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Boyertown's Jacob Miller wins rematch for title; Spring-Ford's Joey Milano tops podium

by Jeff Stover, Pottstown Mercury

Posted on March 2, 2019

Article originally appeared here:

FRANCONIA >> Déjà vu all over again?

That was the initial appearance given by the 195-pound championship match at the South East AAA Regional Saturday. Boyertown's Jacob Miller and Great Valley's Ethan Seeley, who locked up in a memorable title bout last weekend - one Seeley won in a three-overtime clash - appeared headed on the same course at Souderton.

But Miller wrote a different finish to the rematch. In overtime, Miller prevailed in a 3-1 sudden-victory decision.

"This is definitely one of the biggest of my life," Miller said while enjoying the adulation of teammates, family members and friends following the inspired effort against the previously-unbeaten Seeley. "I hopefully will remember this for a long time."

The Pioneer Athletic Conference's other individual champion completed a more dominating run in his first time at this level. Spring-Ford sophomore Joey Milano completed his roll through the 182-pound field with a second-period pin of Downingtown West's Chase Mielnik.

The rematch between Miller and Seeley saw the titans go 1-1 in regulation time, Miller countering Seeley's first-period escape with one of his own in the third. Miller (36-6) looked to be on a collision course with a second silver-medal finish when Seeley (35-1) tried a single-leg takedown in the first OT period, but he was able to fend off the Patriot senior's move.

"Last week, I was passive on my feet," Miller recalled. "The idea this time was to move, move and move some more, trying to score as much as I could."

A high-scoring match never materialized, but Miller didn't mind ... particularly after he got the decisive takedown that erased memories of last weekend's finish.

"He's a heck of a wrestler," Miller said of Seeley. "I trusted my wrestling ability to get out of it (trouble)."

While many fans in the Souderton gym figured a Miller/Seeley rematch to be a certainty, Jacob was more pragmatic in his feelings.

"That was the goal," he said, "but (Souderton's Bruno) Stolfi and (Pennridge's Logan) Green gave me good matches. I knew I had to wrestle three good matches, and I did."

When Miller faced Green in the quarterfinals, he came away with a 4-2 decision. Against Stolfi, he completed a more-comfortable 7-2 verdict.

His ultimate goal, of course, is making the medal podium at Hershey's Giant Center one week from now. His first trip to Chocolatetown U.S.A. ended in a DNP (did not place) visit.

"Hopefully that's the case," he said, "that I put my best foot forward and show how I and Boyertown wrestling work."

Milano, whose first high-school post-season was halted by injury after the PAC tournament, scored two technical falls in his early-round matches with Marple Newtown's Armen Dervishian and Harry S Truman's Frank Regalis. He followed with a 9-4 decision of Unionville's Tyler Mousaw to set the stage for his title bout with Mielnik.

"I wrestled him two times before, and they were the same pin combo," he said. "I don't think about what they (opponents) do. I do what I want to do."

A third championship finalist, Owen J. Roberts' Antonio Petrucelli, had his own deja vu moment at 138. Petrucelli (43-8) had faced Souderton's Tyler Williams at districts, coming up short in their semifinal 3-2; this time around, Williams took a 9-3 victory in the bout designated as the marquee final.

Brett Breidor will cap his scholastic wrestling career at Boyertown with a visit to Hershey for the individual championships. The Bear senior accomplished that by winning his fifth-place 152-pound bout with Central Bucks South's Corey Showalter, scoring a 4:50 technical fall.

"It's the greatest feeling of my career, " he said. "It showed how the work I did over the years paid off."

It was a complete turnaround from their previous clash Friday. In that one, Showaker pinned Breidor in their quarterfinal-round matchup.

"I wasn't in the right mindset," Breidor said. "I knew if I got my head together straight, I could accomplish what I wanted to accomplish."

Owen J. Roberts' Ricky McCutchen took the similar route, earning his first trip to states in the fifth-place match by technical fall at 170.

Finishing third in their weight classes were Boyertown's Julien Maldonado (106), OJR's Daniel Mancini (152) and Connor Quinn (160), Spring-Ford's Jack McGill (138) and Methacton's Tonee Ellis (220). Spring-Ford's Shane Reynolds (113) and Chase Smith (170), Methacton's Kibwe McNair (138) and Boyertown's Evan Mortimer (160) placed fourth in their divisions.

The top five wrestlers from each weight class qualified for the state tournament. The action opens at Hershey's Giant Center Thursday, with Class AA kicking off 9 a.m. with preliminaries, first round and first-round consolations, and Class AAA with the same at 4 p.m.

NOTES >> Spring-Ford, with 103.5 points and four state qualifiers, finished third in the team standings behind Council Rock South (197.5) and Council Rock North (114.5). Boyertown and Owen J. Roberts were fourth and fifth in the final order with 90 and 86.5 points, respectively. ... Seven wrestling luminaries were inducted into the Southeastern Pa. Hall of Fame prior to the medal-round matches. The Inductees were Michael Chase (Council Rock), Fred DiChiara (Centennial School District), Glenn Kaiser (Hatboro-Horsham), George and Stephen Kovach (West Chester East), Thomas A. Long (William Tennent) and John Staudenmayer (Plymouth-Whitemarsh). .... Brad Silimperi, head coach of Council Rock South, was named the district's Coach of the Year.

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