Though he's only entering his sophomore year at Dallastown High School, Nick Shields has already been through his fair share of national wrestling tournaments.
The 106-pounder placed third in the District 3-AAA Tournament and qualified for the PIAA Tournament earlier this year as a freshman. So, he felt confident entering a recent national event down in Orlando (Fla.) a couple weeks ago.
Things didn't end well for the blonde-haired grappler, though. In his fourth bout of the five-day tournament at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, Shields went up against a South Carolina wrestler who won a state title earlier this year.
"I took him down and he reversed me and cranked my elbow," Shields said last week. "I had to take injury time. Then I went back out, and he put my shoulder way above my head. I kind of hyper-extended my elbow. I continued to wrestle and I ended up losing, 8-2."
Shields soon discovered his left arm was damaged -- he strained the rotator cuff in his shoulder and sprained and tore a few ligaments in his elbow. It'll probably be another two weeks until he's healthy again.
"That was the first time I really got injured in a match," Shields said. "I've had broken bones in my wrist before, but it wasn't wrestling related."
Despite the outcome, Shields is glad he participated in the 122-team event. Gage Thomas, who will enter his freshman year at South Western, also made the trip. They were members of the Keystone Brawlers, an AAU club who took five teams to Orlando.
Shields did have some success before he injured his arm. He beat a former Georgia state champ in his first bout. Then lost, 6-2, to a grappler from Nebraska and went to overtime with a talented wrestler from Iowa.
"I'm really glad I went down there," Shields said. "It gave me a great experience. I got to wrestle some of the best talent in the country."
New coaches: Two high schools in York County recently named new wrestling coaches, and a third school will name a new coach later this week.
Brad Brosius is taking over at Dover. He replaces Brandon Furhman, who led the Eagles to a 6-4 York-Adams League Division I record last year in his first year as Dover's head coach. It marked the most league wins for the program since 1990-1991 (6-1).
Brosius, a 1975 Cumberland Valley grad, coached Dover's elementary program in the 1990s and has spent the last five years coaching West York's junior high program.
"I see tremendous potential here (at Dover)," Brosius said. "They have very strong elementary and junior high programs. There's more opportunity to do more at the senior high level than they've ever had."
Central: Chris Yentzer is replacing the retired Fred DeLuca at Central York after serving as DeLuca's assistant coach last season.
Yentzer, 29, was a state qualifier at 103 pounds in his senior year in 2001 at West Perry and went on to wrestle at NCAA Division II Pitt-Youngstown.
After a solid 2011 campaign (6-4 Division I, 15-6 overall), the Panthers took a step back in 2012 with a 3-7 league mark. But they will bring back four wrestlers who had double-digit wins last season.
"We're looking for good things this year out of our juniors but when they're seniors we're expecting big things," Yentzer said.
A new coach at Red Lion will likely be appointed at the school's board meeting later this week.
-- Reach John Walk at firstname.lastname@example.org.