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OJR's Petrucelli earns 100th career win at District 1-3A North tournament

by Jeff Stover, Pottstown Mercury

Posted on February 23, 2019

Article originally appeared here:
http://papreplive.com/2019/02/23/ojrs-petrucelli-earns-100th-career-win-at-district-1-3a-north-tournament/

POTTSTOWN >> He didn't mind having to wrestle twice Friday.

Certainly not with the prize awaiting him at the end of his night's work.

Antonio Petrucelli capped the first day of action from the District 1-AAA North Tournament by joining the Owen J. Roberts' career win fraternity. He buzzed past the opposition in his two bouts to reach the 100-win plateau for his scholastic career.

The effort was so workmanlike - and so quick - Owen J. Roberts' junior 138-pounder had enough energy left for a workout following his quarterfinal-round victory over Conestoga's Frederick Mucklow. That one took all 29 seconds for Petrucelli, often referred to by the nickname 'Tote' around the OJR wrestling team, to reach triple digits in the win column.

"Whatever the draw gives, that's what I do," he said. "I just compete to the best of my ability."

He did that both trips out on the mat. Petrucelli (35-6) started the night off with a second-period technical fall of Great Valley's Nick Mort. From a 9-1 lead after one period, Petrucelli executed an escape from a bottom start, then did some catch-and-release with Mort before picking up three back points to secure the tech-fall.

"I just went out and wrestled my match," he said. "I went in knowing I could win."

Among the OJR alumni Petrucelli joins in the hundred-win club are older brother Dominick, a member of the Class of 2015 who graduated with 102 career wins. It's within the realm of possibility Little Brother could match Big Brother's win total this weekend.

"He (Dominick) texted me leading up to the tournament," Antonio said. "He told me the 100th win is the same kind of match as the others, and to do the best I can."

The inaugural District 1-AAA North tourney, as might be guessed, had the appearance of a Pioneer Athletic Conference competition plus three ... the others being Conestoga, Great Valley and Souderton.

PAC schools placed in seven of the top eight team slots after Day 1, with Spring-Ford (94 points) leading the way ahead of Boyertown (74) and Owen J. Roberts (73.5). Conestoga broke the string up, placing fourth with 48 points, but Methacton (47), Upper Perkiomen (46.5), Phoenixville (40.5) and Pottsgrove (39) continued the run.

"That's exactly what it is," Methacton head coach Brad Clark said after seeing five of his grapplers - Jorge Carmona (120), Osvaldo Carbajal (126), Kibwe McNair (138), Roman Moser (160), Tonee Ellis (220) - qualify for Saturday's semifinal round. "I was happy with the way we competed. The kids showed a lot of pride. That's very important this time of year."

Boyertown came away from opening day with seven in gold-medal contention. Capping the Bears' day was a 4-1 decision by Robert Terra over Great Valley 285-pounder Tim Dyer.

"That was an exciting match for him," Boyertown head coach Dave Jones said. "It was a chance for him to demonstrate the hard work he's done."

Along with Terra, the Bears have Julien Maldonado (106), Kade Davidheiser (113) Dominic Sheridan (126), Brett Breidor (152), Evan Mortimer (160) and Jacob Miller (195) still in the championship bracket.

"It was a good first day," Jones added. "I was happy with the way the guys wrestled."

Spring-Ford advanced a whopping 10 grapplers into the semifinal round: Dominic Ortlip (106), Shane Reynolds (113), Quinn Tobin (120), Alex Johns (132), Jack McGill (138), Zach Needles (145), Dirk Nugent (152), Chase Smith (170), Joey Milano (182) and Seth Brogan (285). All told, PAC teams took 48 of 64 possible semifinal spots, the other 16 split between Conestoga, Great Valley and Souderton.

"The kids did a nice job," head coach Tim Seislove said. "They wrestled pretty tough. There were kids who were down early, but they came back to win. Ortlip (4-2 over Upper Perkiomen's Matt Milkowich) and Johns (4-2 over Pottsgrove's Josh Cerrito) both battled back."

For his part, Seislove welcomed the addition of the three non-PAC schools to the District North fold.

"It's nice to have Souderton," he said. "Great Valley and Conestoga were in our section years ago.

"Obviously, we (PAC) have the numbers. But the others have good solid kids."

PAC regular-season champion Owen J. Roberts' semifinalists, in addition to Petrucelli, are David Forrest (120), Cole Meredith (145), Daniel Mancini (152), Connor Quinn (160) and Ricky McCutchen (170).

Host Pottstown advanced a pair into the semifinals: Demond Thompson at 138 and Destyn Snyder at 285. Snyder needed a sudden victory win over OJR's Richard Nathan, 3-1, to reach the final four.

NOTES >> Great Valley's Ethan Seeley, who came into districts perfect at 29-0, maintained that standing through Friday's opening rounds. The senior 195-pounder came off a first-round bye to score a first-period pin. ... Saturday's schedule kicks off at 9:30 a.m. with first-round consolations, followed by semifinals and second-round consis at 11 a.m. Third-round consis at 1:30 p.m. and consi semifinals at 2:30 p.m. precede the medal-round matches (first, third, fifth) at 4 p.m.

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