Upper Perkiomen senior Wolfgang McStravick is headed to the state championships this weekend after taking third place at 132 pounds at the AAA Southeast Regional Tournament held at Pottstown High School.
Wolfgang McStravick was at a crossroads.
For the first two legs of wrestling’s postseason, the Upper Perkiomen senior spent his action in the upper half, or championship portion, of the bracket. That led to a Pioneer Athletic Conference championship at 132, and a District 1 AAA West Title a week later.
But this past weekend at the AAA Southeast Regional Tournament held at Pottstown High School, McStravick got a taste of the consolation bracket as he suffered a surprising 3-2 setback to North Penn’s Joey O’Brien in the championship semifinals.
The reality must have set in for McStravick, who at that point was one bad match away from the end of his very accomplished senior season and high school career.
The good news for McStravick, though, was he responded to the adversity quite well.
His comeback trail started with an 8-4 decision over Methacton’s Joe Staley, an opponent he has become very familiar with in the postseason. In the consolation finals, McStravick continued the momentum as he notched a third-period fall against Downingtown East’s TJ Nelson. The finish was enough to earn McStavick his third trip to the PIAA Championships starting today in Hershey. His opener will be against South Central Regional champion Patrick Duggan, a sophomore who is 35-2.
McStravick, who tacked up career win 150 with his regional bronze, will be Upper Perk’s lone representative in Hershey. Fellow teammates and regional qualifiers Dustin Steffenino (106), Dante Steffenino (120) and Ray Young (152) couldn’t crack into the top three.
Dustin Steffenino came up just short in his state bid as he grabbed fourth place. He opened with a 6-5 decision over Neshaminy junior Sam Rudolph, then fell to eventual runner-up Edgar Garcia, 5-1 in the semifinals. He bounced back with a 9-3 decision in the consolation semifinals over Upper Darby’s Anthony Petril, and then bowed out with a 3-1 setback to Quakertown junior Collyn Dorney in the consolation finals.
Dante Steffenino followed a similar path as his younger brother. He opened with a first-period fall in the quarterfinals to Unionville’s Nate Charles, then fell 6-4 to eventual champion Benn Ross (Pennridge). He earned his way to the consolation finals with a 10-0 major over Kennett’s Bob Bender, but then fell to Pennsbury’s Jason Bing, 10-5 in the consolation finals.
Young, a senior who saw his first action at the regional level this past weekend, opened with a bye before dropping his first two matches.
As a team, Upper Perk tied for seventh place with Council Rock South with 31 points. Norristown grabbed the team title 78.5 points, followed by Owen J. Roberts (59), Boyertown (41.5) North Penn (40) and Pennridge (35), who rounded out the top five, with Council Rock North sixth with 31.5 points.
The tournament had an Upper Perk flavor as grad Darren Kern and longtime assistant coach Jamy Ritter were inducted into the Southeast Wrestling Hall of Fame prior to the final round. Kern, a two-time state medalist who is serving in the U.S. armed forces, had his father Mark accept the award on his behalf. Ritter, a Quakertown graduate who went to school with Indian head coach Tom Hontz, was honored for his service and commitment to Upper Perk’s program for the past 23 years.