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Boyertown opens title defense with big win over OJR

by Dennis Weller, Special to the Pottstown Mercury

Posted on January 7, 2010

BOYERTOWN - The final team score in Wednesday night's Pioneer Athletic Conference wrestling opener between Boyertown and Owen J. Roberts certainly doesn't tell the whole story. There were more than a few hard-fought bouts that certainly could have gone either way. But in the end, the Bears began the defense of their league title with a 53-14 win.

Boyertown (8-3 overall) took the first six bouts of the night to open up a 27-0 lead, but just about every match after that was a battle.

"There were a lot of really close matches," said Boyertown coach Pete Ventresca. "A lot of things went our way. That builds up on you a lot when that happens. They (the Wildcats) are a tough program. They've got a lot of good guys who continue to improve every year. They're about ready to come into their own."

"Our guys fought," said OJR coach Steve DeRafelo. "There were some great bouts. (The Bears) are the class of the league. They've got great kids, they've got great coaches, and they wrestle a great schedule."

Boyertown sent three state qualifiers from last year out onto the mat in the first four bouts, with Matt Malfaro, Jeremy Minich, and Alex Pellicciotti all winning by pins. Peter Jones won by a 4-0 decision in the third bout and Jon Neiman followed Pellicciotti's pin with a 10-5 decision. A 3-2 come-from-behind win by Adam Benfield made it 27-0.

Jordan Moser won by a technical fall to get the Wildcats (2-4 overall) on the board. Then Chase Garber and Brock Hallman ended close battles with pins for the Bears and Ryan Schwager won by a technical fall for a 44-5 lead.

Tyler Mauger picked up another win for the hosts by a 7-4 score and then the Wildcats gained their second win of the night when Scott Syrek reversed Zach Heffner in the third overtime period for a 6-5 win at heavyweight. OJR's Peter Fratantoni and the Bears' Adam Kolb picked up pins to end the night.

"Our kids fought," said DeRafelo. "But if we're going to wrestle teams like that, we're going to need to wrestle better."

"I'm very proud of the way my guys performed tonight," said Ventresca. "They showed a lot of courage and a lot of heart."

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