Boyertown Bears Wrestling

Jones named as new Bears Head Coach

2007 BASH graduate takes over for Coach Ventresca

Ventresca and Jones
Former Head Coach Ventresca (left) and new Head Coach Jones (right) coach a match at the 2017 PIAA Championships in Hershey. Jones was recently named the 7th head coach in program history.

On Tuesday, March 28th, the Boyertown Area School Board officially approved Dave Jones as new Head Wrestling Coach at Boyertown HS. He is the 7th coach in program history, taking over the program after Pete Ventresca stepped down from the post after 12 seasons at the end of the 2016-17 season.
Ventresca and Jones
Coach Ventresca hands over the BASH wrestling program to Jones, a 2007 BASH graduate.

Jones is a 2007 graduate of Boyertown where he compiled a record of 102-44 over his four-year career for the Bears. He was a three-time regional qualifier, placing second in the region his senior year to advance to states for the first time. After high school, Jones attended and wrestled for Messiah College in Mechanicsburg, PA. At Messiah he was a four-year starter at 165 and 174 pounds compiling a record of 78-45. He was All-Conference three times and a two-time team captain. He graduated from Messiah in 2011 and later earned his master's degree in education.

Jones is currently a Health and Physical Education teacher at BASH. He started coaching at Boyertown in 2013 when he was named the head coach at Junior High West. He held that position for three seasons before joining the high school staff this past season. He and his wife Holly have a son named Levi and are expecting their second child due on April 24th.

Congratulations to new Boyertown HS Head Wrestling Coach Dave Jones!

Spring Wrestling - Arsenal, Open Mats, and Team PAC

If you are looking to stay in shape and improve your skills heading into next season, there are plenty of ways to do that this spring.

Arsenal Wrestling Club (see website here) will be running their Spring 2017 Session from February 27th to May 4th on Mondays and Thursdays from 7 to 8:30 PM at the New Hanover YMCA wrestling room.

On Wednesday evenings from 6:30 to 8 PM, there will be open mats at the New Hanover YMCA wrestling room.

Also available is the new Team PAC program. Team PAC (see website here) is open to any wrestler in grades 6 through 12 and will operate out of three locations. Mondays will be open mats at Pottsgrove HS. Tuesdays will be for folkstyle technique at Spring-Ford HS. Thursdays will be for freestyle and Greco technique at The Hill School. Practices each night will run from 6 to 7:30 PM starting on March 27th and running until May 18th. Cost is $65 per wrestler, which includes a t-shirt. Check the website for full details.

A van will be available for transport from BASH to The Hill School on Thursday nights for the free/greco sessions. Contact a coach for more details.

Wilde, Campbell, Jones earn state medals; team takes 10th at states

Boyertown coaching staff with the 3 state medalists

The 2016-17 season came to a close in Hershey on Saturday night, and the Bears came away with a top 10 team finish and three medalists. Seniors Matt Wilde and Jakob Campbell finished in 5th and 4th place respectively with junior Elijah Jones also placing 5th. Wilde's win in the 5th place match at 113 pounds gave him 100 wins for his career. Campbell's 4th place medal was his third state medal while Jones captured his first state medal.

At 113, Wilde's tournament started rough with a sudden victory loss in the first round but he bounced back with three more wins before losing in the consolation semis to push him into the 5th place bout. He responded with a 6-4 win to give him his first state medal and his 100th career win. He closed out his senior season 47-5 with a career mark of 100-21.

At 126, Jakob Campbell also dropped his opening round match in sudden victory. He responded well though by winning his next four matches to put him into the 3rd place match on Saturday. While he dropped that match 5-2, he earned his 3rd state medal (along with a 3rd and 7th) to make him just the 3rd BASH wrestler to earn three medals (joining Alex Pellicciotti and Jordan Wood). He's also Boyertown first ever four-time state qualifier. He ended his senior season 39-6 with a career record of 156-32, good for 3rd place in BASH history for wins.

At 182, Elijah Jones won his opening round match 8-1 before falling in the quarters 4-0. He rebounded with two more wins before falling in the consolation semis. In his fifth place match, he was tied at 1-1 going into the sudden victory period and then scored a fall with just six seconds left to secure a 5th place medal in his second trip to states. His junior season ends with a record of 47-8 and a career mark of 89-40 heading into his senior year next season.

Three Bears qualified for states but did not medal. Seniors David Campbell (120), Chris Berry (152), and Hunter Vogels (160) all saw their season and careers conclude in Hershey. Campbell went 2-2 in his second trip to states but fell a win shy of a medal, dropping a heart-breaking 3-2 decision in his final bout to end his season at 40-9 and his career at 126-58. Berry went 1-2 in his first trip to states and concluded his season at 37-13 and career at 104-45. Vogels went 0-2, falling his is first match in sudden victory and then running into the #2 ranked wrestler in the consolations after he was upset in the first round. Hunter finishes his season at 34-16 and career at 109-60.

As a team the Bears finished in 10th place with 44 points. It was the 3rd straight year that the team placed in the top 10 of the state individual tournament. Congratulation to the entire team and the coaching staff on a great season! Good luck to all the seniors as they move on to their next phase!

Reitnour places second at PA Girls States

Coaches Haley and Ventresca with ReitnourFreshman Samantha Reitnour competed in the PA Girls Folkstyle States wrestling tournament on Sunday, March 12th at Susquehanna Township HS.

Competing at 105 pounds, she got a first round bye and then pinned her opponent in 3:23 to advance to the finals. She dropped that match in the finals, losing by fall to place second.

Reitnour was on the high school team this winter, going 2-1 on the season in varsity action as a backup at 106 pounds.

Congrats Samantha on placing 2nd!

Coaches Ventresca, Cooley, and Haley retiring from staff

Coach Cooley and Coach Ventresca in HersheyAfter 12 seasons as the head coach of the Boyertown HS wrestling team, Pete Ventresca announced he is stepping down to spend more time with his wife and son. Prior to becoming the head coach, he was an assistant for two seasons under head coach Bruce Hallman. During his tenure as the head coach, Ventresca compiled a record of 231-74 overall and a PAC record of 89-12. Those 231 wins puts him in second place among BASH head coaches, behind Hallman's 303. His winning percentage of .757 is tops.

His teams also won four District Duals titles, six section/league titles, seven district titles, and three regional championships. He led the team to the PIAA Class AAA duals championship match, settling for the second, in 2016 and was named the PIAA Class AAA Coach of the Year for 2016 as well. He has overseen 51 state qualifiers with 23 state medalists, including 2015 state champ Jordan Wood. He also coached 15 regional champs, 49 district champs, and 51 section/league champions.

Coach Ventresca and Coach Haley during the state duals in HersheyAlso announcing his retirement at the end of the season is long-time assistant coach John Cooley. Cooley joined Coach Hallman's staff in 1991 for the 91-92 season and stayed for 26 seasons. While he was on the coaching staff, the Bears compiled a record of 418-141 in dual meets, won five District Duals titles, 14 section/league titles, eight district titles, and three regional titles. He was part of the staff when Boyertown first got a wrestler into the state finals (Zack Miller in 1997) and was there to coach both of Boyertown's state champs (Mike Spaid and Jordan Wood).

Coach Haley came to Boyertown for the 2008-09 season after several years coaching at Methacton HS as both an assistant and the head coach. In his nine years on the staff, he's been a part of 4 District Duals titles, 4 section/league titles, 5 District titles, and 3 regional titles. In 2014 he was named USA Wrestling Magazine's Assistant Coach of the Year.

All three (fittingly, together) were recently inducted into the SE PA Wrestling Hall of Fame (story below). Congratulations to all three on outstanding coaching careers! Boyertown wrestling just wouldn't be the same without each of you. Good luck in the future and hope to see you matside real soon!

Boyertown qualifies six wrestlers for states

Bears sending six to states after South East AAA regional

The last step leading to the PIAA Wrestling Championships in Hershey is the South East AAA regional tournament and the Bears had another great performance at this year's tournament. Boyertown put three wrestlers in the finals and all three came home as regional champs. Seniors Matt Wilde (113) and Jakob Campbell (126) joined junior Elijah Jones (182) with regional gold medals.

J. Campbell gets win #150
Campbell gets his hand raised for the 150th time in his BASH career. Photo courtesy Bill Rudick.

Three others placed in the top five on their weight class to earn a trip to Hershey. Senior Hunter Vogels placed 4th at 160 to earn his first trip to states. In the critical 5th place matches, two more seniors punched their tickets to states as David Campbell (120) and Chris Berry (152) earned decisions to place fifth. Campbell returns for this second trip while Berry will be making his first.

Jakob Campbell claimed his first regional title and with his win in the semis became the first wrestler in Boyertown history to qualify for states four times. His quarterfinal win on Friday night (a third period fall) was win number 150 for him, making him the fourth BASH wrestler to hit that mark. He's currently tied with 2016 grad Lucas Miller with 152 wins.

Seniors Christian Fox and Michael Porreca each went 0-2 to close out their seasons and their high school careers. Fox finishes his season with a record of 14-11 and a career mark of 17-15. Porreca ended his season 25-16 with a career mark of 26-20.

Ventresca, Haley, and Cooley inducted to HOF; Wilde wins award

Coach Cooley, Coach Ventresca, and Coach Haley with their Hall of Fame plaques
Wilde was given the Sportsmanship Award by the D1 Officials

Prior to the South East AAA regional finals at Souderton, the South Eastern Pennsylvania Wrestling Hall of Fame inducted seven new members. Three of those new inductees are on the current high school coaching staff.

Head Coach Pete Ventresca and assistants John Cooley and Tony Haley were all inducted for their coaching careers. Ventresca has been the head coach of the Bears for the last 12 years and was an assistant for 2 years prior to that. Haley has been an assistant for the Bears for the last 8 years and prior to that was a coach at Methacton. Cooley is in his 26th year as a Boyertown assistant coach.

Also every year before the regional finals, the District 1 officials association gives out a Sportsmanship Award to a wrestler who shows great sportsmanship on and off the mat during the season and the regional tournament. This year that award was given to Boyertown senior Matt Wilde.

Congratulations to Coach Ventresca, Coach Cooley, Coach Haley, and Matt Wilde on the well-deserved honors!

Bears win fourth straight District West title

Bears win 4th straight District title

After coming in second place at the PAC Championships at home last weekend, the Bears wanted to make a statement at the District 1-AAA West tournament on Saturday at Spring-Ford HS. Heading into the finals matches, Boyertown trailed PAC champ Owen J. Roberts by just half a point. When the finals were over, the Bears were in first place - 12 points ahead of OJR - to claim their fourth straight District 1-AAA West title title.

The Bears were headlined by five gold medalists in Matt Wilde (113), David Campbell (120), Jakob Campbell (126), Chris Berry (152), and Elijah Jones (182). Placing third was Christian Fox (132) while Hunter Vogels (160) and Michael Porreca (195) placed fourth to qualify for regionals. Chase Stehman placed sixth at 106 but doesn't qualify for regionals (only top four go).

Jakob Campbell was named the tournament's Outstanding Wrestler in winning the 126 pound title over fellow state qualifier from last year Matt Marino from Garnet Valley. The championship was Jakob's fourth District title, to go with his four PAC championships. He's the fourth Boyertown wrestler to claim four District titles, joining Jeremy Minich (Class of 2011) and last year's teammates Gregg Harvey and Jordan Wood.

Several Bears saw their seasons come to an end on Saturday. Senior Mason Grohoski went 1-2 at 220 and finishes his season and career with a 12-17 record. Sophomore Brett Breidor lost his pigtail match at 138 and ends his season at 13-20. Fellow sophomore Jacob Miller went 1-2 at 170 to end his season at 25-16. Two freshmen closed out their debut seasons as Chase Stehman went 2-3 at 106 (season at 21-18) and Evan Mortimer went 1-2 at 145 (season at 11-22).

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