Winter sports media day: Experienced Dallastown excited for upcoming wrestling season
- Dallastown will compete with Spring Grove and New Oxford again for the Division I crown.
- Central York standout Michael Wolfgram is hoping to improve on his impressive junior season.
- Gettysburg moving up to Division I means a more balanced Division II, several coaches say.
Every team at York-Adams League Winter Sports Media Day on Sunday was excited.
The season is a few weeks away, and each coach and player believes his or her team can compete for a title.
Dallastown wrestling head coach Dave Gable is no different, but for good reason. The Wildcats are returning 12 starters and are expecting upwards of 10 seniors on this year’s squad.
Gable, who has coached this senior class for five of the last six seasons as the junior varsity coach and now the varsity coach, is hopeful that his senior leaders can peak next January and February.
“It really is such a great group of guys,” Gable said. “The culture they’ve established as athletes has made it fun to be a part of. I am super excited. I can’t wait to spend time with a great group of guys and hopefully help them realize their goals and dreams. That’s what coaching is all about.”
Wildcats eye D-I crown: Dallastown finished 15-5 last season and went 4-2 in Division I, finishing behind Spring Grove, which advanced to the state tournament, and New Oxford.
“I think last year it was pretty competitive,” Gable said. “I think Spring Grove and New Oxford were probably a little bit better than the rest, but I think we have a very balanced division.”
The Wildcats lost Dalton Daugherty and Garrett Johnson to graduation, both of whom were district qualifiers.
Among the returners, however, are seniors Raymond Christas and Jarrett Feeney. Christas, who is a star lineman on the football team, wrestles at 285, while Feeney will be at 182.
“I’m just looking to be competitive as always and looking to win matches when we can,” Christas said. “We want to win the division. We want to win. That’s always what you want to do.”
Feeney said team camaraderie should help the Wildcats.
“We’ve always been close,” Feeney said. “We have a good connection with everyone. It’s like a family reunion every practice. It’s always good to have those people next to you. I think that we can go out there and be competitive.”
Wolfgram prepares for senior season: Central York, which finished fourth in the division last season, hopes a seven-wrestler senior class will lead the Panthers to a better 2018-19.
“We’re really excited about our team and how they compete in the division,” Central head coach Seth Beitz said. “We know the teams that are returning guys. Dallastown and Spring Grove are tough every year. We’re excited to see how we line up against them.”
Leading the way for Central is West Virginia University commit Michael Wolfgram, who is 103-16 in his career at 285 and placed fourth in the PIAA Class 3-A tournament last season.
“I’m going to work as hard as I would every other year,” said Wolfgram about being a leader. “I think that shows more when someone works hard without being told to. I just have to keep doing what I’m doing, and hopefully the guys will listen and follow my lead.”
Bradley returns for Rams: Kennard-Dale finished second last season in Division II, with the Rams advancing to the district tournament.
The Rams have 11 returning starters, including Daemon Davis, who went 20-3 last year. Nick Bradley, who competed in the state tournament as a freshman, was injured for most of last season.
“I’m just going to make up for the injury last year and try to make it to states again,” Bradley said. “It’s hard because I haven’t wrestled in so long ... I’m hoping to overcome the injury.”
Wide open D-II: With two-time defending champion Gettysburg being bumped up to D-I, several D-II coaches said the division is up for grabs. The Warriors went 6-0 in division play and 14-5 overall last season and are being replaced in D-II by Northeastern (3-14).
“That makes our division really balanced now,” West York head coach Brian Gross said. “Gettysburg has been the top team the last two years. Them moving out gives everyone a level playing field to win that division.”
York Suburban head coach Brian Gentzyel echoed Gross’ thoughts, saying he thinks his young squad has a chance to compete for a crown off a 1-5 division mark last year.
“All the teams in Division II are in the same boat,” Gentzyel said. “There are holes in every lineup, and the team with the least amount of holes will win the division. …There are some decent teams, but we could be right in the thick of things at the top of the division.”
Reach Jacob Calvin Meyer at email@example.com