but not quite as much as DeRafelo and his assistants at last getting on equal ground with everyone else, from his own wrestlers on down through to the wrestlers and coaching staffs at the middle school and in the NorChester Red Knights’ youth program.

“Putting our kids on the medal stand out at (the PIAA Championships in) Hershey the last few years has helped immensely,” DeRafelo said. “It helps from the standpoint of kids buying into the system. That’s where they want to be, and when they see others like them up on that medal stand they know what they have to do to get there.

“They look at a kid like (2009 graduate) Nick Fuschino, a two-time state medalist who really came out of nowhere after his freshman year. They saw what Nick did. They start to believe they can do it, too.”

DeRafelo has been as impressed with his current class of freshmen as any before them.

“We have a group of very talented freshmen,” he said. “They all want to be good, and they’re willing to do what they have to do to be good. They’re willing to do what a lot of other kids won’t do. They’re willing to take the next step.”

Among the OJR freshmen making noticeable contributions thus far are Peter Fratantoni at 103, Kyle Shronk at 119, Adam Moser at 130 and Gordon Bolig at 145. Sophomores like Jacob Schell, Andrew Kinney, Michael Lenge and Paul Minninger have helped fortify the belly of the lineup. Among the juniors, Dempsey is headed for another 25-plus win season down low; Jordan Moser has overcome a series of injuries and may end up with 20-plus in the middle; and unsung Sam Funk and Syrek – ranked among the state’s top 215-pounders – have battled anywhere from 189 through 285 because the Wildcats don’t have a heavyweight.

“Looking at where we were at Christmas and where we’re at now ... I can’t believe it,” DeRafelo said after last week’s win over Spring-Ford. “All the kids have worked hard.”

And so have all of their coaches, which doesn’t go unnoticed with DeRafelo.

“Everyone is working together now,” he explained. “We looked at what Upper Perkiomen and Boyertown has been doing, trying to learn how their programs have had so much success. We coordinated our whole program where everyone works together, where everyone is on the same page. When you do that, good things happen.”

* * *

The Wildcats opened the District 1-AAA duals grind last Thursday with a 47-23 romp over Haverford, which was 17-1 going into the match. The win sets up Friday night’s quarterfinal showdown with No. 1 seeded Council Rock South. … OJR’s last venture into the district duals was back in 2006. They lost in the opening round to Boyertown by, believe it or not, 47-23.


The Hill School (4-6) closes out its regular season this Saturday (2 p.m.) at home against Lawrenceville. Head coach Jesse Young and the Blues’ grind through February features the Mid-Atlantic Prep League Championships at Mercersburg the following weekend, then the state preps and national preps the following two weekends at Westtown School and Lehigh University, respectively. … The tireless Tim Klavon and his limited Perkiomen School lineup has managed to go 5-8 thus far, have a visit to Faith Christian this Thursday, then close at Lower Moreland next week before joining Hill at the state preps.


Daniel Boone’s bid to get into the District 3-AAA Team Duals eluded them following Saturday’s loss to Governor Mifflin in the opening round of the Berks County team championships. The Blazers, who’ll share the Berks’ Division II title with Muhlenberg, are 12-6 overall and close out their dual-meet season this week against Wyomissing.

* * *

Two-time defending champion Central Dauphin (12-0) drew the top seed for the District 3-AAA duals, while Spring Grove (12-0), Cumberland Valley (10-5), Cedar Cliff (19-2) and unbeaten Solanco (11-0) round out the Top Five seeds. … In AA, unbeaten Berks County champion Schuylkill Valley (22-0) will shoot for its second straight title. Unbeatens Juniata (24-0) and Boiling Springs (15-0), along with Bermudian Springs (15-2) and Wyomissing (11-4) round out the Top Five seeds. .. Both brackets open tonight and culminate with the finals Saturday evening at Milton-Hershey’s Spartan Center.


Oxford’s Scott Gold reached the 400-win career mark last week, becoming the second District 1 coach to reach the milestone this season and just the third overall. Ridley’s Carl Schnellenbach, in his 49th season, had a state-record 682 going into last weekend, and Haverford’s Jimmy Jones, in his 45th season, has 403 going into this week’s match with Penncrest. … The area leaders in career wins are Boyertown’s Bruce Hallman and Pottstown’s Jim Tsakonas, who retired with 303 and 302, respectively.


It seems as though the last time Blair Academy lost a dual meet, let alone a tournament title, was before the American flag had 50 stars. But, believe it or not, the No. 1 ranked Bucs got beat, 36-21, by No. 3 Graham in St. Paris, Ohio last Saturday night.

“(Graham) got the momentum going right out of the chute,” Blair head coach Jeff Buxton told the Springfield News-Sun. “We had to move some guys around and it backfired.”

The Bucs’ misfires – or backfires – came when 112-pound Evan Silver, ranked No. 1 at 112, moved up to 119 and lost a 3-1 decision to No. 4 Nick Brascetta; and when Austin Ormsbee, ranked No. 4 at 135, moved up to 140 and fell 10-3 to Ohio state champion Felipe Martinez.

Graham swept nine of the 14 bouts before a standing-room-only crowd of 1,000-plus fans, many of whom called the win wrestling’s version of “The Hoosiers.”

* * *

Amateur Wrestling News, InterMat and USA Wrestling Magazine all listed Blair at No. 1, Apple Valley (Minn.) at No. 2, and Graham at No. 3 in their newest rankings released earlier last week. … Three Pennsylvania teams – Wyoming Seminary (No. 5), Central Dauphin (No. 6) and Central Mountain (No. 7) – were also among the Top 10.


Critics of committee step over the line

This column originally was published in the Jan. 26, 2010 edition of The Mercury.

The District 1 Wrestling Committee released its seedings for the team duals tournament on Sunday afternoon. Then, like clockwork, the District 1 wrestling community began hooting and hollering over them on Sunday night.

But a day later, Monday morning to be specific, the bickering took an ugly, ugly turn when a head coach – at least according to his screen name and signature in the Web site’s informative (and always entertaining) forum – bashed the committee.

Actually bashed may not really lend any credence to the criticism. Not when considering the coach called the committee members “idiots” running a “Mickey Mouse Parade.” Not when considering the coach said others who don’t see problems with the seedings are “blind or retarded.”

The committee, or individuals who actually vote on the seedings, is made up of head coaches representing the Bicentennial, Central, Ches-Mont, Del Val, Pioneer Athletic Conference and Suburban One leagues. The Bicentennial and Del Val leagues each have one representative; the Central and PAC-10 each have two; the Ches-Mont, with its two divisions, has four overall; and the Suburban One Conference, with its three divisions,
has six overall.

That all adds up to a committee of 16, who ahead of time are given the list of teams from their respective leagues who applied for the duals, who are asked to do their homework as to who’s who among them, and who are responsible for presenting a case for each of them prior to the voting (which, in this case, was Sunday afternoon at Spring-Ford High School).

They’re all coaches, remember, all supporting teams in their own leagues.

A coach calling out another coach in public – regardless of the sport – shows absolutely no respect for the profession, a profession that, incidentally, is losing more and more quality individuals at the interscholastic level because of wave after wave of criticism of every move they make. A coach calling another coach or group of coaches “idiots” in public is unjustifiable, perhaps even inexcusable, if only because of the message it sends to their own as well as other young and still impressionable student-athletes.

And tagging everyone who doesn’t jump on the bandwagon of disagreement as “blind” or “one chromosome shy of you know what” is quite appalling. Everyone has an opinion, and well they should. But suggesting anyone with a different opinion as “retarded” – that’s mentally or physically handicapped – is absolutely pathetic.

What set off this head coach’s tirade is that his team’s opening-round duals match-up on Thursday is identical to his team’s regular-season league match-up from the night before. That’s a good enough reason to get a little upset, mind you, but not to go into a public rant.

Yes, the back-to-back or twice-in-a-week match-ups have occurred in the past, and likely will happen in the future. The District 1 Wrestling Committee’s system isn’t a perfect one. But representatives from his own league, actually his own division, were supposed to be aware of his schedule – not coaches from the other leagues, not anyone from the district’s steering committee (none of whom vote, incidentally). And when the voting had concluded and the seeds were revealed, it was his own league representatives who should’ve noticed the “back-to-back” dilemma and motioned for an adjustment or tweak of the bracket.

It’s obvious they didn’t.

An oversight perhaps, and one the head coach obviously could’ve addressed to his league representatives who attended Sunday’s meeting. And whether he did or didn’t the get the answers he was looking for, it would still be okay to express his displeasure.

But nothing, absolutely nothing, can justify his public tirade, calling a group of respected coaches “idiots” and everyone else who agreed with them “blind or retarded.”


There’s no question Boyertown has established itself as the best in the Pioneer Athletic Conference with its season-opening romp over Owen J. Roberts (53-14) and last week’s back-to-back routs of Upper Perkiomen (47-15) and Spring-Ford (46-13). The Bears still have four challengers remaining – Methacton, Pottstown, Phoenixville and St. Pius X – and will take each and every one of them quite seriously. But it will take a mat miracle, perhaps beyond any divine intervention, too, for the Bears to lose any of the four and be denied their fourth straight PAC-10 title.

But there is still some issues to be decided. Like second place, which isn’t too bad of a finish considering how strong Boyertown has been this season. Owen J. Roberts is 4-1 heading into Wednesday night’s visit to Spring-Ford, which is 5-1 and still has Upper Perkiomen (4-2) to deal with next week. And Methacton (2-2) could also get into the mix considering Boyertown and Owen J. Roberts are up next on the Warriors’ card.


Eddie Lockowitz became just the second wrestler at Daniel Boone to reach 100 career wins last Saturday. A senior, Lockowitz accepted a forfeit during the Blazers’ lopsided win over Conrad Weiser. Former teammate Tyler Swartz, who graduated two years ago, is the program’s leader with 115 career wins.


Boyertown’s Alex Pellicciotti is now ninth on The Mercury area’s career win chart with 150 victories, and could finish up as high as fifth. … Teammate Matt Malfaro is tied for 26th with 130. … Both Boyertown’s Jeremy Minich (90), Owen J. Roberts’ Scott Syrek (90) and Pottsgrove’s Zach Robinson (86) are all within reach of the 100-win mark this season, and Methacton’s Brandan Clark (79) still has a mathematical chance to join them, too.


Unofficially, District 1 has just three unbeaten wrestlers (with 20 wins or more) remaining. They are Wissahickon’s Andre Watkins (29-0 at 160); Academy Park’s Chris Matusik (21-0 at 112); and William Tennent’s Kevin Flack (20-0 at 112).


Wrestling USA Magazine’s national rankings released last week featured Pellicciotti at No. 14 in the 135-pound bracket. The only other area or District 1 wrestlers to appear in the rankings were Council Rock South’s Josh Dziewa, No. 3 at 140 pounds; and Council Rock North’s Jamie Callender, Springfield-Delco’s Andre Petroski and Oxford’s Nick Ruggear at No. 8, No. 17 and No. 25, respectively, at 189 pounds. Council Rock South’s Bobby Lavelle was listed in the special mention group at 189.


All lights will shine on Bears-Indians duel

This column was originally published in the Jan. 19, 2010 edition of The Mercury.

They’re calling for a blackout in Boyertown on Wednesday night. Don’t panic, neither PPL nor PECO is turning off the electric (and there isn’t any heavy snow or high winds in the forecast, either).

The blackout will be confined to the high school gym, where Boyertown wrestling fans are being asked to wear black for the Bears’ annual Pioneer Athletic Conference dual – or brawl, as it’s come to be known – with Upper Perkiomen.

The last few years, the spotlight has been on the Bears, who have won two outright PAC-10 titles and shared another. Before that, the focus was on the Indians, who won eight outright PAC-10 titles and shared another.

As most of the folk in Boyertown remember (and many vow never to forget), the Indians at one time always had their way with their Bears. After surviving that 32-29 thriller back in 2001, or since leaving District 3 and the Berks Conference to enroll in District 1 and the PAC-10, the Bears lost six in a row to the Indians – eight if you dare count 2007’s two setbacks that were reversed to forfeit wins when a residency infraction was revealed up in Red Hill later in the year.

But a mere move here and there is about all that has separated the two in most meetings.

And in no time at all, Boyertown and Upper Perkiomen became, in every sense of the word, rivals … actually bitter rivals damned to outdo one another every time they met on the mat. Off the mat, neither care to be mentioned in the same breath with the other.

Their competitive fires have been reduced to very conspicuous sparks of late, and the condescension their respective followings have for one another has lost a bit (not all) of its snap, crackle and pop. But you can bet your next utility bill the fans in Boyertown would love nothing more than to keep the Indians in the dark Wednesday night.

Most feel they will, too.

Heck, the Bears have the added incentive of going for the program’s 500th win, a milestone only two other area

schools (Spring-Ford and Methacton) have reached.

But don’t try to sell any guarantees to the fellas leading the respective charges, namely head coaches Pete Ventresca and Tom Hontz.

Yes, Boyertown is clearly the favorite with a foursome – Matt Malfaro, Jeremy Minich, Alex Pellicciotti and Zach Heffner – its guests aren’t likely to keep up with. As a matter of fact, depending on the matchups, Upper Perkiomen may not have a clear-cut favorite in any of the 14 individual bouts. Sound familiar? It should, because not to awfully long ago it was Upper Perkiomen that lined up with a gang of so-called unbeatables that Boyertown wasn’t supposed to keep up with.

Winning four or five doesn’t equal victory. Sometimes taking six — or even managing a split right smack down the middle — doesn’t either, as several high-profile teams have proven time and time again through the years.

The swing matches, as we all love to call them, will be plentiful Wednesday night. They could also be very entertaining.

Depending on the coin flip and the matchups, the gem among the toss-ups may unfold at 112 – Boyetown senior Adam Kolb, when on his game can roll with some of the best in the district, going against Upper Perkiomen freshman Wolfgang McStravick, a genuine talent who is 17-3 already. Another could be at 130, with Boyertown’s vastly improved Peter Jones going against Upper Perkiomen’s Dan Rodenberger, a postseason surprise of a year ago when he nearly wrestled his way to states, who is beginning to get into a groove again since returning from an early season injury.

Ventresca sure has a little more depth, or options. Jon Neiman and Adam Benfield have surfaced as reliable talents who can flip-flop in the middle, and Ventresca can send out Brock Hallman, Tyler Mauger, Ryan Schwager and Heffner just about anywhere he wants from 171 on up. Hontz is likely to counter with Chris Rementer and Dalton Fleming in the middle, and with Cody Ambrose, Nate Pompei, Nick Hale and Dan Wolfram in the upper portion of the lineup.

The bottom line is that all will be decided on the mat. What is written here or discussed in the forums carries no weight whatsoever.

Odds are it won’t be a blowout, like the Bears’ 44-12 romp in the two teams’ first meeting way back in 1977, or like the Indians’ 48-9 thumping six years ago.

Even if it does end up a bit lopsided one way or the other no one can black out the fact Ventresca, Hontz and their respective programs will have helped enrich the rivalryand keep it one of the best in the PAC-10 and throughout District 1.

* * *

Upper Perkiomen leads the all-time series, 9-6. … Six of the meetings (just under half when not including the forfeits) have been decided by less than 10 points, including three by a mere three points. … All five of Boyertown’s losses this season have been to state-ranked opponents – Liberty, Council Rock North, Parkland, Cumberland Valley and No. 1 Central Dauphin. … Since joining the PAC-10, Boyertown is 53-5, while Upper Perkiomen is 49-9 (which includes the six forfeit losses in 2007). … The Bears and Indians have been No. 1 and No. 2, respectively, in The Mercury’s rankings the past month.


Owen J. Roberts became the fifth team to reach 100 wins in the PAC-10 after defeating Pottsgrove last week. Spring-Ford, which has never had a losing season in the league, leads the list with 176, followed by Upper Perkiomen (138), Perkiomen Valley (105) and Pottstown (100).


Daniel Boone, behind Colin Martucci’s golden effort at 145 pounds, finished fourth in last weekend’s BCIAA Tournament – one of its best finishes in a number of years. … Head coach Jesse Young led The Hill School to a fourth in last weekend’s Valley Forge Military Invitational, getting gold from Colin Saunders (135) and Jay Knighton (285). And the tireless Tim Klavon, despite struggling to fill a lineup that has hardly any experience in it up at Perkiomen School, had two medalists (Luke Martin and Zach Sell) in the tournament.


Pellicciotti and Spring-Ford’s Matt Krueger have won 12 and 10 bouts in a row, respectively. … Malfaro has won 11 of his last 12. … Minich, who won his first seven before dropping two straight, has bounced back with eight wins. McStravick has had a similar run, winning his first nine, dropping three in a row, then winning his last eight. … Pellicciotti is also the area’s runaway leader in pins with 18. Upper Perkiomen’s Ambrose and Hale, along with Boyertown’s Heffner and Phoenixville’s Ken Cenci, all have 10 apiece.


Pellicciotti’s 148 career wins rank him ninth on The Mercury’s all-time chart. He needs two more to become just the ninth area wrestler ever to top the 150 mark. … Malfaro’s 128 wins put him at No. 29. … Daniel Boone’s Eddie Lockowitz (94) is within six wins of joining Tyler Swartz as the only Blazers on the list of 100 or more. … Minich and Syrek, both juniors with 88 career wins apiece, should reach the milestone before season’s end, and could be joined by Pottsgrove’s Zach Robinson (81), also a junior.


The District 1-Class AAA and Class AA Team Duals seeding meeting will be held Sunday. Neighborhood rivals Council Rock South and Council Rock North are likely to get the top two seeds in AAA. The survivor of Wednesday’s showdown in Boyertown could get a No. 3 seed. Look for both Owen J. Roberts and Spring-Ford to get into the 24-team field as well. … Octorara is almost a lock for the No. 1 seed in Class AA, and could be joined in that bracket’s four-team lineup by St. Pius X

The AAA’s first round (Thursday, Jan. 28) will be hosted by Hatboro-Horsham, Henderson, Pottsgrove and Upper Perkiomen. The remaining rounds (Friday and Saturday, Feb. 5-6) will be held in Strom Gymnasium at Pottstown High School.

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Wednesday, February 3, 2010

100 wins still a feat, but not what it was

This column originally ran in the Jan. 12 edition of The Mercury.

There was a time not so awfully long ago when 100 wins were unthinkable, perhaps because such a number was unreachable. Schedules, which featured upwards of a handful or two of league matches, a few non-league challenges, maybe some sort of holiday tournament, and a single-elimination postseason, often limited wrestlers to just 20 bouts the entire winter.

The evolution of wrestling changed all that, of course.

At first, quantity – expanding the schedules and piling up all those wins – was all that mattered (pardon the pun). Forget quality. By the mid-1980s, a lot of individuals from schools of all sizes throughout Pennsylvania were arriving at states with gaudy 50-win records.

The PIAA stepped in soon after with a rule or two limiting the maximum number of matches. Those figures have since been amended once or twice, too.

Nonetheless, as the list of tournaments, invitationals and classic this and classic that got longer and longer – obviously to maximize the PIAA’s guideline of team competitions – the list of wrestlers with 100 career wins got longer and longer, too.

This season alone, the area’s 13 schools with wrestling programs have already participated in a combined 18 individual and 16 team-duals tournaments. Four others — all team duals — were snowed out. The bustling schedules don’t make getting 100 career wins any easier, mind you, but they sure do provide the opportunity to reach the coveted mark that so many before them never had.

Take a trip around the state, or peruse whatever web site available, and you’ll find the list of wrestlers with 100 or more career wins is bursting at the seams. You’d need a calculator to add up the total in Pennsylvania.

There are 82 in this area alone – from Pottstown graduate Brian Campbell’s 100, which he pinned down in the 1989 state semifinals, all the way up to Upper Perkiomen graduate Zack Kemmerer’s state-record 199, which he put in the books by winning his second state title three years ago.

Winning 100 matches is the goal of most if not all high school wrestlers, and is unquestionably a mark of achievement. But all those wins don’t necessarily epitomize success, or even serve as a measure for the real who’s who of high school wrestling.

In other words, congratulations are in order for anyone who reaches the milestone. A spot in the record book, or history book, is in order for anyone who reaches the milestone.

But a declaration, or distinction, of being hyped as among the best there was, is, or ever will be?

No … absolutely not.

Kemmerer amassed 199 wins against some of the best competition in the entire nation, wrestling in the best or highest-rated scholastic tournaments like the Beast of the East, Ironman, Konkrete Duals, and Reno Tournament of Champions. And he not only had two state titles, but four state medals. The Hill School’s David Hoffman finished with 195, which included five state prep titles and one national prep title. Upper Perkiomen’s Chris Sheetz had 189 with a state title and three other state medals, and Derek Zinck had 159 with three state medals. Former teammate Mark Smith, unfairly tagged the “one-move wonder“ with his headlock, had 161 wins that included a state record for career pins and three state medals. Move further down the local list to Pottstown’s Joey Allen and Seth Ecker, both with 130-plus wins and both with three state medals, to Spring-Ford’s Matt Moley and his 131 wins and three state medals.

That’s only eight of the many who were great wrestlers … great not only for their 100-plus wins, but for what they won

And before all is said and done this season, barring injury or any other unforeseen misfortune, Alex Pellicciotti should be added to the list. The Boyertown senior has been on the 100-win chart since last year, and Saturday afternoon he became the Bears’ all-time leader when he pinned Josh Hengen of McDonough (Md.) during the Cumberland Valley Duals for No. 144, passing former teammate Jesse DeWan. He added two more, moving ahead of Methacton graduate Dan Covatta – a state champion and three-time state medalist – into the ninth spot on The Mercury’s all-time list. The 135-pound Pellicciotti, an exceptional talent who has finished off exactly half of his career wins with pins (73) and amassed both against some heady competition from around Pennsylvania, already has two state medals and will likely add a third to his collection in March.

It’s those smaller numbers – the pins and the state medals – that will help Pellicciotti, like so many others, be looked at, respected and remembered as more than just a 100 career wins wrestler.


Boyertown teammate Matt Malfaro is now up to 126 wins and is likely to pass DeWan and finish his career second behind Pellicciotti on the Bears’ chart. Malfaro and older brother Tony Malfaro (114 wins) are one of eight sets of brothers on The Mercury’s all-time win list. The others are Zack (199) and Ryan (152) Kemmerer; Hill School’s Zach (142) and Orion (130) Doll and Ty (142) and Dave (102) Willman; Spring-Ford’s Matt (131) and Mike (123) Moley; Upper Perkiomen’s Jared (121) and Derek (111) Bennett; and Pottstown’s Jared and Jordon Haring (103 apiece).

Closing in on 100 wins is Daniel Boone senior Eddie Lockowitz (90), Boyertown junior Jeremy Minich (87), and Owen J. Roberts junior Scott Syrek (82).


A short list of the area’s most improved wrestlers from a year ago: Daniel Boone’s Nate Solo and Sam Batchelor; Hill School’s Byron Muhlenberg; Methacton’s Pat Carr and Dan Cox; Owen J. Roberts’ Michael Lenge; Perkiomen Valley’s Blair Heaps and Lou Fioravanti; Phoenixville’s Sam LaPorte; Pottstown’s Ricardo Gonzalez and Dan Yauger; Spring-Ford’s Chase Brown, Matt Stipa and Aaron Cummins; St. Pius’ Anthony Yerger, John Anuszewski, Conor Myers, A.J. Ebersole and Patrick Stone; and Upper Perkiomen’s Cody Ambrose, Nick Hale and Dan Wolfram.


Spring-Ford’s third-place finish at last weekend’s Biglerville Duals enabled the school to edge past Methacton as the area’s winningest public school program. Spring-Ford now has 510 all-time wins, one more than Methacton. Pottstown is third with 490.


Owen J. Roberts have two matches this week – at St. Pius X on Wednesday and Pottsgrove at home on Thursday – needing two victories to become the fifth school in the Pioneer Athletic Conference’s 24-year history to reach 100 league wins.


When Spring-Ford hosts Methacton on Wednesday, it will be Rams head coach Tim Seislove’s 200th career match. … Pottsgrove’s Jeff Madden (420) and Upper Perkiomen’s Tom Hontz (415) are the area’s active leaders in that department.

Down in Chester County, Oxford veteran Scott Gold has 396 career wins and will become the 16th coach in Pennsylvania history to hit 400 in the next week or two. Gold has sat in on 674 matches with his Red Devils … which, if you think about it, translates into a little over 8,800 individual bouts (and that doesn’t even include all those postseason thrillers).


Think Brock Hallman enjoyed the Cumberland Valley Duals on Saturday?

The Boyertown senior began the day getting pinned by the host’s Tristan Warner – ranked No. 2 in the state. After decking his rival from Shikellamy, he lost by technical fall to McDonough’s Scott Patrick – ranked No. 3 in Maryland. Then came a 19-7 loss to Plymouth-Whitemarsh’s John Staudenmayer – ranked No. 3 in the state (right behind Warner). And the finish? Hallman got pinned by Central Dauphin’s Marshall Peppelman – a two-time state champion (and a runner-up in between) who is ranked No. 1 in the state and No. 1 in the nation.