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Milkowich Leads Tribe to PAC Victory
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer
2019-12-24

            Matt Milkowich earned a modicum of revenge last week. In Upper Perkiomen's 57-15 win over Pope John Paul II, the sophomore lightweight scored an 11-6 victory

Matt Milkowich attempts to gain control of his opponent
at 113-pounds during Upper Perkiomen's match against
Pope John Paul II.

over Nick Tongo at 113 pounds.

            "Matt really pushed the pace," Indians head coach Steve Adam said. "He's a tough kid. He's extremely focused."

            Milkowich (5-4) says he's working harder than ever to qualify for the PIAA Tournament. A three-loss performance at the Penn Manor Tournament over the previous weekend provided fuel to his effort.

            Matt Martin (120 pounds), Tommy Flud (182) and Damon Faraco (220) each won by fall to help lead to the Tribe to victory in its Pioneer Athletic Conference opener on Wednesday, Dec. 18. Joey Carpenter (126) won by injury default. Gavin Marks (138), Zach Rozanski (145), Keaton Durning (152), Soren Svanson (170) and Austin DiDomenico (195) each won by forfeit.

            "Everyone got the job done," Adam said. "It's what I was expecting."

            Last year, Milkowich allowed a five-point move in the first period in a match against Tongo, and absorbed a 6-1 defeat.

            In the rematch, Milowkich forced set the early pace, registering two take downs during the first period. Leading 4-2 headed into the third period, he gave up two take downs. However, a late flurry, sparked by a reversal, secured his win.

            "I was getting tired in the third period and a wrestled pretty sloppy," Milowkich said. "(Tongo) appeared to have an advantage."

            Milowkich struggled during the recent tournament, hosted the Dec. 13-14 tournament by Penn Manor High School. He went 2-3, including a third-period fall against West Chester Rustin's Jesse Viarengo.

            However, he absorbed a major decision loss to Cameron Herring, from New Oxford. He was also pinned by Manheim Township's Alicea Aliazer in the third period. Milowkich said the defeats motivated him to work even harder.

            "I want to be the best," he said.

            The Indians resume their schedule on Dec. 27-28 at the Governor Mifflin Holiday Tournament. They are without a heavyweight since Dominic Giovanni, a junior transfer from New Providence, N.J., recently left the team.

            "This sport is not for everybody," Adam said.

            Pope John Paul II's new head coach is one of the most successful wrestlers in Upper Perkiomen history. Chris Sheetz, a 2007 graduate who won a PIAA championship, succeeded Tom Hontz, who resigned.

            According to Sheetz, the Panthers are struggling with limited numbers. After starting the season with 11 wresters, he entered last week's match with eight. They lost one in the 126-pound bout, when Ethan Molloy appeared to suffer a dislocated left elbow 30 seconds into the first period. Malloy left the gymnasium on a stretcher.

            "It's been a tough start to the season," said Sheetz, who is assisted by Dustin Steffenino, a 2015 graduate of Upper Perkiomen High School.

            Sheetz – who is second on Upper Perkiomen's all-time wins list with 189 – described the meeting with his alma mater as just another match. However, he described the venue as ideal for his wrestler to perform.


 

 

 

 

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