SHILLINGTON >> He's been working hard this winter to get his spot in Boyertown's varsity lineup.
Finally able to reach his weight class, Brody Coleman is wasting no time making his presence known.
The Bear freshman, appearing at 106 for the first time, got his season off to a rollicking start at the Gov. Mifflin Holiday Tournament. Colmean capped a solid two days of mat action with a gold-medal finish at the base of his team's lower-weight configuration.
Coleman was one of four area winners on the day, including Bears teammates Chance Babb and Luke Heimbach and Pottsgrove's Dominic DeMeno. Coleman rolled up a 1:28 pin of Elizabethtown Area's Hayden Best in the championship final, the third of three falls he scored at Mifflin.
He put Best away with a reverse cradle off a 5-0 lead.
"A hard diet and working out," he said of the process that got him to drop 8-9 pounds toward his weight class. "I feel real comfortable."
He made a concerted effort to leave the opposition feeling uncomfortable. Coleman scored a 3;47 drop of Cape Henlopen's Jacob Goodsell in his first bout Wednesday, then needed just 32 seconds to dispatch Brandywine Heights' Jacob Greiss in the semifinal round. In-between, he decisioned Upper Perkiomen's Gabriel Tulone.
His preference, obviously, is to score pins. Bar holds helped him do that at Mifflin.
"I used a bar tilt to get an easy three points," he said. "I also like to use a half-bar."
Coleman was the opening act in his team's strong effort in the lower weights. Between him and Babb at 152, the Bears had four championship qualifiers and another three in wrestlebacks, scoring seven medals in the eight weight classes.
Heimbach kept Boyertown's lower-weight roll going with a gritty 3-0 decision of Susquenita's Mason McLendon at 113. The junior, who qualified for the gold-medal round with a 13-2 major decision of Mechanicsburg's Tyler Budman, got his winning margin in the third period, using an escape and takedown to break up the 0-0 duel.
"I knew I could get out," Heimbach said. "Once I was out, I got to his legs. He really kept his distance, but I was okay with the 0-0 score. "
Babb (13-2), coming off an eighth-place state medal showing last year, built up a 14-3 lead on Palmerton Area's Dennis Lombardi through the first period of the 152 final. He ultimately finished Lombardi off with a 4:54 pin to cap a tournament that saw him claim the Outstanding Wrestler Award.
"We're all doing well," he said. "We're working in the room, and it shows ... pushing each other every day."
Babb validated his OW selection with an overall dominating performance. He had pins of Pine Grove's William Ulsh (4:33) and Cocalico's Toby Haldeman (3;10) prior to a four-minute technical fall of Tri Valley's Mason Boltz in the semifinals.
"I feel stronger," he said. "I can outwork, outscramble and out-technique every one."
Another local champion was Pottsgrove's DeMeno, who edged Dape Henlopen's Dalton Deevey in the 215 final, 4-3.
"Being able to ride him in the second, then pushing myself until I could do no more," DeMeno said of his championship form. "Learning the slide-by helped a lot, and knowing what to do when we were neutral."
After a 4-4 showing last year, DeMeno has a gaudier 11-2 mark at this stage in his junior season.
"Working hard in the off-season helped," he said. "I want to do better things this year."
Boyertown's third-place team showing was bolstered by Gavin Sheridan's silver-medal finish at 120, a third by Shane Stankina (126) and fourth by Dominic Sheridan (145) and Beck Babb's fifth at 132. Sheridan fell short of Malvern Prep's Jason Torres 4-2 while Stankina doubled up Plymouth Whitemarsh's Ashton Wittenburg, 8-4.
"An overall good tournament," was the assessment of Boyertown head coach Tony Haley.
Upper Perkiomen's showing featured a trio of bronze-medal finishes. Gabriel Tulone was third at 106 off a 9-0 major decision of Mifflin's Jayleah Pletz. Brandan Rozanski finished with a 3-1 decision of Brandywine Heights' Jacob Deysher and Tommy Flud posted a 5-2 verdict on Malvern Prep's Bryce Pippin at 215.
NOTES >> Upper Perk finished 12th in the team standings (68 points), and Pottsgrove was 14th (53). Cape Henlopen (Del.) was the team champion with 195 points, and Malvern Prep second with 182.5. ... Prior to the evening's medal session, six individuals were inducted into Governor Mifflin's Wrestling Hall of Fame from the classes of 2020 and 2021. Inductees were Tom Ott, Mike Metzger and Jason Stephens (Class of 2021) and Joel Johnson, Marcus Johnson and Craig Sheetz (2022).