Junior Casey Cook wrestled his way to silver at 182 in the inaugural PAC-10 wrestling championships held Saturday at Boyertown High School. Above, Cook pins Pottstown's Alex Humma for a win in the quarterfinal round.
The venue was a familiar one, as was the competition, although the format was a little different. But when the inaugural PAC-10 wrestling championships concluded, the results were what Upper Perkiomen wrestling teams have come to expect: a large contingent who will compete at the district level.
Unlike previous years that featured a sectional wrestling tournament, District 1, for a variety of reasons, decided to forgo the six sectional tourneys and replace them with league championships. The top four finishers at the league tournaments will move on to compete at the district level.
The Indians responded to the change quite well, as it crowned three champions, one runner-up, two third-place finishers and three fourth-place finishers this past Saturday at Boyertown High School. It all adds up to 10 wrestlers who will move onto the second leg of the individual postseason.
Seniors Wolfgang McStravick (132) and Dante Steffenino (120) took top honors, as did sophomore Dustin Steffenino (106).
Junior Casey Cook wrestled his way to silver at 182, and sophomore Trevor Weeks (160) and Dan Jordan both grabbed third place. Ray Young (152), Kyle Fellman (145) and Eric Miller (113), meanwhile, all kept their postseasons intact by notching fourth place.
McStravick’s path to gold was an efficient one as he spent just over three minutes on the mat and earned two falls in the process. In the finals, he handled Methacton’s Joe Staley, 8-1.
Dante Steffenino clocked about the same amount of mat time as he used a bye, second-period technical fall and a 52-second pin against Spring-Ford’s Matt Krieble to earn gold and run his record up to 39-3 in the process.
Younger brother Dustin Steffenino rounded out the individual champs, using a 56-second pin and 9-5 decision to set the stage for his golden 8-4 decision over Boyertown freshman Lucas Miller. The two rivals had previously met three times this season, with Steffenino holding a 2-1 advantage before the league championships.
Cook racked up a pair of falls in 5:07 before he settled for second after meeting up against OJR’s Gordon Bolig. Weeks showed some mettle as he lost his opener to Methacton’s Paul Russo, battled back with a pair of pins in his consolation matches, and avenged the loss with a 3-2 nod over none other than Russo in the third-place match. Jordan followed a similar path as he dropped his first bout but went on to win his next three to notch third-place after a 3-2 nod against Pottsgrove’s Qwhadir Miller. Young went 2-2 on Saturday to grab fourth place, as did Fellman. Miller won his first match, dropped his second to eventual champ Derek Gulotta (OJR), won his next and fell in his third-place bout.
Dylan Steffenino, on the mend from an injury but not at top potential, took fifth at 126. Junior Justin Crossley took sixth, as did sophomore Owen Leister, who went 3-2.
Upper Perk, which captured the District 1 AAA Section 2 title last year, will push its 10 wrestlers into this weekend’s District 1 AAA West Tournament at Spring-Ford High School.
As a team, Upper Perk’s efforts at the league championships were good enough for fourth place in the team standings with 177.5 points. Boyertown grabbed the team title with 206 points as it will have a 12-strong showing at districts. Regular season champions Owen J. Roberts finished second with 196 points, backed by a tournament-high five champions and 10 district qualifiers, while Spring-Ford finished third with 187 points and eight qualifiers.