Cenci, Valenteen bring home wrestling gold

Photo by Barry Taglieber Spring-Ford's Sarah Payonk and Phoenixville's Aubree Flagg go for the loose ball.

Jesse DeWan, on the other hand, is just a freshman, relatively new.

But it was the 145-pound DeWan who got thrown into the fire Wednesday night, and it was DeWan who responded like a veteran with a pin in the finale to help the Bears hold off Spring-Ford, 38-30, in a thrilling Pioneer Athletic Conference match.

The host Rams actually won seven of the first 13 bouts, but because of Jones' major decision at 112, Hyatt's pin at 119 and Malfaro's major decision at 125, the Bears were clinging to the narrowest of margins (32-30) heading into the 14th and final test of the evening.

However, DeWan withstood a physical first-period challenge from Jason Anspach - up a bracket from his customary 140 pounds. But he erupted for eight second-period points to open a 10-2 spread, then got the pin at the 4:38 mark to end the drama and preserve Boyertown's unbeaten (5-0, 9-1 overall) league mark with six-time defending champion Upper Perkiomen still on the schedule.

"That's the first time it's ever come down to my match," DeWan said after improving to 17-6. "I knew I had to step it up.

"The funny part is that I've always said since going to the draw (of weights) to start that it kind of stinks for the guy who's last... he could lose the whole match. But it actually pumped me up when I heard I'd be last tonight. I knew I had to win. I just didn't want to let the team down."

He didn't ... nor did his teammates despite a gallant effort by Spring-Ford (1-1, 6-6), which lost to Boyertown a year ago the exact same way - in the final bout.

"Deja vu," Bears head coach Bruce Hallman said. "I told everyone before we started that it would go 7-7 (in matches won). I worked this a lot of different ways and I couldn't get it any way else. I figured whoever got the bonus points would win."

Jones, Hyatt and Malfaro took care of the bonus points, very much needed after the Rams got three pins from Chris Gwaltney (152), Jamie Maute (189) and Bob Swier (215) and a decision by Matt Moley (103) to take a 21-18 lead. The Bears were still within three because of two pins by Zach Brower (160) and Josh White (171) and a forfeit to Mike Spaid (heavyweight).

"I think we could've done better up top, but our lightweights did a good job," said Hyatt, 17-4 on the season. "We knew we had to step it up in the lightweights. And we don't mind that because it gets us more psyched for our matches."

The Jones-Hyatt-Malfaro punch put Boyertown in front 32-21. However, it was far from over because Eric Smith (130) and Evan Hanauer (135) posted back-to-back 8-4 decisions, then Mike Moley moved up a bracket and held off Dave Fabian in a 1-0 thriller at 140.

That quickly it was back to 32-30.

"I thought we'd blow them out, but Spring-Ford kind of stuck it to us a little," Hyatt said.

"The kids were excited coming in and felt they had nothing to lose," said Spring-Ford head coach Tim Seislove. "Boyertown's good, so I have no complaints about the way we wrestled.

"I thought we had a chance to split (the matches) 7-7. We figured we had to get an eighth win, find a way to beat someone we weren't supposed to beat, but we didn't get it."

No one was happier than Hallman.

"I feel good about tonight," he said. "I saw both of us as evenly matched teams. We're fortunate once again to get out of here with a win."

comments powered by Disqus