By Don Seeley
HOLLAND — There was no gold, but plenty of medals.
Although Owen J. Roberts head coach Steve DeRafelo didn’t get a matside seat for Sunday evening’s championship finals of the Escape the Rock Tournament, he was quite busy throughout the day when eight of his wrestlers worked their way through the consolations to pick up a combined eight medals.
Junior Colby Frank and senior Brad Trego led the group with third-place finishes at 126 and 285 pounds, respectively, while Kyle Shronk and Gordon Bolig settled for fourths at 160 and 182. Teammtes Adam Moser (fifth at 145), Tyler Rogers (sixth at 170), Dominic Petrucelli (seventh at 132), and Aston White (eighth at 106).
The Hill School also had three medalists. Chad Saunders led the way with a fourth at 132, with Kostya Golobokov taking sixth at 285 and Nick Flanigan adding an eighth at 145.
Overall, Owen J. Roberts finished second in the 32-team field with 172.5 points. District 11 power Parkland (189.5) won the title, with Solanco third (144.5) and Delawarer Valley and Forest Park (Va.) tying for fourth with 138 points each. District 1’s Norristown and host Council Rock South were ninth and 13th, respectively, in the final standings. The Hill School was 28th.
“I’m very happy,” DeRafelo said. “This is one tough tournament, a meat grinder. Some of our kids suffered some tough losses in the quarterfinals, but they battled all the way back. To do what we did ... yes, I’m very happy.”
The Wildcats’ previous-best showing at the ETR was a seventh-place finish last year.
Frank had an exceptional weekend. He won his first two bouts before dropping a 2-0 decision to Big Spring’s Dustin Rook. However, he stormed back with four straight wins — including an 11-2 major over Pennsbury’s highly touted Josh DiSanto in the consolation finals. His final victory was a 4-3 decision of Dallastown’s Rodney Sunday for the bronze medal.
Trego followed nearly the same path as Frank, using a bye, major and decision to reach the semifinals. He was pinned by Central Mountain’s Caleb Stover, but regrouped and finished with two wins, including a pin of Shaheed Hill of Norristown – who he blanked earlier, 3-0, in the quarterfinals — for the bronze medal.
“Frank just wrestled out of his mind here,” DeRafelo said. “He was just beating up on kids. He look real good, pretty impressive. And Brad did great job, too. He beat a very good kid from Norristown (Hill) twice.”
Shronk defaulted his third-place bout, while Rodgers — who reached the semifinals — defaulted his next two bouts. DeRafelo didn’t feel as though either injury was too serious, but opted not to risk further damage with key Pioneer Athletic Conference and District 1-AAA Team Duals meets coming up.
Bolig’s only two losses were to Parkland’s Nezar Haddad in the quarterfinals and third-place final.
“We have to heal up a little bit because we did get beat up,” DeRafelo said. “Going hard match after hard match is tough. We just tried to balance it out a little bit without killing our guys.”
For Hill, Saunders bounced back from a 9-5 quarterfinal loss to Manheim Township’s Cortlandt Schuyler with three straight wins only to fall to Schuyler again, 6-1, in the third-place final. Flanigan advanced to the quarterfinals as well only to come up short against Norristown’s Mike Springer, 6-3. He won his next bout, but dropped his ensuing two to take eighth. And Golobokov rolled into the semifinals only to get pinned, then dropped his next two bouts and settled for sixth place.