By Dennis Weller
Special to The Mercury
GRATERFORD — Not all went smoothly for Spring-Ford wrestlers Friday night as they tried to maintain a perfect Pioneer Athletic Conference record heading into next week’s showdown for first place.
But the Rams did eventually manage to shake off pesky Perkiomen Valley, winning four bouts in a row when the lineup rolled over to the lighter weights, and went home with a 41-24 win.
That enabled the Rams (4-0, 13-1 overall) to remain as one of only two undefeated teams in the league along with two-time defending champion Owen J. Roberts — a 43-14 winner over Boyertown on Friday night. Perk Valley (1-2, 6-3) lost its second match in three days, but — just as in Wednesday’s match versus OJR — the Vikings were competitive throughout against a heavily-favored opponent.
“Perk Valley was great,” said Rams coach Tim Seislove, whose team will host OJR next Wednesday. “They came out,were excited and fired up, and they did a nice job. “
“It was like the other night, in terms of wrestling a quality team,” said PV coach Tim Walsh. “That’s what we’re asking them to do ... go out and be competitive.”
The Rams led 22-6 midway through the match, but Ryan Patrick picked up a first-period pin for the hosts. Then Viking junior heavyweight Luke DiElsi and Ram junior Josh Boyer were locked up in a one-point match in the third period before DiElsi won by a fall with 50 seconds to go to pull PV to within 22-18.
But that brought around the strongest part of the Spring-Ford lineup, which quickly wrapped things up. Jimmy Frank began the string of four wins with a 7-1 decision at 106, Ryan Hayes followed with a pin in 54 seconds at 113, and Matt Krieble clinched the match with a fall in 3:02 at 120. Sean Hennessey topped off the night for the Rams with an 11-2 win at 126.
“The kids down at the bottom did a good job,” said Seislove. “We strung a couple wins together there in a row.”
“They are strong there, and it showed,” said Walsh.
Perk Valley showed right from the start it wouldn’t just roll over when Tyrelle Robinson took the opening bout of the night at 138 pounds all the way to an ultimate tie-breaker before falling to Adam Dombrosky, 3-2.
“Tyrelle is just back from a concussion,” said Walsh. “That was his first match in a couple of weeks.”
Then Frankie Krauss had all he could handle from A.J. Strickland before giving the Rams their second straight decision, 6-4. The Vikings put their first points on the board on with 7-1 win by undefeated Nick Giangiulio (16-0) before Spring-Ford opened up its apparently comfortable lead on a major decision by Mike Collins (170), a pin by Tyler McGuigan (182), and a forfeit (220) following an 8-2 decision by PV’s Alec DellaDonna at 195.
But the Vikings kept battling right to the end and finished up with a win at 132 pounds when Derek Buckley, who was trailing 9-3 at the time, turned his opponent and won by a fall with 13 seconds to go.
“We needed to score some points earlier,” said Walsh. “But I can’t complain about the effort our kids showed, and we’re hoping they’re buying into what we’re doing. We tell them to keep doing your job. It’s going to make a difference in the team scores.”
Even with the win, Seislove wasn’t totally pleased.
“Tonight we made some mistakes and got put on our backs in three close matches and got pinned,” he said. “It’s mistakes we need to learn from. We need to get better. We need to get a lot better. But we got a win, so we’ll take it.”