Statistically speaking, Upper Perkiomen’s effort in the AAA Southeastern Regional Tournament at Oxford High School this past weekend was a productive one.
The Indians brought three entries into the tournament with a berth in the granddaddy of them all – the PIAA Class AAA Championships - up for grabs. And when the action wound down Saturday night, the Tribe had two of its three grapplers punch their ticket for Hershey.
Moving on to states are junior Wolfgang McStravick (132) and senior Dalton Fleming (182), who finished third and fourth, respectively. Junior Dylan Steffenino (126), who made the trek to Hershey as a sophomore last season, just missed out as he finished fifth, but took the consolation of picking up his 100th career win at regionals.
McStravick, a Section 2 champ who earned a runner-up finish at the District 1 AAA North tourney, opened regionals with a second-period fall against Glen Mills’ Jordan Moffett. He earned his way to the semifinals with a heady 4-1 decision against Steve Quinn, of West Chester Rustin, to set up a showdown with Father Judge’s Joe Galasso. McStravick fell, 5-2, to Galasso, who ended up grabbing runner-up honors, and then got the better of Quinn in the championship consolation – this time by fall – to earn his second trip to Hershey.
McStravick’s tournament will kick off Thursday afternoon in a first-round match-up against Malcolm Harris of Greater Johnstown.
Perhaps the Indians’ most intriguing entry is Fleming. After getting a late start to the season due to football, the senior battled through a knee injury and then hit his stride in the postseason. A third-place finisher at districts the previous week, Fleming again earned a spot in the consolation final at regionals, but just fell short by virtue of a 3-2 decision to Norristown’s Tyler Letrinko.
Fleming opened regionals with a 7-1 decision against Perkiomen Valley’s Anthony DeElsi, then was set back in the quarterfinals, 7-3, to West Chester Rustin’s Tyler Wood. He used a first-period fall to climb his way back against Eli Zimmer (Lower Merion), then racked up an 11-1 major over Boyerotwn’s Chase Garber to set up his consolation finals match.
He will open states with a first-round match against Khlique Harris of Erie McDowell.
Steffenino started off his regional run with a second-period drop of Unionville’s Mike Caldwell, then fell to LaSalle’s Greg Konieczny, 5-3 in the quarterfinals. He bounced back in the consolation bracket with a 6-4 nod against Northeast High’s Marius Kola, and a 5-1 decision against Harry Wilson (Neshaminy). He then fell to eventual third-place finisher Tyler Clapp (Strath Haven), 6-0, but came back to grab fifth by getting some revenge against Konieczny in their second meeting, 3-2.
As a team, Upper Perk tied for ninth place in the 55-team field with Central Bucks South with 44 points. Norristown won the team title with 109.5 points, Council Rock South (74.5) was second and Owen J. Roberts (73) rounded out the top three. Other Pioneer Athletic Conference entries of note included: Spring-Ford, 13th with 37.5 points; Boyertown, 16th with 30.5 points and Pottsgrove, 21st with 26 points.
The PAC-10 will be represented by nine wrestlers in AAA, but failed to crown a gold medalist at regionals, the first time the feat has happened since 1993. OJR’s Andrew Kinney and Pottsgrove’s Danny Michaels were the league’s top finishers, both grabbing second at regionals. All of the action in Hershey can be followed live online at http://live.pa-wrestling.com/2012piaa-aaa/