Friday, February 8, 2013

WRESTLING: Resilient Owen J. rallies to stay alive at PIAA duals

Owen J. Roberts' Dominick Petrucelli, top, tries to turn Franklin Regional's Dom Giannangeli during their bout at 132 in the quarterfinals of the PIAA Class AAA Team Duals Tournament Friday at Giant Center in Hershey. Petrucelli won 8-5 in the final bout of the match but it wasn't enough as OJR fell 29-28. (Photo by Nate Heckenberger)

By Don Seeley

HERSHEY — Owen J. Roberts has sure gotten its share of applause and praise this winter. All well-earned, of course, after winning another Pioneer Athletic Conference championship and another district team duals title.
But Friday night, the team may have picked up some additional props for its resiliency.
Losing for the first time in a long, long season is one thing, Bouncing back from that first setback within a few hours is another. And having to do it in the PIAA-Class Team Duals – where too often just a move or two defines who’s better than who, and no one, absolutely no one rolls over – presents quite a challenge.
But the Wildcats proved they were up for it here at the Giant Center, recovering from a disheartening 29-28 loss to Franklin Regional in the afternoon with an equally thrilling but considerably more satisfying 34-28 win over DuBois in the evening.
“Losses don’t come any tougher than they did for us (against Franklin Regional),” head coach Steve DeRafelo said after the grueling day. “To wrestle that well, to go toe-to-toe, to get that close... Yes, I was concerned when we came back (against DuBois).” 

( To read the complete story, click here )

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