In recent years, there have been two common topics associated with the Kennard-Dale wrestling program.
The obvious one is Chance Marsteller dominating any opponent he faces.
The other, though, is that Marsteller decided to stick around and wrestle for the Rams instead of leaving to join a strong preparatory school, where he could fine-tune his craft against more-talented wrestlers. As a result, the popularity of wrestling at Kennard-Dale has been growing at the youth levels, according to Rams coach Mike Balestrini.
The only problem is, those youngsters are still years away from competing at the high school level, where they could potentially help Kennard-Dale rise from the bottom of the York-Adams Division I standings.
While the Rams have been improving on the mat at the varsity level, they're lacking in depth, which was evident Thursday night at West York in a Division I match-up. The Bulldogs came out on top, 36-30, thanks in part to Kennard-Dale forfeiting at 285 pounds and not having a wrestler to compete at 106 pounds.
"The thing is we're giving up forfeits. And when you do that, that's a lot of points," Marsteller said. "I think we're good individually. We have at least six strong individuals who are good. Individually we're tough."
The Rams actually held a 30-18 lead by winning six of the first 10 bouts, capped off by wins from Nathan Stewart (152 pounds) and Pat Scarborough (160) and pins from Elliot Stauffer (170) and Marsteller (182). The Bulldogs responded with a pin from returning PIAA qualifier Kyle Narber (195) and senior Austin Denoncourt (220) to tie it up, 30-30.
With two bouts remaining, Kennard-Dale forfeited the heavyweight bout and there was no contest at 106 pounds. West York's 106-pounder, LaQuan Rumsey, was out for what coach Brian Gross called "personal issues."
West York improved to 3-2 in league competition, while the Rams fell to 1-4. It marks the second league loss by six points or less for Kennard-Dale this season. The teams also matched up three weeks ago at the Shikellamy dual tournament, with West York winning narrowly, 40-33. Still, the Rams have a good shot at winning two of their remaining five league matches to get to three league wins, a number the program has never reached as a member of Division I.
"Well, our focus is sectionals," Balestrini said. "We can only do what we can do with what we got league-wise. It's tough to beat teams that have full line-ups. We try to win a match here or there. But we've made some progress."
The Bulldogs will need to win three of their final five league matches to equal their win total from each of the previous two seasons in league competition. That would be a little easier to accomplish had it not been for a two-point loss to Dallastown last week and an upset loss to Red Lion earlier in the season.
"Red Lion took it to us. From start to finish we were never in that match," Gross said. "There were two matches in overtime (against Dallastown). If we win one of those matches in overtime, we beat them. So we're right there. We got to keep getting better everyday."
West York's road only gets tougher from here, with three of their final five league matches coming against the top-three teams in the division in South Western, New Oxford and Spring Grove.
New Oxford 56, Susquehannock 24: At Glen Rock, the Colonials improved to 10-0 overall and 5-0 in York-Adams Division I. The Colonials got pins from Lake Laughman (120), Michael Rudisill (126), Zac Schreiber (145), Nolan Poust (152), Shane Hoff (160), Joe Hoffman (195), Dalton Smith (220) and Brock Hartman (285). Tyler White had a pin for Susquehannock at 182.
Dallastown 47, Central York 24: At Dallastown, the Wildcats rolled to the win behind pins from Nick Hoffman (113), Bryce Shields (145), Bailey Druck (170), Michael Anderson (182) and Jordan Burns (195). Central York got pins from Jacob Robison (106), Dylan Chatterton (120) and Nathaniel Stephens (220). Sophomore Luis Perez (132) had the Spartans' lone win on the night with a 10-3 decision over Jason Townsend.
Spring Grove 73, Northeastern 3: At Spring Grove, the Rockets improved to 11-0 overall and 6-0 in York-Adams Division I. The Rockets got pins from Alec Zorbaugh (113), Zack Clingan (120), Levi Witmer (126), Dakota Laughman (132), Taylor Gardner (138), Michael Hartman (145) and Hunter Sterner (220).
South Western 44, Dover 16: The visiting Mustangs won 10 of 14 bouts to improve to 4-1 in Division I. They received pins from Derek Wilson (113), Owen Wherley (120), Cole Sterrett (126) and Logan Bowman (182). Logan Ambrose (160) had the Eagles' lone pin.
Bermudian Springs 69, York Tech 3: The host Eagles won all but one bout to stay undefeated in York-Adams Division II, improving to 5-0 in league competition. Colton Dull (182), Tristan Sponseller (195), Sam McCollum (220), Austin Clabaugh (106), Bayley Oberlander (113) and Jarod Miller (126) had pins for Bermudian.
-- Reach John Walk at email@example.com.