Pete Ventresca, Boyertown High’s wrestling coach, saw his team have a very successful season in 2012-2013. The Bears finished with a record 18-8, including a PAC-10 championship tournament victory. The season culminated with freshman Jordan Wood finishing second in the state in his weight class.
The team is off to an undefeated start to the 2013-2014 campaign. They won the Brian Bealer Dual meet back in early December, then finished second at the King of the Mountain tournament, then 12th at the Beast of the East Tournament. With a record of 10-0, Coach Ventresca is very happy with how things are going.
“We have a great group of guys who are really working hard to reach their potential,” said Ventresca. “We’re a young, talented team with some great leadership. We’ll do nothing but improve over the next couple of years. The number one concern I have is injuries. We are 14 strong, but very thin. If someone gets hurt, it could really be a huge issue for us.”
The Bears also had excellent results at the Cumberland Valley Tournament, taking the team championship.
“It (the tournament victory) will help us to develop confidence as we go into our league season,” said Ventresca.
The expectations are very high for the Bears. The goals are to win the PAC 10, District One, and finish in the top four of the state. Ventresca feels that these are very reachable expectations if the team works to their capabilities.
Returning for the Bears are Eddie Kriczky (senior state qualifier), Jordan Wood (sophomore), Cody Richmond (senior, a match away from states), Gregg Harvey (sophomore, a match away from states) and Lucas Miller, (King of the Mountain place winner.
“I expect 100 percent from my team. I expect them to put out 100 percent effort,” said Ventresca. “We expect 100 percent in practice as well as matches. Whenever they put on the black and red, they represent more then themselves – they represent our program, our school and our community. We are proud to be from Boyertown and our wrestlers will demonstrate that pride with their effort.”
Wood seems to be taking off where he left last year. He’s undefeated this season. Ventresca feels that Jordan’s success last year has helped is confidence in one big way. Last year, he (Ventresca) didn’t believe Jordan truly knew how good he could actually become. Jordan’s success has developed more confidence. This confidence has allowed him to work harder and wrestle at a much higher level- and earn more success and even more confidence.
“I believe that this has opened his eyes about his true capabilities,” said Ventresca. “Some people are good wrestlers, very few are really good. Jordan can be great. Jordan is intrinsically motivated (driven) to become the best wrestler he can be.
“He has a love of the sport, which allows him to train and wrestle at a high level all year long. He has an incredible work ethic and is extremely coachable. He’s always learning new ways to improve his technique. Also, he has great parents who have made numerous sacrifices to support his dream and allow Jordan to become the wrestler he is.”
There are five very talented freshmen who are looking to make an impact this year. They are Jakob and David Campbell, JT Cooley, Chris Berry and Hunter Vogels.
“I expect them to wrestle to win,” said Ventresca. “Too many kids wrestle not to lose, which makes them tentative and less likely to reach their potential.
Phil Haddad is a free lance writer for the Times. You can follow him on twitter @writersprtsBT