Boyertown Bears Wrestling

PAC wrestlers' progress slowed by power outage at Southeast 3A Regional

by Jeff Stover, Pottstown Mercury

Posted on March 3, 2023

Article originally appeared here:

FRANCONIA >> It's the kind of momentum-stopper not generally experienced in local wrestling circles.

Maybe never, in fact.

The Southeast AAA Regional tournament was cruising along Friday, with the first round of matches being completed in good order. The wrestlers, coaches and fans in attendance at Souderton High School were anticipating the start of quarterfinal competition around 8 p.m., looking to see which grapplers would be one win away from qualifying for the PIAA Class AAA Championships next weekend.

That scenario never came to fruition. A power outage hit the school, the result of a transformer malfunctioning as a result of a vehicular accident on a nearby road. While emergency power kicked in, it was announced a waiting period of 30 minutes would be taken to see if the power could be restored.

The waiting period came and went, with no restoration of power. At that point, the night's mat action was halted and scheduled to resume Saturday morning.

Up to that point, several Pioneer Athletic Conference teams rolled through the opening round. Owen J. Roberts, in particular, advanced five of its seven medalists from last weekend's District 1-AAA North Tournament into the quarters, among them 152-pound champ and Outstanding Wrestler Sam Gautreau courtesy of a 1:48 pin of Upper Dublin's Austin Pendleton. It finished the session tied with Kennett for second place in the team standings (20 points) behind Council Rock South's 45.

"Everyone's dealing with the same thing," head coach Steve DeRafelo said. "Our guys have been training hard. We're looking forward to this."

Roberts' other first-night winners were Mason Karkoska (139), Skylur Davidheiser (145), Dean Bechtold (189) and Dillon Bechtold (215).

Three of them posted pins, Dillon Bechtold advancing when Pennsbury's Donovan Frascella defaulted with an injury 34 seconds in.

Perkiomen Valley, like OJR scoring seven medals at districts, had six winners in the opening round: Max Tancini (107), Kelly Kakos (152), Gavin Pascoe (160), Carson Pascoe (172), Carter Euker (189) and Grant Euker (215). That got the Vikes (18 points) seventh in the team standings.

"We expected to get six out of districts," head coach Dave Thomas noted. "We hope to have six move on to states. The kids have worked hard all year."

Spring-Ford had five members of its seven-man contingent advance to quarters: Gus Smith (107), Cole Smith (114), Quinn Smith (127), Anthony Attilio (160) and Mason Richards (172). Quinn Smith (27-3) headed the Rams' pin parade with a 16-second drop of Interboro's Ryan Rossiter.

Boyertown and Methacton had pairs of first-round winners: Gavin Sheridan (133) and Cooper Gardner (285) for the Bears, Ryan Hayes (114) and Matty Shumaker (152) for the Warriors. Pottsgrove's Dominic DeMeno (215) and Upper Perkiomen's Ben Godshall (107) also came away with victories on opening night.

The night's highlights included a pair of wrestlers who reached the 100-win plateau for their scholastic careers: Souderton's A.J. Slayton and West Chester Henderson's Carmen Cortese.

Stayton, a senior 133-pounder and 1-AAA North runner-up last weekend, hit the mark with a 12-0 major decision of Norristown's Nikosh Marston.Cortese, a senior and 1-AAA West champion, scored a 4:16 technical fall on Strath Haven's Sam Harrington.


Saturday's wrestling will commence with the quarterfinals at 9:30 a.m., followed by the semifinals and four rounds of consolations. Hall of Fame inductions and other awards will be presented tentatively at 5:30 p.m., followed by the medal rounds at 6 p.m.

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