Upper Perk's Ray Young, right, wrestling at 160 pounds takes on Owen J. Roberts Mike Lenge in last Wednesday meet at Upper Perk. Young fell victim to a pin by the Wildcat. In Saturday's meet at Methacton Young scored a pin in the 152 weight class.
It was a week of mixed results for Upper Perkiomen’s wrestling team in its two Pioneer Athletic Conference matches.
Last Wednesday, the Indians were humbled a bit in an uncharacteristic 53-7 setback to Owen J. Roberts. Mind you, the defending league champion Wildcats (5-0 PAC-10, 10-0 overall) are some stiff competition, evidenced by the No. 1 seed they drew Sunday for the District 1 AAA Duals Tournament, which begins tonight.
Nevertheless, the credentials didn’t make the rout any easier to take for the Tribe (3-1, 11-7). Especially considering the fact OJR head coach Steve DeRafelo never won under the lights in Red Hill.
A much more focused and determined Indians squad traveled to Fairview Village three days later to tangle with Methacton. In what was supposed to be a fairly even match-up between two teams vying to be mentioned in the same breath as the Wildcats and Spring-Ford, Upper Perk cruised to a 51-16 victory.
All of that led up to last night’s home showdown against Spring-Ford, which finished too late for this paper’s deadline. The Rams came into the tilt as the No. 3 seed in District 1 with an unbeaten 5-0 mark in the league and an impressive 15-1 non-league mark.
Upper Perk will use that test against the Rams to prepare for the District 1 Duals, which will get under way tonight and be hosted by the Tribe. Upper Perk was tabbed the No. 6 seed and earned a first-round bye, and will open against either No. 11 Pennsbury (8-6) or No. 22 Wissahickon (8-6) in the second-round.
First-round action will begin at 5:30 p.m., with the second round at 7:30 p.m. Second-round participants will advance to Upper Dublin High School to complete the consolation and championship-round matches this Friday and Saturday.
But back to the details of the matches against the Wildcats and Warriors first.
Against OJR, the Wildcats won 11 of the 13 contested matches and also picked up a forfeit at 190. Upper Perk managed to stay in the thick of it in the first six matches from 120-152, as they trailed 20-7 thanks to a 9-0 major from Dylan Steffenino (126) and a gritty 8-7 decision from Wolfgang McStravick at 138.
But it was all OJR after that, as the Wildcats went on a 33-point tear, claiming the next eight bouts. The visitors’ flurry included a pair of pins to go along with five decisions in their favor and a forfeit to account for the rout.
Upper Perk was on the other end of the scoreboard in its steamroll of Methacton. Much like its home match against the Warriors in 2011, Upper Perk rode the strength of seven pins to take the momentum and lead to the 35-point differential.
Trevor Weeks (145) and Ray Young (152) helped set the tone on the match in the first two bouts, using a third- and first-period pin, respectively, to put the Tribe out front. Methacton, to its credit, won the next two of three, sandwiched between Casey Cook’s 7-3 decision at 170 to trim the Indians’ lead to 15-7.
Undaunted, Upper Perk won five of the remaining nine bouts – all which ended in the slap – to gain back some confidence. Dalton Fleming, essentially wrestling on one leg as he is suffering from torn meniscus in his knee, started the run as he notched a first-period fall at 195. Tyler Godshall followed suit at 220 with a first-period pin of his own, later followed by falls from Dustin Steffenino (106, 5:31) and Dante Steffenino (113, 1:48). McStravick (138) put the finishing touches on the victory with a first-period fall at 138.