DOVER - First-year head coach Brad Brosius wanted the challenge.
It's the reason he decided to move on from the West York junior high program to take the varsity position at Dover. Two months and 13 matches into this season, though, Brosius' patience is being tested.
Especially following the Eagles' home loss, 34-31, to visiting West York on Tuesday night in a York-Adams League Division I match-up that split the 14 bouts down the middle.
The Eagles (3-3 Division I, 6-7 overall) held a three-point advantage going into the final bout, and Dover junior Sebastian Teeple led, 3-0, mid-way through the second period. That's before West York senior captain Jake Oliver (152 pounds) caught Teeple and put him on his back for a pin in 3 minutes, 33 seconds, giving the Bulldogs the dramatic victory.
Of the Eagles' seven overall losses this season, four have come by seven points or less.
"We've had a lot of matches go either way and we've came out on the short end every time," Brosius said. "Our record could easily be a lot better."
The Bulldogs (4-4, 8-9) have found a way to get back to .500 in league action after starting out 2-4 following losses to the gauntlet of South Western, Dallastown and Spring Grove. They did so Tuesday night in a match-up that saw Brosius coaching against his former wrestlers while former Dover head coach and current West York assistant Brandon Fuhrman sat on the Bulldogs' bench.
"Brad has coached every one of my kids so he knows exactly where their strengths and weaknesses are," West York coach Brian Gross said. "The same with Fuhrman because he's coached all of those kids. It was a chess match tonight. It really was."
The opening bout at 160 pounds paired up two of the better 152-pounders in the league in West York's Garrett Stauffer and Dover's Logan Ambrose, who were both wrestling up a weight class. Stauffer improved his individual mark to 17-4 on the year by defeating Ambrose, a returning District 3-AAA qualifier, 11-3.
Two bouts later, returning district qualifiers Kyle Narber (West York) and Shaheed Mitchell (Dover) matched up at 195 pounds. Mitchell came out on top with a 3-2 victory to bring Dover to within 10-9. Dan Bisking (220) then gave the Eagles their first lead, 15-10, by pinning Hunter Schiebert in 5:26. Dover later gave the lead back by forfeiting at 106 pounds because starter Kyle Beamer was out with an injury. The next four bouts were split to make it 28-28 heading into the final two bouts.
Dover junior Derrick Wagaman (145) scored a 5-4 win over freshman Ryan Narber to give the Eagles a 31-28 lead. Teeple then scored a takedown and an escape before Oliver pinned him to send the West York bench into a frenzy.
"With Oliver I wasn't sure what to expect," Gross said. "He's down, 3-0. He's coming back off an injury. He had a concussion earlier in the year and he's only had four or five matches this season. So, his stamina is not there yet but he's a battler. He came through at the right time."
West York's Zack Smith (170) and Noah Townsley (132) and Dover's Brian Lehman (182) and Brandon Rodriguez (113) also got pins in the match.
BIGLERVILLE 65, YORK TECH: At Spry, York Tech made things interesting early, winning three of the first five bouts, but Biglerville then displayed its power by sweeping the final nine bouts. Brady Mentzer, Nate Newberry, Brock Asper, Jasper Hankey, Dustin Grubbs, Tyler Lieberum, Juan Martinez, Joe Hurda and Nate Mentzer each recorded pins for the Canners, and Josh Asper delivered a technical fall. Kyle Bly earned a major decision for the Spartans. Biglerville improved to 16-1 overall and 5-0 in York-Adams Division II.
BERMUDIAN SPRINGS 72, YORK SUBURBAN 6: At York Springs, Bermudian Springs' powerhouse team racked up nine pins to maintain its spotless record in Division II of the York-Adams League. Ted Marines, Briton Shelton, Jared Spahr, Colton Dull, Tristan Sponseller, Brock Linebaugh, Brady Linebaugh, Noah Hakes and Bayley Oberlander each recorded falls for the Eagles. Tyler Zarcone accounted for Suburban's points when he needed just 41 seconds to pin his opponent in the 113-pound bout. Bermudian improved its league record to 6-0 and overall mark to 19-3. It was the 500th win in Bermudian wrestling history. Suburban slipped to 4-3 and 8-4.
SOUTH WESTERN 78, SUSQUEHANNOCK 3: At Glen Rock, the Mustangs captured the York-Adams Division I match, getting pins from Aaron Doll (126), Nick Klecker (138), Gage Thomas (145), Bobby Wildasin (152), Aram Moffitt (220), Devon Ackerman (285) and Cole Sterrett (120). South Western improved to 8-0 in the division and 8-2 overall.
DALLASTOWN 49, NEW OXFORD 26: At New Oxford, the Wildcats captured the York-Adams Division I match, getting pins from Rodney Sunday (126), Bailey Druck (160), Luke Baldwin (170), Cooper Deller (182) and Zaire Lawrence (220). For the Colonials, Slade Storm (145), Brock Hartman (285) and Michael Rudisill (106) each scored a pin. Dallastown improved to 6-2 in the division and 6-2 overall.
SPRING GROVE 60, RED LION 3: At Spring Grove, the Rockets were one bout away from sweeping the York-Adams Division I match, but the Lions' Jared Schell (195) picked up a decision to stop the streak. For the Rockets, Alex Guinn (220), Levi Witmer (106), Derek Carlisle (113), Zack Clingan (126), Austin Barley (160) and John Gross (170) each picked up a pin. Spring Grove stayed perfect, improving to 8-0 in the division and 14-0 overall.
NORTHEASTERN 46, KENNARD-DALE 27: At Manchester, the Bobcats closed the match with a flourish, winning five of the last six bouts - four of the victories coming on pins. Jeb Payne, Nick Yinger, Derrick Stahl and Anthony Leese delivered the pins, and Matt Smith supplied a major decision for the home team. Northeastern also picked up three forfeit victories during the York-Adams Division I clash. Chance Marsteller and Troy Jones recorded falls for Kennard-Dale.
EASTERN 45, FAIRFIELD 27: At Fairfield, the Golden Knights captured the York-Adams Division II match by receiving pins from Abram Sowers (152), Lucas Barshinger (160), Zachary Ilgentfritz (182) and Alex Cooley (220). For the Green Knights, David Stone (132), Wayne Wivell (138) and Nick Mort (170) each picked up pins. Eastern York improved to 6-1 in the division and 7-5 overall.
- Reach John Walk at firstname.lastname@example.org.