Upper Perk's Wolfgang McStravick takes C.B. East's Francesco Fabozzi to the mat in the championship round of the District 1-AAA Section Two Tournament in the 132-pound match before pinning him for the win.
There was a time not too very long ago when a District 1-AAA Section Two Tournament was all but a lock for Upper Perkiomen’s wrestling team.
Understand, everything in the sport of wrestling is earned on the mat and not given, but the way the Indians made it look – at least from the stands, that is – was often one-sided. The team’s numerous sectional titles attest to that, as do some of the record team scores that they racked up in the process. Back then, the parade of champions looked like a dual meet for the Indians, as the better part of its lineup was represented in the championship final.
While this past Saturday’s Section Two Tournament at Pottsgrove ended with yet another team title – the Tribe’s second in a row - the way the team went about it was unlike in years past.
Rather than steamrolling through the competition, Upper Perk had to grit out every win. That gutsy approached showed in the team standings as the Tribe grabbed first with 137.5 team points, just a hair ahead of Central Bucks South (136). Souderton (106.5, Central Bucks West (102.5) and North Penn (98), meanwhile, rounded out the top five.
In the process, the Indians will advance nine wrestlers to this weekend’s District 1-AAA North Tournament at Quakertown High School. They include sectional champions Dante Steffenino (113), Dylan Steffenino (126) and Wolfgang McStravick (132). Dalton Fleming earned his spot after grabbing second at 182 at sectionals, as Chris Cornwell (170) notched third, and Dustin Steffenino (106), Kyle Fellman (120), Ray Young (152) and Casey Cook all claimed fourth.
The sectional title will be Upper Perk’s last as the district has opted to use a league-tournament format to promote better homegrown rivalries opposed to the sectional approach. And considering Upper Perk’s long history of success in the Section Two Tourney, it was only appropriate that the final banner will hang inside the Indians’ gymnasium.
Dante Steffenino yielded just five points en route to his title at 113. He used a 32-second fall in his opener to set the stage for an 8-3 and then 8-2 decision, respectively, the last a title tilt over North Penn’s Joey O’Brien.
Dylan Steffenino posted a technical fall, then an 8-2 decision in the semifinal, to earn his spot in the finals, where he outlasted Central Bucks West’s Bryan Jastrzebski – who hadn’t given up a point in his previous two bouts - 2-0.
McStravick, the top seed, limited his time spent on the mat as he used three falls to claim his second consecutive sectional title at 132. The junior’s pins came in times of 1:20, 3:10 and 3:15, the last in his title match against Central Bucks West’s Francesco Fabozzi.
Fleming went the route of the pin as well, spending a mere 1:50 to earn falls in his first two matches before settling for a 10-8 overtime setback to Chris Jastrzebski (CBW).
Cornwell, a true testament of what hard work and dedication can earn, grabbed third as he overcame a technical fall to eventual champ Dominic Rigous and posted pins in 1:53 and 5:24 to notch third.
The Tribe’s nine-man contingent will go to districts in Quakertown this weekend to look to extend their postseason into regionals the following week, the final step before the state tournament in Hershey.