Spring Grove’s Michael Hartman, left, battles Dover’s Ross Drawbaugh at 138 pounds in a match pitting returning PIAA District 3 Class AAA
Spring Grove's Michael Hartman, left, battles Dover's Ross Drawbaugh at 138 pounds in a match pitting returning PIAA District 3 Class AAA qualifiers. Hartman went on to earn a 4-3 decision, which helped the host Rockets take a 53-15 team win over the Eagles on Wednesday night at Spring Grove. (Bill Kalina photo)

SPRING GROVE -- It's the response you would expect to hear from a coach who leads a wrestling program with a successful past and high expectations for the future.

The first match of the year went well. The team scored an impressive victory. Yet, there's still plenty of room for improvement.

But what else is longtime Spring Grove coach Tony Miller supposed to say following his team's 53-15 victory over Dover on Wednesday night?

"We wrestled well but we made some mistakes our first time out that we want to improve on," Miller said.

Now in his 16th year at the helm of the Rockets' program, Miller brings back a talented group aiming for more than just the program's sixth straight year of winning or sharing the York-Adams League Division I crown.

Spring Grove’s Jon Gross, right, works his way to a pin over Dover’s Isaac Elicker at 170. The Rockets had sevens pins in their decisive win.
Spring Grove's Jon Gross, right, works his way to a pin over Dover's Isaac Elicker at 170. The Rockets had sevens pins in their decisive win. (Bill Kalina photo)

But every ending has a beginning. And Spring Grove (1-0) got off to a good start Wednesday with a lineup that featured 12 returning starters, all of whom are upperclassmen. Although the host Rockets dominated by taking 10 of 14 bouts, the night still featured quite a few entertaining matches.

The best of the bunch came at 138 pounds, which paired returning PIAA District 3 Class AAA qualifiers Michael Hartman (Spring Grove) and Ross Drawbaugh (Dover).

The bout was tied at 2-2 through two periods, with Drawbaugh getting a pair of points on a takedown and Hartman tying it with two escapes. Hartman, who was a district qualifier at 145 pounds last year, took the lead for good at the start of the third period when he scored two points on a reversal. Drawbaugh, who wrestled at 126 pounds last season, got a point for an escape with 30 seconds remaining but was unable to do anything further, allowing Hartman to come out with a 4-3 decision.

"I felt him putting a lot of pressure on me so I figured I'd try to switch on the whistle," Hartman said of the reversal. "I caught him off guard there and got the reversal and just kept holding him down, kept riding him and kept putting pressure on him."

Hartman said it marked the first time he faced Drawbaugh since junior high.

"I'll tell you the 138 (pound) bout I knew was going to be a heck of a match," Miller said. "I'm very happy with how Mike Hartman did out there. He did exactly as he is coached to do."

Spring Grove s Derek Carlisle, top, pins Dover s Kyle Beamer in the 113-pound bout of Wednesday s match. Carlisle s fall helped the Rockets earn a 53-15
Spring Grove s Derek Carlisle, top, pins Dover s Kyle Beamer in the 113-pound bout of Wednesday s match. Carlisle s fall helped the Rockets earn a 53-15 win. (Bill Kalina photo)

New Dover coach Brad Brosius felt things went as expected for his club, which is coming off a 6-4 mark in Division I last season and returns nine starters, including three district qualifiers. The Eagles (0-1) got a pin from freshman Brandon Rodriguez (106) and decisions from returning starters Logan Ambrose (152), Shaheed Mitchell (195) and Cameron Beckman (heavyweight).

The Rockets got pins from Derek Carlisle (113), Dakota Laughman (132), Mason Bentzel (145), Austin Barley (160), Jon Gross (170), Andy Melhorn (182) and Alex Guinn (220).

OTHER WRESTLING

NEW OXFORD 45, WEST YORK 33: At West York, the Colonials secured the York-Adams League Division I victory in the final bout (138), which featured returning district qualifiers Joel Zepp (New Oxford) and Noah Townsley (West York). Zepp pinned Townsley at the 3:10 mark, giving New Oxford the 12-point victory.

The Colonials (1-0 league) also received pins from Shane Hoff (152), Charlie Hoffman (195), Trey Altland (220), Brock Hartman (heavyweight), Michael Rudisill (106) and Lake Laughman (113). For the Bulldogs (0-1 league, 1-4 overall), Garrett Stauffer (160), Zach Smith (170), Alex Raffensberger (182) and Sam Sterner (126) each scored a pin.

SOUTH WESTERN 51, NORTHEASTERN 18: The host Mustangs won 10 of 14 bouts and got pins from Cole Sterrett (120), Gage Thomas (145), Alexander Jones (195), Aram Moffitt (220) and Devon Ackerman (heavyweight) to improve to 1-0 in York-Adams Division I.

Northeastern (0-1) was solid in the middle weights, getting pins from Abe Holmes (126), Anthony Caraballo (132) and Levi Eisenhart (138). Senior Jeb Payne, the Bobcats' lone returning district qualifier, scored a 9-3 decision over Zach Osborne in a 160-pound bout.

-- Reach John Walk at jwalk@yorkdispatch.com.