The outstanding performance of Boyertown senior Chance Babb in the Gov. Mifflin Holiday Wrestling Tournament was overshadowed by a hometown athlete who basked in an unprecedented achievement.
Gov. Mifflin junior Jayleah Pletz became the first girl in the 47-year history of the tournament to earn a medal when she placed fourth at 106 pounds.
“I’m really proud,” Pletz said. “It just shows how girls can place in this tournament. It’s shows how girls are stepping up and that we are not just girls wrestlers. We can do the same things boys can do.”
Pletz, a two-time girls state champion, lost her first bout on the opening day of the 22-team tournament on Wednesday. She rebounded with three straight falls before losing 9-0 to Upper Perkiomen’s Gabe Tulone in the match for third place.
“I came out here and tried my best to pull out third but it just didn’t go the way I wanted it to,” Pletz said.
While the loudest cheers were directed towards Pletz when she received her award, Babb made the most noise on the mat.
Boyertown’s returning state medalist dominated the 152-pound weight class, winning three bouts by fall and the other by technical fall.
It was a big jump for Babb, who was the runner-up at 126 pounds in 2019, the last year the tournament was held. The 2020 event was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“I looked at the bracket, I didn’t see any really, really tough names that stood out to me,” Babb said. “My goal coming in here was tech fall or pin all my opponents and get some other accolades besides just winning the tournament.”
Babb achieved that when he was voted the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler after pinning Palmerton’s Dennis Lombardi in the finals.
Babb’s Boyertown teammates Brody Coleman and Luke Heimbach won the first two titles, helping Boyertown finish third in the team standings.
Coleman won at 106, scoring three falls and winning the Harry Steever Award for the most falls in the least amount of time. He pinned Elizabethtown’s Hayden Best in 1:27 in the championship round.
Heimbach won at 113, scoring a 3-0 decision over Susquenita’s Mason McLendon in the finals.
Gavin Sheridan also reached the finals for Boyertown at 120, losing a 4-2 decision to Malvern Prep’s Jason Torres when his potential tying takedown at the buzzer was ruled too late.
Boyertown had seven wrestlers finish in the top eight and scored 172 points. Cape Henlopen (Del.) finished first with 195 points followed by Malvern Prep with 182.5.
“Our goal coming in was five or six finalists,” Babb said. “We didn’t quite make that but it was still a good tournament.”
Brandywine Heights 132-pounder Joshua Sterner was the only other Berks wrestler to reach the finals. Sterner won three matches by fall before losing 14-0 to Susquenita’s Dominic Caldwell in the finals.
Also placing for Brandywine were Jacob Deysher, fourth at 120; Jacob Greiss, sixth at 106; and Dillon Mearkle, sixth at 215.
Oley Valley had four placewinners led by Vinny Dick, who took fourth at 113. Chase Parisan rebounded from his first two losses of the season to finish fifth at 106. Jacob Busnach was seventh at 160 and Ryan Saupee was eighth at 215.
Wyomissing had just one placewinner, 285-pounder Caleb Brewer. Brewer pinned Gov. Mifflin’s Ethan Hoffman in the match for third place.
Hoffman was one of seven Gov. Mifflin placewinners, led by third-place finishers Callum Hazlett at 132 and Cole Lang at 172.
Also placing for the Mustangs were Isaiah Rivera, eighth at 113; Eathan Vogelin, fifth at 138; Sam Moyer, fourth at 152 and Pletz, the girl who made history.
“It was nice being the first girl to place in this tournament,” Pletz said.
Source: Berkshire mont