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Felix Wins 160-Pound Title for Upper Perk at PAC-10 Tournament
Written by Bradley Schlegel Correspondent

The Indians' Mike Felix, left, grapples with Pope John Paul II wrestler William Heid before pinning him in the 160-pound quarterfinal round at the PAC-10 championship at Boyertown.

        Mike Felix captured the 160-pound wrestling title at the 2016 Pioneer Athletic Conference Championships on Saturday. But soon after receiving his gold medal, the Upper Perkiomen senior identified a key shortcoming.

        Felix said he could have done a better job in the first period of his semifinal and final bouts at Boyertown Area Senior High School.

        "I'm moving in the right direction," he said. "But I need to do a better job on my feet taking shots and defending shots."

        Despite allowing an early takedown, Felix scored a 6-4 victory over Methacton's Brendan Marion to clinch the title.

        "Mike is resilient," said Indians' head coach Sam Walters. "He has a gas tank like no one I've ever seen."

        Led by Felix (25-7), Upper Perkiomen placed seven wrestlers in the top five and finished sixth overall in the team standings.

        Jarek Svanson reached the title bout at 113 pounds before dropping a 14-1 major decision to Boyertown junior Jakob Campbell.

        Mike Lockhoff (152 pounds), Billy Brower (195) and Michael Modugno (220) each contributed third-place finishes for the Indians. Jared Kuhns (106) and Jacob Folk (145), who finished fourth, also qualified for this weekend's District One Class AAA West Tournament.

        Walters praised the performance of Brower, who took Owen J. Roberts senior Xavier Ferrizzi,  the defending regional champion and Saturday's overall winner, to overtime before losing 3-2.

        "Billy lost a heartbreaker," the coach said. "He's wrestling really well."

        D.J. McIlvaine (138) fell one victory short of advancing to the tourney at Spring-Ford High School. The sophomore lost 8-1 to Methacton's Michael Blakemore in the fifth-place bout.

        Walters said he will continue to stress the importance of wrestling well enough to advance during the current week of practice.

        "That's our motto," the coach said. "Hopefully, they will get tired of hearing it at Hershey."

        After posting a fall in his initial bout, Felix surrendered an early takedown to Ryan Finn, a junior from Pottsgrove. But Felix recovered to register a 6-4 victory over Finn, then ranked No. 3 in the district.

        The 160-pound final had a similar start. Felix fell behind 2-0, but quickly reeled off four consecutive points. His takedown midway through the third period snapped a 4-4 tie and clinched the victory.

        "Overall, I thought I wrestled well," Felix said. "I was solid on top, and I had a strong second period."

        Felix credited his individual success to the team's overall work ethic. He said long challenging practices helped build his stamina.

        Svanson (20-10) needed only to score a second-period pin against Spring-Ford freshman Dirk Nugent to advance to the title bout at 113 pounds.

        Campbell dominated the championship bout, scoring four of the initial five points and building a 9-1 lead after two periods.

        "He was better," Svanson said of Campbell. "I was disappointed. I really wanted to win because of all the hard work we put in. I felt like I was ready for the match."

        However, Svanson said he expects to feel confident heading into districts with a fortuitous seed. Last year, he finished fourth at the PAC-10 meet at 120 pounds.

        "I'm in a good position going to districts," Svanson said. "It's much better than last year."






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