West York s Noah Townsley, top position, works his way to a 2-1 win over South Western s Brandon Huff in the 132-pound battle. The visiting Mustangs won
West York s Noah Townsley, top position, works his way to a 2-1 win over South Western s Brandon Huff in the 132-pound battle. The visiting Mustangs won 44-18 to improve to 4-0 in league action and stay atop Division I with Spring Grove (4-0). (Bil Bowden photo)

Although more than 15 years have passed since Eric Lehman sat inside the West York High School locker room, he can still picture it clearly.

Before every wrestling match, then Bulldogs coach Bill Luckenbaugh would run down the lineup and make his predictions public to his team.

"He would go weight class by weight class," Lehman said. "He had it all scouted out. We need four points here because this guy is going to get pinned, so we're going to lose six (points) there. And wouldn't you know he had it so close at the end. It was amazing."

It's part of what Lehman said helped make Luckenbaugh, who went 62-20 at West York from 1992-1997, one of the all-time winningest coaches in the program's history. Lehman, a 1996 West York grad, was part of the 1993-94 squad that Luckenbaugh coached to a perfect 16-0 York-Adams League record and the program's last appearance in the District 3 Team Tournament.

Lehman, who now lives in Tennessee, made the 11-hour drive north to be part of a group of more than a dozen former Bulldogs' wrestlers and coaches honored as part of Alumni Night at West York before Thursday night's Division I showdown with South Western. Luckenbaugh, who now lives in Florida, wasn't in attendance.

Unfortunately for the Bulldogs, they didn't give the alumni much to cheer about inside a crowded gym against South Western. The Mustangs won 44-18 to improve to 4-0 in league play and stay atop Division I with Spring Grove (4-0).

"The one thing you can't question is the heart and the fight our guys have," West York assistant coach Bryan Lippy said.

Lippy, a 2006 Hanover grad and former York College wrestler, split coaching duties Thursday with assistant Brandon Fuhrman. West York head coach Brian Gross couldn't make it because of an illness.

Despite the outcome, Lippy is still optimistic West York (2-2) can match last year's 6-4 division mark if the team can get healthy.

"A lot of our guys are wrestling hurt and bumping up weights," Lippy said. "They're doing everything we're asking them to do."

One of those is senior and returning 220-pound District 3-AAA qualifier Jacob Gemmill, who was back out on the mat Thursday for the first time in nearly a month. He had been resting a partially torn meniscus in his right knee. It didn't help matters that he faced South Western's Aram Moffitt, who is also a returning district qualifier. Moffitt edged Gemmill, 7-3.

"We wrestled real hard," Gemmill said. "They just wrestled better than us in some matches. Some matches we just gave up a little."

The Mustangs took the first seven bouts to open up a 34-0 lead. Alex Jones (195 pounds), Devon Ackerman (285), Owen Wherley (106) and Derek Wilson (113) scored pins for South Western. Seniors Kyle Narber (182) and Zack Smith (170) got West York's lone pins.

OTHER WRESTLING

DOVER 40, NEW OXFORD 33: At New Oxford, the Eagles rallied from a 27-12 deficit to earn the victory. The match wasn't decided until the final bout of the night at 182, when Dover's Shaheed Mitchell pinned New Oxford's Connor Rhodes. Dover also got pins from Ross Drawbaugh (138), Brian Lehman (170) and Cameron Beckman (220). New Oxford got pins from Mike Rudisill (106), Slade Storm (152) and Brock Hartman (285). Hartman needed just 22 seconds for his pin.

NORTHEASTERN 38, RED LION 30: At Manchester, Northeastern's Jeb Payne and Nick Yinger came through with pins in the final two bouts of the night to give the Bobcats the victory. Northeastern was losing, 30-26, before Payne, wrestling at 160, and Yinger, competing at 170, pinned their opponents. Tyler Schell and Ryan Sprenkle had pins for Red Lion, and Jared Schell won by disqualification. Anthony Caraballo and Levi Eisenhart earned major decisions for the Bobcats.

YORK TECH 40, LIT TLESTOWN 39: At Littlestown, Brandon Nikolaus (145), Cameron Stewart (152) and Jevenson Villenueva (220) each picked up a pin to help lead the Spartans. Nikolaus' pin came in just 31 seconds. For the Thunderbolts, Austin Green (120), Dustin Bowersox (160), Austin Sanders (170), Josh Vaughn (182), Jacob Fuller (195) and Zachary MacCleod (258) each picked up a pin. Tech improved to 2-2 in York-Adams Division II and 6-7 overall.

CENTRAL YORK 48, SUSQUEHANNOCK 18: At Glen Rock, the Panthers received pins from Jeb Walston (195), Sam Butler (120), Xavier Musti (126) and Isaiah Dickson (145) to help secure the York-Adams Division I victory.

BIGLERVILLE 69, EASTERN 9: At Biglerville, the Canners received pins from Brady Mentzer (106), Nate Newberry (113), Brock Asper (120), Scott Cooper (132), Colton McKinney (138), Jasper Hankey (145), Dustin Grubbs (152), Josh Asper (160), Tyler Lieberum (170) and Eric Showers (182). Biglerville improved to 2-0 in the York-Adams Division II and 8-0 overall. Eastern fell to 3-1 in the division and 3-1 overall.

SPRING GROVE 66, KENNARD-DALE 5: At Fawn Grove, the Rockets received pins from Levi Witmer (106), Derek Carlisle (113), Tyler Miller (152), Austin Barley (160) and Alex Guinn (220). Guinn's pin took just 51 seconds. Dakota Laughman (132) won by technical fall. For the Rams, Chance Marsteller (170) won by technical fall. Spring Grove improved to 5-0 in York-Adams Division I and 5-0 overall.

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