ROYERSFORD - Phoenixville's two-man gang is still alive in the pressure-packed postseason wrestling tournaments.

Seniors Kevin West (215 pounds) and Bill Bleiler (189) finished third and fifth, respectively, Saturday night during the District 1-AAA South Tournament at Spring-Ford High School.

The top five finishers advance to the Southeastern Regionals this coming weekend at Norristown High School against the top place-winners from the North.

West (26-6) went 5-1 in the tournament and pinned Chichester senior Chuck Riley at 1:41 of their third-place consolation final to garner his bronze medal. West recorded four falls and a 10-9 decision over West Chester Henderson senior Dave Thurston.

"I didn't think I would have a chance," West said. "I just had an awesome today (Saturday). I was doing well on my feet today. I was able to keep my balance and put people on their backs when I had to."

West spent time competing at 215 and 275 during the regular season before settling on 215 for the postseason grind. He placed sixth at 275 as a junior.

"Having 215 did it for me for health reasons," West said. "I lost 40 pounds during the summer with Weight Watchers."

West, who is also a top academic student, is looking at Albright College for next year to participate in football as a lineman or wrestling.

Bleiler (22-9) had a 3-2 run through the tourney, capped by a fall in 1:48 over Coatesville junior Steve Brumbaugh in the do-or-die fifth-place consolation final.

"I made it through and am going to regionals," Bleiler said. "That is what counts. Regionals will be tough, though, with all the other guys from the North. It's good to have more competitions in all the tournaments."

Phantom head coach John Tornetta and his assistant, Bill Furlong, have been working with the two survivors.

"We have individual teaching sessions," said Bleiler, who dropped a pigtail match last winter.

Bleiler hopes to play football and possibly wrestle next year. He is currently looking at Wilkes and Penn State-Berks campus.

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