Upper Perk's Owen Leister looks for a takedown of Neshaminy's Ben Stern in the 170-pound contest. Leister came up short, 6-8.
It didn’t take Upper Perkiomen’s wrestling squad very long to get into the swing of the 2012-13 season. No, in one long day of action the team took part in five matches at the Quakertown Duals held this past weekend.
All in all, Upper Perk, the defending Section 2 champions, represented themselves quite well. The team finished 3-2 overall, opening with wins over Neshaminy and Wyoming Valley West, sandwiched between losses to Pittston and Stroudsburg before a victory in the finale over Hazleton.
In the process, five Upper Perk wrestlers posted four or more wins for head coach Tom Hontz, now in his 23rd season. Seniors Kyle Fellman (145), Wolfgang McStravick (138), Dante Steffenino (120) and Dustin Steffenino (106) all finished with perfect runs through the Quakertown Duals, as Eric Miller racked up four wins at 113. Casey Cook (182) was the lone Indian wrestler to post three wins.
Upper Perk’s team wins included a 45-27 nod over Neshaminy, and a 39-22 victory over Wyoming Valley West. Pittston edged the Tribe, 39-33, as did Stroudsburg, 36-29, but Upper Perk came back in a big way in its last match to drop Hazleton, 51-25.
Against Hazleton, Upper Perk won eight of its nine individual matches by fall. The Indians lost the lead twice in the early goings, but kept pace thanks to first-period pins from Fellman and McStravick, as well as a decision at 152 from Ray Young. Casey Cook’s drop at 195 gave the Indians another lead, which Hazleton took back in the ensuing match. But Upper Perk went on a 30-point unanswered tear from 285-126 to make the rout official, thanks to falls from Tyler Godshall, Dustin Steffenino, Miller, Mark Saucedo and Dante Steffenino.
In the Neshaminy win, the Tribe won nine of the 14 bouts, highlighted by five pins. Dustin Steffenino, Dylan Steffenino, Dan Jordan, Trevor Weeks and Godshall accounted for those five falls, as Dante Steffenino helped out with a technical fall, McStravick posted a major and Miller and Fellman both won by decision.
Upper Perk won’t have much time to reflect on the Quakertown Duals. The team will take part in the Reno Tournament of Champions in Reno, Nevada today and tomorrow before opening the Pioneer Athletic Conference portion of its schedule on Friday, Dec. 21 at home against Spring-Ford. The team will then take part in the Christmas City Classic at Bethlehem Catholic High School Dec. 28-29.
The Indians feature some solid senior talent, and some football players who have added depth to the roster have bolstered the lineup. The team still isn’t particularly deep, though, as two key injuries already will provide adversity right from the start. Add to the fact that the PAC-10 is getting more competitive every year. Owen J. Roberts, who won the league title last year as part of a 20-2 season, is back with the better part of its lineup and will be the hands-down favorite to repeat. Spring-Ford will look to prove the spoiler, with Boyertown a perennial contender. Upper Perk, meanwhile, will look to build on its mark of 6-3 in the league last year, and a 15-10 overall record.