He said as much last year when he won state gold by major decision over Central Mountain senior Brian Brill. Chance Marsteller doesn't like when people doubt him on the mat - like some may have been doing a year ago going into the bout against Brill.
He heard similar whispers coming into this weekend's District 3-AAA wrestling tournament, too. The Kennard-Dale junior grappler and two-time defending district and state champion was on a collision course with Central Dauphin junior standout Garrett Peppelman in the 160-pound district championship.
"I don't really read into much stuff but I honestly hear what's going on," Marsteller said. "It ticks me off a little bit when I hear people say someone has a shot against me."
Perhaps the most anticipated match-up at Hersheypark Arena this weekend, Marsteller wound up facing Peppelman, a returning 152-pound state champion. Both grapplers entered Saturday's championship bout with perfect records on the season.
And Marsteller took care of business by scoring a 7-2 decision over Peppelman. Marsteller scored a takedown to lead 2-0 after the first period. Peppelman got an escape point to start the second period before Marsteller caught his left foot and took him to the mat for a takedown. The same thing happened again following a reset to give Marsteller a 6-2 lead heading into the third period, where Marsteller got an escape point.
"I still wanted to send a message," Marsteller said. "I don't know why. And I had some issues with my head gear. I should've just focused on the match and just wrestled."
Two other York County grapplers competed in district championship bouts. Spring Grove junior Mason Bentzel (145 pounds) and Dallastown senior Cooper Deller (182) fell short in their bouts to finish with silver medals. Bentzel lost, 13-1, to returning district champion Chris Vassar, a Cedar Cliff senior. Governor Mifflin senior Marcus Johnson beat Deller, 10-7.
"It feels pretty good to make it to states finally," Deller said. "I was pretty overwhelmed this morning when I got here. I'm glad I came back and got a medal."
Bentzel, Deller and Marsteller weren't the only York County grapplers to take home medals Saturday.
Central York freshman Dylan Chatterton (106) and Dallastown juniors Rodney Sunday (126) and Wes Hoover (138) earned bronze medals.
Spring Grove senior Derek Carlisle (113) and junior Zack Clingan (120), Dallastown senior Tanner Druck (152), West York junior Kyle Narber (170), Eastern York senior Alex Cooley (195) and South Western senior Aram Moffitt (220) all finished in fourth place.
The top four grapplers in each weight class in the District 3-AAA tournament qualified for the PIAA tournament that will be held at the Giant Center in Hershey in two weeks. The York-Adams League entered the District 3-AAA tourney with 42 total grapplers. Of that group, twelve qualified for the state tournament.
Six York-Adams wrestlers placed fifth but didn't qualify for the state tournament. That group includes South Western freshmen Owen Wherley (106) and Derek Wilson (113), Dallastown sophomore Nick Shields (120), Spring Grove junior Dakota Laughman (132) and senior Austin Barley (160) and South Western senior Devon Ackerman (285).
In Class AA, Hanover juniors Ian Brown (132) and Tyler Shafer (138), Bermudian Springs sophomore Briton Shelton (145) and Biglerville senior Trevor Stover (285) took gold. Bermudian Springs sophomore Colton Dull (160), junior Tristan Sponseller (170) and senior Brock Linebaugh (182) took silver.
York-Adams grapplers who earned bronze medals at Class AA include Fairfield senior Cameron Scalio (132) and junior Wayne Wivell (160), Biglerville junior Jasper Hankey (138), and Bermudian Springs senior Jacob Slonaker (182). The top five grapplers in each weight class in Class AA qualified for the regional tournament, where they'll compete to qualify for states.
Biglerville coach Bob Gano was named the District 3-AA Coach of the Year.
-- Reach John Walk at firstname.lastname@example.org.