Michael Felix, left, scored a fourth-place finish at District One Class AAA West Tournament and will advance to regionals this weekend. At the PAC-10 Championships on Feb. 14, Felix also won fourth.
Indians wrestling advances five to regional tournament
After a loss, Eric Miller briefly focuses on what went wrong then shifts his focus to the next match. Miller, a senior on Upper Perkiomen's wrestling team, shook off a semifinal loss Monday at the District One Class AAA West Tournament. He won his final two bouts at 138 pounds to finish third.
With a 3-2 victory in the consolation semifinals over Kevin Zhao, of Conestoga, he qualified for this weekend's South East Region Class AAA tournament at Oxford High School.
"I was trying not to get thrown," Miller said.
He defeated Spring-Ford's Matt Krieble in the third-place bout by the same score to register his 100th career victory. "I was a little nervous," said Miller, who rallied to finish third at the Pioneer Athletic Conference Championships one week earlier after losing his initial match. "But I'm used to (the consolation round.)"
This week, Miller (34-6) can accomplish his second goal by finishing in the top five at regionals and qualifying for the PIAA Class AAA championships.
Overall, five Indians reached the district tournament's medal stand Monday night at Spring-Ford High School.
Dustin Steffenino (32-1) won the gold medal at 113 pounds, defeating Boyertown's David Campbell 4-0 in the title bout. Trevor Weeks took second place at 160 pounds. Weeks (26-11) lost in the finals to Spring-Ford senior Frankie Krauss for the second straight weekend.
Michael Felix (170 pounds) and Michael Modugno (220) each finished fourth at the district tournament, which started Saturday and was delayed by snow. All five wrestlers have a legitimate shot to finish in the top five at regionals and advance to the state tournament, according to Sam Walters. Upper Perkiomen's head coach. "That's where you'll be able to separate the men from the boys," the coach said.
Walters said he was very happy five of his wrestlers qualified for regionals. "I'm thrilled," said the coach, whose team finished fourth overall.
Steffenino defeated three PAC-10 opponents to capture his first district title. He posted a second-period pin against Pottsgrove's Chase Banyai on Saturday, Two days later, he posted a 9-1 win over Ryan Resnick, of Owen J. Roberts, in the semifinals. "This is very exciting," Steffenino said after receiving his gold medal. "There's still a lot of work to be done. This is just a step in the right direction."
According to Walters, the district title provides a confidence boost for Steffenino. The coach has said previously that he expects the wrestler to contend for a state championship.
"Dustin is wrestling his best at this time of the season," Walters said.
According to the coach, Weeks' performance provided a surprise. Prior to the tournament, Walter said he expected Steffenino and Miller to advance.
However, Weeks opened the tournament with a 38 second fall against Ridley's Cade Heverly on Saturday. In the semifinals Monday, he posted a 4-2 decision against Matt Young of Penncrest. Weeks met Krauss again in the 160-pound final, dropped a 12-2 major decision.
Felix (29-11) recovered from a quarterfinal loss Monday by winning his next two bouts to qualify for regionals.
He pinned Strath Haven sophomore Zachary Newlon and defeated Aaron Sturm, a senior from Perkiomen Valley, 5-2 to reach the third-place final.
Modugno (18-18) followed a similar path, rebounding from a quarterfinal loss Saturday.
Two days later, the sophomore edged Radnor senior Kent Chance with a 2-1 decision before by winning by injury default over Elijah Crew, a junior from Strath Haven, in the second period.
Norristown has officially joined the Pioneer Athletic Conference.
On Feb. 17, the conference members voted to approve the school district's application to join, according to Steve Perlstein, Upper Perkiomen's Athletic Director. The vote was unanimous, according to a news release from Perlstein....