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BUCKTOWN - Owen J. Roberts put the finishing touches on a third consecutive undefeated Pioneer Athletic Conference wrestling championship with a 59-10 victory over visiting Phoenixville on the Wildcats’ Senior Night for 12 wrestlers Wednesday night.
Owen J. Roberts (9-0, 18-0), which also earned its second straight District 1-Class AAA Team Duals as well, returned to action Thursday night in the first round of the state tournament at the Giant Center in Hershey.
The Wildcats converted five pins, two forfeits and one technical fall into big bonus points in the victory over Phoenixville.
The Phantoms earned victories at 132 pounds, 106 and 126. Trey Romance began the card with an 11-0 major decision over Humphrey Chigumira. At 106, Garrett Serwatka pulled off a big victory with a 4-2 decision over Aston White. Serwatka, a sophomore, is now 21-8 while White, a senior, is 19-12.
After a scoreless first period, White took a 2-0 lead with a reversal, but Serwatka countered with a reversal at the 30-second mark of the second period to tie the bout. Serwatka started on the bottom for the third period and used another reversal to post the verdict.
“It was a nice match,” said Serwatka. “I beat a regional qualifier. He beat me last year. That is the reason I started to work harder this time. It’s good for the team. We won three matches, and stille veryone getting experience against kids who are wrestling in the State Duals.”
Serwatka said his goal for the postseason is to at least qualify for regionals. The postseason begins with the PAC-10 Championships at Boyertown High School on Saturday, Feb. 16. The top five finishers there will advance to districts at Spring-Ford High School. The top medalists there will contend at regionals at Pottstown.
At 126, Phoenixville’s Mark Cermanski won an 8-2 decision against fellow freshman Stone Bissland. Cermanski snapped a 2-2 tie with a big third period for the final margin.
“Some guys really wrestled tough and mixed it up,” said Phoenixville coach Joe Youngblood. “Serwatka has been wrestling top guys in this league the last few weeks, and he wanted to make a statement. Trey started it off by beating a senior on Senior Night, and Mark finished it off well.
“Owen J. is a tough team. Coach (Steve) DeRafelo and his staff do a nice job. They a nice thing going here and it shows with how tough they are on the mats, and they have a great team.”
Owen J. Roberts graduates 12 seniors from this outstanding team. The senior wrestlers include Evan Boaman (195), Nick DeAngelo (220), Kevin Kerwin (170), Kyle Shronk (160), Gordon Bolig (182), Peter Fratantoni (145), Adam Moser (145), Brad Trego (220, 285), Chigumira (126), Dan Garges (145), Tyler Rogers (170) and White (106). Bolig and Moser have both eclipsed the 100-victory plateau for their careers.
“The hard part is there is not really time to celebrate,” said DeRafelo. “We have to enjoy the evening and then get ready for states. I couldn’t find a better group of seniors. They work hard and they earned it. They earned every win. I did my best to get all the seniors a match on Senior Night. I did all but one, and there were two forfeits where coach Youngblood rested people to get healthy. That was the idea. We have 12 seniors. They filled the whole mat. It will be a real different team next year. It is not going to be easy to see this team go. There were a lot of good things from this team.”
Garges won a 7-0 decision over Phoenixville sophomore Damien Davido at 138. Garges collected his points on three takedowns and one second-period escape.
At 113, OJR’s outstanding sophomore, Derek Gulotta, won a 7-0 decision against Eddie McCarthy. Gulotta (25-5) is a returning state medalist.