ROYERSFORD - Four Spring-Ford wrestlers advanced to this weekend’s Southeast Regional Tournament at Pottstown High School’s Strom Gymnasium.
The tourney began Friday night and will continue throughout the day on Saturday, March 2. The top three finishers in each weight class will advance to the PIAA Championships at the Giant Center in Hershey.
Phoenixville’s four qualifiers at the District 1-AAA West Tournament at Spring-Ford High School saw their seasons come to an end. Seniors Jordan Valenteen (195) and Ed McCarthy (113) also saw their scholastic careers come to a close. Sophomores Garrett Serwatka (106) and David Rosati (285) will return next season.
Spring-Ford sophomore Ryan Hayes (113) placed second at districts to move on along with third-place finishers Matt Krieble (120), Jon Cooper (145) and Tyler McGuigan (170). Krieble is a freshman, Cooper a sophomore and McGuigan a senior.
Three more Ram wrestlers came up just short while placing fourth at districts. Senior Sean Hennessey (126), junior Mason Romano (195) and junior Adam Dombrosky (138) each finished fourth.
Hayes (29-8) fell to Owen J. Roberts’ top-seeded Derek Gulotta in the finals by fall. Hayes pinned Lower Merion freshman Robbie Hazard at 1:42 of the quarterfinals and then defeated Upper Darby second-seeded junior Austin Petril, 6-5, to advance to the finals.
Krieble (22-11) fell to Conestoga sophomore Kevin Zhao, 6-1, in the quarterfinals but then rallied with three straight victories in the consolation bracket to keep his season alive. Krieble edged Owen J. Roberts junior Alec Pupo, 2-0; and then pinned Marple Newtown junior patrick Callaghan in 1:33 to reach the last step. Krieble came back to nip Zhao, 3-2, to claim his third-place bronze medal.
Cooper (25-13) had five matches at districts while starting in the pigtail and posted a 4-1 mark to extend his season. Cooper opened with a fall in 1:22 against Upper Darby sophomore Pat Kane in 1:22 and then nipped Haverford junior Wyatt Martin, 2-1. Cooper was beaten by Owen J. Roberts’ top-seeded Adam Moser, 8-5, to fall into the consis. Cooper nipped Upper Perkiomen senior Kyle Fellman, 4-3, and then topped Penncrest junior Ryan Dougherty, 3-1, to claim his third-place spot.
McGuigan (31-6) edged Owen J. Roberts senior Tyler Rogers, 2-1, in the consolation finals to reach regionals. McGuigan, the top seed, opened with a 5-1 decision over Methacton junior Devin Bradley. He then fell to Lower Merion senior Steffen Vestal, 7-3, to take the losers’ bracket road. McGuigan pinned Radnor senior Kyle Gentner at 2:27 to reach the consi finals.
Competing in the super tough 126-pound weight class, Hennessey went 3-2 and was nipped by Boyertown junior Eddie Kriczky, 1-0, in the consolation finals thriller. Owen J. Roberts junior Colby Frank, who won the Outstanding Wrestler award for the second straight week, captured the weight class with a 5-2 decision over Marple Newtown senior Ryan Flynn in the championship finals.
Hennessey (34-6) drew a first-round bye and then defeated Penncrest sophomore Matt Young with a 14-6 major decision before falling to Frank, 7-0, in the semifinals. Hennessey topped Pottstown freshman Bryant Wise, 5-3, to land the spot against Kriczky. The Rams’ Hennessey completed his outstanding mat career with 110 victories.
Romano (28-10) went 2-2 in the tourney, starting out with a 14-5 major decision over Haverford junior Charles Rossino in the quarterfinals. He then fell to Lower Merion senior Ed Zimmer, 11-6, the eventual champion, in the semifinals at 195, to drop into the consis. Romano bested Upper Darby senior Tenzin Samphel, by fall at 2:07 and then was beaten by Owen J. Roberts senior Brad Trego, 6-1, in the consi finals.
Dombrosky (30-14) opened with an 8-5 decision over Upper Darby senior Jimmy Bongard in the prelims. Then he met top-seeded and eventual champion Demetri D’Orsaneo of Owen J. Roberts and fell, 7-1. In the consis, Dombrosky beat Upper Perkiomen junior Dan Jordan, 9-2; and Garnet Valley junior Sean Lyons, 4-1, before being nipped by Lower Merion senior Scott Chieu, 1-0, in the consi finals.
Valenteen won his opening match, 9-0 on a major decision, against Strath Haven senior Rowan Prown before falling to Boyertown’s top-seeded junior, Jordan Wertz, 5-1. Valenteen then saw his season and career end on a forfeit to Samphel in the first round of consis. Valenteen ended the campaign with a 26-9 record.
McCarthy started with a 14-4 major decision against Strath Haven freshman Noah Frantz in the pigtail round before bowing to Gulotta, 9-1 on a major decision, to the eventual division champion and a returning state medalist. McCarthy fell to Boyertown freshman Garrett Mauger on a major decision, 10-2, in the opening round of consis. McCarthy saw his abbreviated season end with a 12-8 log as well as the end of his scholastic career.
Serwatka dropped his pigtail match, 3-2, to Garnet Valley freshman Ben Tuohey to end the year at 22-12. Rosati was pinned in the preliminary round by Upper Darby senior Freddy Marcellino at the 1:34 mark to end the season at 9-22 overall.
In Class AA, at the District 1/12 tourney at Springfield Montco High School, Pope John Paul II had three wrestlers earn gold medals at districts with Phoenixville resident Conor Staples (170), Kirk Cherneskie (182) and Josh Bildstein (285) while another, Aaron Cusatis (152), placed third to make it a foursome for the trip to the Southeast Regional at Wilson West Lawn.
Staples (16-11) pinned his way to district gold, needing a combined time of 6:44 in his three bouts. Staples, a senior and the top seed at 170, pinned Conwell Egan’s Gary Burke at 1:0 in his first match. He followed with a fall in 2:32 against Springfield Montco’s John Paul Ungurean and capped his day with a fall in 3:12 against Lower Moreland’s Max Pylayev.
Cherneskie (24-7) was also a top seed in his weight class, but he won at 182 with three decisions by scores of 9-3, 3-1 and 5-3. Bildstein (18-12) had a fall in 5:13, a 2-1 decision against Delco’s Scott Pendell and a 4-1 decision of New Hope-Solebury’s Billy Malamis.
Cusatis (16-17) claimed third place with a fall as PJP finished fifth among 12 schools in team scoring with 95 points. Lower Moreland picked up the team title.