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Faraco, Four Other Wrestlers Qualify For Regional Tourney
Written by Bradley Schlegel, Staff Writer
2020-02-26

            After taking a season off, Damon Faraco returned to Upper Perkiomen's wrestling team for his sophomore season with the goal of winning a few matches.

Damon Faraco, left, during a third-place bout at last week-

end's District 3A Secton North Tournament.

Three months later, the sophomore earned a spot on medal stand at the 2020 District 1 Class 3A Section North Tournament.

            Faraco, who did not compete as a ninth grader, finished fourth in the 195-pound weight class at Pottstown High School last weekend. He exceeded the expectations of head coach Steve Adam.

            "I kind of suprised myself," Faraco said.

            Five Tribe wrestlers finished in the top four on Saturday, Feb. 22 and qualified for this weekend's Southeast Regional Tournament at Souderton High School.

            Matt Milkowich (106 pounds) and Matt Martin (113) each finished second. Joey Carpenter (126) and Zach Rozanski (138) each added fourth place finishes. Carpenter knocked off several higher-seeded competitors to qualify for regionals.

            Rozanski forfeited his third-place bout due to illness. The coach expects the senior to compete in the regional tourney, which begins Friday.

            Gavin Marks finished in sixth place at 145 for the Indians who finished seventh out of 14 teams in the sectional tournament, going 24-21 overall.

            "I'm really proud of our kids and the way they wrestled," Adam said.

            Faraco (12-10) qualified for regionals with a first period fall over Pottstown's Zack Griffin in the consolation semifinals Saturday. The wrestler's hard work paid off, according to Adam.

            "You should have seen the smile on Damon's face," the coach said. He was ecstatic."

            After opening the tournament with a 4-0 loss to Jakob Sterling, a senior from Perkiomen Valley, Faraco responded with consecutive wins in the consolation round. First, he pinned Dylan Bauer in the second period before decking Griffin in 77 seconds to secure a spot at regionals.

            Faraco, who relied on his size and technique, thrived on the intensity of the tournament. He said none of the team's advancing wrestlers has more work to do than him.

            "I love being placed in situations that make me feel uncomfortable," said the Hereford Township resident, who lost 10-0 to Sterling in the bronze medal match. "I'm not surprised I got where I am. I put in the work to get to this position."

            Milkowich (24-8) lost the 106-pound title match after leading 3-2 heading into the third period. However, Spring-Ford's Domonic Ortlip hit an arm-bar with 15 seconds remaining in the third period, which turned into two near fall points and a 5-3 victory.

            The sophomore never saw the move coming. Milkowich said he was preserving energy in anticipation of overtime.

            "I didn't think it was a mistake," Milkowich said. "(Heimbach) is a good wrestler. I am a little disappointed, though. I thought I could have done more."

            After a first-round bye, Milkowich pinned Jake Maestrale in the first period. In the semifinals, he trailed Boyertown's Luke Heimbach 5-0 in the second period by countering a leg shot by utilizing a step-over body series to score a fall.

            "Matt doesn't lack confidence," Adam said. "He's very tough. And his path was not easy."

           

            Martin (30-5) opened his tournament with an 18-3 technical fall over Pottsgrove's Christian Drager. He posted a 12-10 victory over Quinn Smith, from Spring-Ford, in the semifinals before taking on Boyertown junior Julien Maldonado in the gold medal match. The Upper Perkiomen senior fell behind 5-0 in the first period and lost 7-5.

            Martin said he thought he performed well in the finals against Maldonado, who repeated as sectional champ and is a returning state medalist.  "I think I wrestled hard," Martin said. "Since he is a contender, and the match was so close, I think it shows that I'm a contender, too."

            Carpenter (23-18), the No. 8 seed at 126, scored a second-period fall against Luke Ricci, the No. 2 seed from Perkiomen Valley, with a cradle in the consolation finals to return to regionals. The junior rebounded to from a 7-1 quarterfinal round loss to Methacton's Osvaldo Carbajal by reeling off three straight victories by pin.

            "Joey has had a real good year," Adam said. "He's performed a lot better than his record."

            According to Carpenter, his hard work in recent weeks helped propel him back to regionals. Moving forward the junior, who lost 2-0 to Carbajal in the third-place bout, said he needs to be less sloppy going to takedowns.

            "At regionals you can't afford to give up easy points," Carpenter said. "I learned last year that you have to keep wrestling the final six minutes."

            Rozanski (31-8) earned his fourth consecutive sectional medal. The No. 2 seed opened his tournament with a second period technical fall win over Upper Merion's Miguel Amor. However, he lost 9-2 at Zach Needles, a junior from Spring-Ford in the semifinals.

            The senior rallied for a 36-second fall over Casey Capetola, of Great Valley, in the consolation semifinals to advance to the next round. According to Adam, Rozanski should expect a rematch with Needles. The coach said the two have faced each other five times, which Needles on a three-match winning streak.


 

 

 

 

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