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Berks Catholic shines at BCIAA Individual Wrestling Tournament

Berks Catholic wrestlers earned five gold medals and Daniel Boone won three as the 2023 BCIAA Individual Wrestling Tournament concluded Saturday at the Geigle.

Berks Catholic junior Brody Kline won the 215-pound title with a 17-5 major decision over Tucker Bellanca of Muhlenberg, giving the Saints their fifth gold of the day and helping them win the team title for the second straight year.

“We do things that make billy goats puke,” Kline said as to what makes his team special. “Every day we’re doing something and it’s paying off.”

Kline won the event last year as a sophomore and said he enjoys wrestling at 215 and has respect for his competitors.

“It (winning) feels pretty good,” Kline said. “At 215 we have some heavy hitters out there. And I think it’s a pretty good weight class to win. I have a bunch of respect for everyone out there. And yeah, it just feels pretty good.”

Junior Tucker Hogan of Daniel Boone repeated as the county champion at 189 class and was named the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestling. Tucker won in dominant fashion with a technical fall over Berks Catholic’s Timothy Saylor.

Tucker Hogan, Daniel Boone (ANDREW HELLER - READING EAGLE)
Tucker Hogan, Daniel Boone (ANDREW HELLER – READING EAGLE)

“It’s cool; it’s my second (county) title and I’m hoping for a third next year,” Hogan said

Hogan finished third in the state in the 189 last year. Regarding he and his team’s success, Hogan said the key is staying loose with a positive mindset.

“I think it’s just having fun,” Hogan said. “When you’re in a happy place, wrestling comes easier so it’s just doing what you love to do.”

With the country tournament finished, Hogan said he hopes the good times continue to roll to a state title.

“I think my training has been the same,” Hogan said. “I believe in my training and we’re just gonna keep doing what I’ve been doing and hopefully it leads to a state title.”

Berks Catholic’s Gabe Davis extended his season record to 22-0 by defeating Blaise Eidle of Wilson 4-2 in the 172-pound final.

Gabe Davis, Berks Catholic (ANDREW HELLER - READING EAGLE)
Gabe Davis, Berks Catholic (ANDREW HELLER – READING EAGLE)

“It starts with letting no one take you down,” Davis said regarding how he has stayed undefeated. “And then from there you utilize and execute your holes, but ultimately it starts with nobody taking you down.”

The title was Davis’ first at the county level and he said he hopes can maintain his perfect record as the postseason tournaments continue.

“You got to be confident to keep something like that (winning streak); cocky and confident,” Davis said.

Also for Berks Catholic, Carmine Lenzi earned a pin in 3:05 to defeat Caleb Hafer of Muhlenberg to win at 152; Brayden Hartranft defeated Hamburg’s Chase Horman 6-4 decision in the 114 final; and Marvin Armistead defeated Exeter’s Michael Boria 9-6 decision in the 133 final.

Repeating as county champion at 127 pounds was Daniel Boone junior Dean Houser, who defeated Jacob Deysher of Brandywine Heights 5-3 in the final.

Dean Houser, Daniel Boone (ANDREW HELLER - READING EAGLE)
Dean Houser, Daniel Boone (ANDREW HELLER – READING EAGLE)

Houser finished sixth at states in the 127 last year. After the match, Houser explained the importance of the mental side of the sport.

“I’d say this sport is like 90% mental,” Houser said. “I’ve heard everyone say it, but you don’t really realize it until you get into the top level.

“I think I need to focus on getting my mental game in check. If I go in and I’m nervous, I shut down. So I think if I work on that a little bit I will improve (at states).”

The matchup at 145 between Berks Catholic’s John Maurer and Daniel Boone’s Brett Marchiano went into overtime after Maurer received two points for a takedown in the final seconds of the third period to tie it at 3-3.

After a scoreless sudden-death overtime period, Marchiano earned a takedown in the first 30 seconds of the second overtime for a 5-3 win. Marchiano, a senior, also won the county title as a freshman.

“Always wrestle your heart out,” Marchiano said. “You gotta hustle, stay on um and don’t let up.”

Brett Marchiano, Daniel Boone (ANDREW HELLER - READING EAGLE)
Brett Marchiano, Daniel Boone (ANDREW HELLER – READING EAGLE)

The finals got underway in exciting fashion at 107 with Wilson’s McKaden Speece defeating Berks Catholic’s Christopher Smith, who was 21-0 heading into the match, by a 10-3 decision.

Though he earned a gold medal in just his first appearance in the county tournament, Speece already has his sights set on bigger goals.


“It doesn’t mean anything less or more; it just means one step closer to the state tournament,” Speece said. “I want to get on top that podium this year.”

Speece, who has been wrestling for eight years, came into the final match with a clear game plan after defeating Tulpehocken’s Abramm Schaffer 12-0 in the semifinals.

“I went in there with a game plan,” Speece said. “I knew my game plan, I knew what my opponent was gonna do and, at the end, I got the job done and came away with the win.

“I feel like my best attribute is on under hooks. I feel like nobody can stop that. And if I believe that, then nobody can stop it.”

Wilson’s Jimmy Garcia defeated Berks Catholic’s Gunnar Maciejewski 4-2 in the 121 final.

Schuylkill Valley’s Ian Vitalo won the 139 final with a 4-2 decision over Ashton Warchol of Exeter.

Gov. Mifflin’s Sam Moyer pinned Exeter’s Finn Strauss in 1:53 to earn the 160 title.

In the final match of the day, Twin Valley’s Ean Winchester defeated Wyomissing’s Caleb Brewer 5-0 decision in the 285 final.


Source: Berkshire mont

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