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Pellicciotti: mat 'work paying off'

by Jim Davidheiser, Boyertown Times

Posted on January 5, 2010

NEW CUMBERLAND -- Alex Pellicciotti was working overtime here last Saturday.

During his "eight-hour shift" at the Cedar Cliff Duals tournament, the Boyertown High senior wrestler was multi-dimensional, his four individual victories doing a balancing act with his team leadership chores.

Indeed, Pellicciotti has matured in a variety of aspects.

His mat acumen (skills, technique, balance, confidence) is beyond impressive. And as one of the Bear team captains, he's exhibiting the requisite traits of a designated mentor. (On various occasions last Saturday, he tended to teammates who needed a dose of encouragement or a reminder about proper decorum.)

His yeoman-like performance on the Cedar Cliff mats included: 1:05 pin over Salesianum's Joe Finnochiaro; 45-second pin over Altoona's Wendell Myers; 10-1 major decision over Cedar Cliff's Dave Firestone; 1:52 pin over Parkland's Forest Touchberry.

Pellicciotti: "I feel pretty confident right now ... and I can see that a lot of hard work (including during the off-season) is beginning to pay off."

"Overall, I think that our team looked solid today ... but I know there's a few things we have to work on in practice ... and some of the guys gave up too many takedowns."

With plenty of regular-season action remaining, the 135-pound Pellicciotti is, at least, beginning to think about Hershey in mid-March, when the 2010 PIAA Championships unfold.

The two-time seventh-place state medalist has a realistic goal: "I want to place higher than seventh this year ... I feel confident that I can place higher than seventh if things continue to work out for me ... and as far as the (February) PIAA Team Championships, I'd like to see us place among the top six in Pennsylvania."

The BASH senior (with a current season record of 15-2 and a career mark of 140-21) has already committed to (Division One) Bucknell University.

"I'm pretty excited about going up there ... and getting in the practice room ... I'll be wrestling at 133."

More than likely, according to Pellicciotti, he'll be majoring in accounting on the collegiate academic side of things. And you can bet that his early college decision will allow for less anxiety as the prime portion of his final high school campaign unfolds.

Boyertown came oh-so-close to claiming the Cedar Cliff Duals team title.

The locals opened with a 56-11 victory over Salesianum School (Delaware) and followed that up with a 64-15 rout of Altoona. Host Cedar Cliff found itself on the short end of a 44-25 final; and in the championship match, the BASH grapplers were nipped by perennial District 11 contender Parkland, 32-30.

In addition to Pellicciotti, Adam Kolb (112) and Jeremy Minich (125) went 4-0 on the day. Kolb, a senior, moved to 8-4 on the season and 25-18 career; Minich, a junior, advanced to 11-2 and 84-22.

Junior Zach Heffner (189 pounds, 11-4/51-17) was an 8-2 decision victor over Salesianum's Wayne Purnell, a seventh-place medalist at last month's Beast of the East tourney.

In the nail-biter match against Parkland, the Bears claimed a forfeit win at 285 pounds, when Parkland sent an ineligible (weigh-in numbers) wrestler out on the mat to compete. (One of the BASH coaches recognized the situation and advised the official of the violation.)

Boyertown High head coach Pete Ventresca , despite the finale/heartbreaker loss to Parkland, was pleased with his squad's overall performance ... and the Bears' progress to date.

"I thought that our boys wrestled with a lot of heart today ... we wrestled some extremely tough competition and held our own.

"I believe that we are starting to really come together as a team ... and I'm extremely optimistic about the future."

And that "coming together," that optimism is certainly not lost on the Boyertown wrestling phenom which is Alex Pellicciotti.

More overtime regimens await him.

MAT MEMOS -- On the docket this week ... the BASH grapplers host improved Owen J. Roberts on Wednesday (Jan. 6) and compete in the highly-competitive Cumberland Valley Duals on Saturday (Jan. 9); prior to the Roberts match, the locals were 7-3 in duals action with a 453-237 cumulative points differential.

NOTE: Jim Davidheiser is a freelance contributor to Berks-Mont Newspapers; contact him at 610-367-5215 or at

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