As the always-competitive post-season looms close-at-hand, Boyertown High head wrestling coach Pete Ventresca reflects on his topsy-turvy 2007-08 campaign to date."As the regular season (which seemed to have more twists and turns than a roller-coaster) concludes, the BASH wresting team looks forward to our post-season. This is the time of year I like to refer to as 'the second season.'"

Ventresca and his Bear squad have indeed experienced their share of "twists and turns."

This Boyertown mat edition won four of five matches at the season-opening Bear Duals and placed a most-respectable 31st at the highly-prestigious Beast of the East tournament. Just days before Christmas, the locals upended PAC-10 nemesis Upper Perkiomen, 34-29. Then the team placed fourth at the DuPont Tiger Classic during the holiday break.

On the other end of the spectrum, the Bears went 0-5 during a very long day at the Cumberland Valley Duals. And they suffered a heart-breaking setback to Spring-Ford via a 32-28 verdict. Plus, they experienced an early exit in the District 1 team playoffs.

If Boyertown defeats St. Pius X this week (as highly-expected), BASH will share the PAC-10 title with Spring-Ford, both teams concluding with 7-1 league marks. (B-town will finish overall at 13-11.)

Ventresca: "Wrestling is both a team and an individual sport. The first part of the season is dedicated to the team, and the second portion is focused on individual accomplishments.

"I feel that we have a few wrestlers who have a legitimate opportunity to make it deep into the post-season. And at this time of year, anything can happen and often does. There are always a lot of surprises in the post-season, but usually, winning matches comes down more to the desire to win, than the ability to win.

"I truly believe that we have some wrestlers who could surprise us in the coming weeks and do extremely well. We have a number of guys who I certainly expect to do well in the individual post-season battles.

"Obvious standout performers, who I believe can go deep into the post-season, include returning state-qualifier Matt Malfaro, 2007 regional qualifier Tim Feroe and 2007 district qualifier Alex Pellicciotti.

"But with that being said, there are others on this team who have the talent to advance, as well. It's an entire new season of sorts."

Here's a glance at the upcoming schedule:

District 1-AAA Section 4 tournament, Great Valley High School, Saturday, February 16;

District 1-AAA Central tournament, Spring-Ford High School, Saturday, February 23;

Southeast-AAA Regional tournament, Council Rock South High School, Friday and Saturday, February 29 and March 1;

PIAA-AAA Championships, Giant Center, Hershey, Thursday through Saturday, March 6-8.

Ventresca: "This is the time of the year when the cream will most certainly rise to the top. The men will be separated from the boys. I anxiously await the opportunity to watch these young men, our BASH team members, fulfill their wrestling destiny in this post-season."

The Bear head coach is pretty much right on target. Soon enough, that "destiny" will collide with pragmatic considerations. Preparation and regimen will go head-to-head with soul and desire.

Stay tuned.

MAT MEMO- The Boyertown High seniors were recognized during last week's PAC-10 match against Phoenixville, the Bears claiming a 54-13 victory. In a very nice touch, senior Brian Rakowski (who suffered a football injury and thus missed what would have been an outstanding year for him) claimed a forfeit win against the Phantoms.

Contact Jim Davidheiser at jhdcom@comcast.net.

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