Phantom wrestlers take lessons from Upper Perkiomen

Photo by Barry Taglieber
Phoenixville's Mark Cermanski, left, tries to avoid leg hold of Upper Perkiomen's Dylan Steffenino at 126 pounds.
Photo by Barry Taglieber Phoenixville's Mark Cermanski, left, tries to avoid leg hold of Upper Perkiomen's Dylan Steffenino at 126 pounds.

RED HILL - Two of Upper Perkiomen’s three talented Steffenino brother wrestlers drew two of Phoeniville’s better individuals during Wednesday night’s Pioneer Athletic Conference dual meet.

At 126 pounds, returning state qualifier Dylan Steffenino, who is just back from surgery, got back on the mats against the Phantoms’ promising freshman, Mark Cermanski. And at 106, Dustin Steffenino drew Garrett Serwatka in a rematch from last year’s Section III Tournament.

The Indians earned close decisions in both matches to highlight an otherwise lopsided 72-6 rout of the Phantoms.

Dylan Steffenino won by a 5-0 decision after Dustin made a first-period takedown stand up in a 2-0 verdict.


Upper Perkiomen (5-1, 13-4) rolled up seven falls and received four forfeits to pile up big points against Phoenixville (0-6, 2-12).

“A couple things I am very happy about,” said Upper Perkiomen coach Tom Hontz. “Dylan Steffenino was back in the lineup and he won against a hard-nosed freshman (Cermanski). He did a really nice job.”

Dylan Steffenino, who amassed a 37-8 log last winter, upped his mark to 4-1 with two falls for the 2012-13 campaign. Cermanski is now 12-10 with six falls, one technical fall and one major decision while facing a number of more experienced wrestlers.

“That was a big win for him,” Dustin Steffenino said of his older brother. “He just came off surgery. Cermanski was a tough opponent for him. That was a good win for him to get.”

After a scoreless first period, Dylan Steffenino started on top to begin the second period and he picked up two near fall points. Then in the third period, Dylan started on the bottom but picked up and escape and subsequent takedown to produce his 5-0 decision.

Dustin Steffenino, a sophomore, improved his record to 22-5, which includes nine falls, one technical fall and two major decisions. Serwatka, also a sophomore, now stands at 17-9 with one fall, one technical fall and three major decisions.

“I think I beat him 5-2 last year at sectionals,” said Dustin. “We know each other. I thought I would get him. But they did have a forfeit at 113, and I didn’t know if they would bump him up or not. I was hoping to face him.”

While getting their full lineup back in order, Hontz and the Indians hope they are peaking at the proper time with the District 1 Team Duals that started Thursday night. Then the Tribe faces PAC-10 leader Owen J. Roberts this weekend. And after that comes the exciting postseason tournaments.

“We don’t quite have our full lineup yet,” said Hontz. “We hope to be peaking. Those (big meets) are what we are most focused on.”

“We are just practicing harder and we are just working harder in the practice room,” said Dustin Steffenino. “Basically, it definitely has paid off so far.”

Phoenixville coach Joe Youngblood realizes his young team has taken its lumps against some of the elite teams the PAC-10 has to offer, which are also some of the top contingents in District 1. It is part of the growing process for the Phantoms, who are learning lessons while facing some top foes.

“It is trial by fire, I guess,” said Youngblood. “The only way to get better is to wrestle the best.”

Younglood was pleased with Cermanski’s battle against the oldest Steffenino brother and figured Serwatka would also have a close bout.

“The pins absolutely kill us and the 24 points on forfeits didn’t help,” said Youngblood.

Romance prevented a shutout against Phoenixville with his pin at the 5:22 mark at 132 pounds. Romance was up 4-2 entering the third period before using a reversal maneuver to set up his fall. Romance is now 11-13 on the year with six falls and two major decisions.

“Trey has been wrestling tough,” said Youngblood. “He had a great weekend. He was one point from going 5-0 at the Jersey Shore Duals. That was definitely something to build on. This will help his confidence. It is good to be wrestling well at this time so he is poised for a postseason run.”


Upper Perkiomen’s other returning state qualifier, Wolfgang McStravick, opened the card with a fall in 43 seconds at 138. McStravick raised his record to 27-3 with 17 falls and three major decisions. ... The Indians also got falls from Kyle Fellman (145), Ray Young (152), Owen Leister (170), Tyler Godshall (220), Justin Crossley (285) and Dante Steffenino (120). ... Dante Steffenino is 24-3 with 10 pins, two technical falls and six major decisions. Fellman is 22-4 with nine pins, one technical fall and two major decisions. ... Forfeits went to Trevor Weeks (160), Casey Cook (182), Dan Heinrichs (195) and Eric Miller (113).