Upper Perk's Trevor Weeks hangs on to the leg of Boyertown's Garrett Abare in the 160-pound bout of last Wednesday night's home match. Weeks won 11-10.
To say it has been a good week for Upper Perkiomen’s wrestling program would be an understatement.
For starters, the team entertained bitter Pioneer Athletic Conference rival Boyertown last Wednesday night and held on for a wild, 36-33 victory. Three days later the team was back under the spotlight at home against Methacton as the Tribe held on for a 35-29 win.
While the two PAC-10 wins were no doubt an accomplishment, perhaps the most noticeable feat was filling the holes in the lineup as three regular starters were sidelined due to injury.
“Today says a lot about the core group of guys that we have,” Upper Perk head coach Tom Hontz said Saturday after the Methacton victory. “It’s these core guys that are carrying us through until we can get healthy – and if we can get healthy and stay healthy we will be alright.”
Upper Perk (2-1, 9-4 overall) and the Warriors (1-2, 10-4) split the 14 bouts, but the Tribe was able to win the bonus-point battle. Besides two forfeits, Upper Perk only claimed one regular decision in its victories, while Methacton posted four regular decisions to go along with a fall, technical fall and forfeit.
And Hontz was quick to point out that there was a host of unsung wrestlers whose hard work paid off for the team. He also noticed that there was no elaborate rhetoric, or new approach to the season that prompted the improvement.
“It’s just been a lot of hard work that has got us here,” he said. “The guys are getting in shape and we’re starting to grind in practice.”
Upper Perk fell behind in the opener at 285, but went on a four-bout tear that accounted for 22 points. Dustin Steffenino started by taking a forfeit, Eric Miller (113) continued the run with a technical fall, Dante Steffenino picked up a forfeit at 120 and Dan Jordan claimed a technical fall at 126 to give Upper Perk a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.
The Indians needed the early boost as Methacton claimed six of the last nine matches, none of which was decided by pin. Wolfgang McStravick countered with a pin at 145, followed by Ray Young’s one-point decision at 152 and Kyle Fellman’s 10-2 major a bout later.
“Fellman bumped up to 160 and got a win, Wolfinger is just so reliable, and our lightweights are tough,” Hontz said. “It was the same thing Wednesday night (against Boyertown), McStravick and Fellman got pins to set the tone and that helped carry us.”
Against the Bears, Upper Perk again used got the pivotal bonus points that proved the difference as the team split the bouts evenly, but Upper Perk notched five pins and a pair of decisions while yielding just a pair of falls.
McStravick and Fellman provided the early edge, and freshman Trevor Weeks helped out with an 11-10 decision at 160. Casey Cook notched a first-period pin at 195 and perhaps the biggest fall of the night came at 285 where Justin Crossley worked off of his back to get the slap against Brody O’Connell. Eric Miller picked up a decision at 113 and Dante Steffenino earned a first-period pin to give Upper Perk a needed 12-point lead with two bouts left.
In between all of that, the match was a classic meeting between the two rivals. Upper Perk never trailed in the match, but the Bears managed to tie things up twice to make it interesting.
The Indians entertained Pope John Paul II last night and will travel to Pottstown tonight for a match at 6:30 p.m.