Thanks to a PIAA rule that restricts wrestlers to no more than five matches in one day of competition, Octorara and Phoenixville had to wait until Monday to find out who the District 1, Class AA champion might be. The two teams finished tied atop the team standings with 146 points apiece at the conclusion of wrestling last Saturday night.With only the top two finishers at each weight class advancing to next week's Southeast Regional tournament at Wilson-West Lawn High School, any third place finisher who hadn't wrestled the loser of the championship finals gets a shot at "true-second place."For Octorara, that's Ed Fedourich at 152, who battled back through wrestle-backs for a third place finish.
Fedourich, traveled to Council Rock North High School Monday for the match for "true-second place" against Bristol's Ryan Bunda. Fedourich scored an early takedown, and tacked on a couple sets of back points on the way to a 12-4 major decision over Bunda. With Fedourich's victory, Octorara picked up valuable team points to break a tie with Phoenixville, winning the team title outright.
Octorara came into the final rounds sitting in third place, nine points behind the leader, Harriton, and seven down from second-place Phoenixville. But the Braves won five of the irsix remaining bouts, crowning four champs, a runner-up, and Fedourich's third-place bout, while the Phantoms managed just two champs.
"We knew coming in that it would be tough to contend with four empty weight classes," said coach Mark Durante, who was named Coach of the Year in District 1 AA. "Phoenixville had a full line-up, so they were scoring where we didn't have a chance to. So every one of our guys that got a win for us today chipped in. The guys in the finals really came through for us in winning head-to-heads with Phoenixville, or by getting bonus points."
Octorara's first champ came at 125, where Mike Blankley turned a front headlock into a takedown and two near fall points that spelled the difference in a 7-5 win over the Phantoms' Steve Lord. Blankley's win kicked off a streak of three straight champs for Octorara.
At 130, Jason Stoltzfus rang up a 16-0 tech fall win over Plumstead Christian's Jesse Bonner, and Dan Miller followed with a 16-3 major decision over Andrew Bone of St. PiusX for the title at 135.
Octorara's Josh Smith (171) captured his second consecutive District 1 title with a 39-second pin over Harriton's Doug Roche. Smith, who had a 17-second pin to start the day, and a technical fall in semi-finals, was named the tournament's Outstanding Wrestler.
Phoenixville's two champs came at 160 at 189.At 160, Joe Mandrusiak stuck Harriton's John Turella in 1:21 for the title, while Rob Newcomb needed just 1:45 to come up with a key pin over Octorara's Nate Ronan.
District 1 Class AA Championships at Springfield Township High School.