Michael Wolfgram is four wins away from completing one of the best wrestling careers in York County history.
The Central York heavyweight has the wins. He’s 135-16 in his career and carries an undefeated record this season.
He has the district titles, winning the heavyweight crown each of the last three seasons.
He has the future Division I career, committing to West Virginia University last fall.
The only accolade Wolfgram doesn’t have is a state title.
“I’ve got a lot of emotions, but excitement trumps all of them,” Wolfgram said. “I have four matches left in my high school career to get a state title.”
Wolfgram, along with 22 other York-Adams League wrestlers, will attempt to win a state title this weekend at the Giant Center in Hershey. The Class 2-A and 3-A tournaments start Thursday.
The senior has a first-round bye, so he won’t wrestle in the Class 3-A tournament until Friday. He’ll take on the winner of South Fayette’s Quentin Franklin (35-9) and Mifflin County’s Blaine Davis (28-9) in the second round on Friday. Wolfgram said he’s confident in his ability to claim his first state title.
“I would say I’ve always been confident in myself and my abilities,” Wolfgram said. “It’s the state tourney. It doesn’t matter who is in it. The guys are there for a reason. They should be respected.”
Experience helps: Wolfgram has qualified for the state tournament the last two seasons. As a sophomore, he didn’t place. As a junior, he finished in fourth. He said his experiences at the PIAA tournament the last two years have prepared him for this year.
“It’s a different atmosphere,” he said. “I’ve told myself before that it doesn’t matter, but it does. There are a lot of people, and everyone is yelling. That experience does help a little bit.”
Wolfgram believes he’s a better wrestler today than he was last year, and he expects that to show at the Giant Center.
“Physically, I knew I needed to get a little bit stronger,” Wolfgram said. “Technically, I was hanging in there, but I didn’t have the strength to get myself through. I know if I wrestle my pace and my match, that it will be hard to beat me.”
Rematch with DeBoe: Last season, Wolfgram lost in the semifinals to Erie Cathedral Prep standout Kawaun DeBoe.
DeBoe, along with Wolfgram, is one of the top heavyweights in the nation. The senior boasts a career 156-14 record. Like Wolfgram, DeBoe, a senior, is a three-time district champion and is looking for his first state crown. After defeating Wolfgram last season, DeBoe fell in the title match to take home the silver medal.
This year, Wolfgram and DeBoe are on opposite sides of the bracket, meaning if they both run the table, the two will wrestle for the state title.
Before Wolfgram can look ahead to DeBoe, he must first get to the title match, and he knows there are several wrestlers standing in his way. One of those grapplers is Upper St. Clair’s Jake Slinger (36-0), who Wolfgram could meet in the semifinals.
“Honestly, I’m not looking at (DeBoe) yet,” Wolfgram said. “I’m looking at the first bout. I know if I make it to the finals, I probably will see (DeBoe), but I have another tough kid on my side in Jake Slinger who is a tough athlete.”
Dallastown: Raymond Christas, who lost to Wolfgram in the district title at 285, earned a first-round bye. Christas (38-2) is on DeBoe’s side of the bracket and would have to face the Eric Prep star in the quarterfinals. He will face Mt. Lebanon’s Nathan Hoaglund (31-8) in the second round Friday.
Jamal Brandon (41-3) also earned a bye. The 220-pounder will face the winner of Conestoga’s Paul Pelham (34-4) and Easton’s Andrew Balukas (26-11) on Friday.
John Ligon (39-10) will wrestle Anthony Robinson (35-8) of Williamsport in the first round Thursday at 160 pounds, and Brooks Gable (26-20) will wrestle Southern Lehigh’s Nick Colasurdo (31-5) in the first round of the 138-pound bracket.
Central York: In addition to Wolfgram, the Panthers will also be represented by Tanner Schaller at 170 pounds. Schaller (29-10) will wrestle West Chester East’s Andrew DiBernardo (35-5) in the first round.
Spring Grove: Thomas Dressler (31-7) will take on Colin Franks (8-3) of Connellsville at 145 pounds on Thursday. The winner will wrestle defending state champion Ryan Anderson (35-1) of Bethlehem Catholic in the second round.
Anthony Hinson (33-3) takes on Spring Ford’s Chase Smith (23-10) at 170 on Thursday.
Gettysburg: Luke Sainato (37-9) earned a bye at 145 pounds. He will face Northampton’s Jagger Condomitti (41-7) in the second round Friday.
Dylan Reinert (43-3) also received a bye. He will take on Owen J. Roberts’ Connor Quinn (22-2) at 160 pounds in the second round.
Susquehannock: Junior 152 Colby Romjue (29-2) will wrestle Brett Breidor (33-14) of Boyertown in the first round Thursday.
South Western: Ethan Baney (30-6) will take on North Penn’s Patrick O’Neill (34-8) at 160 pounds Thursday.
Northeastern: Cole Wilson earned a bye after finishing second at the district tournament. Wilson (35-2) will take on Stroudsburg’s Cameron Enriquez (34-6) Friday.
Dover: Freshman Mason Leiphart also received a bye after a second-place finish at districts. Leiphart (32-3) will face off against Boyertown’s Julien Maldonado (35-13) Friday.
Littlestown: Bolts 106 Connor Brown (30-5) received a bye and will wrestle Owen Reinsel (32-4) of Brookville Friday.
Carl Harris (23-2) received a bye at 170 pounds. He will take on the winner of Muncy’s Ethan Gush (35-14) and Northern Bedford’s Austin Mowry (28-7) Friday.
Jason Penton (32-3) earned a bye at 182. He will wrestle Tyler Waltman (35-13) of Southern Columbia in the second round.
Biglerville: Haines (37-0) received a bye at 106 after winning districts and regionals. He will take on the winner of Brockway’s Mark Palmer (32-10) and Mount Pleasant’s Luke Geibig (32-12). Haines and Littlestown’s Brown are on opposite sides of the bracket.
Blake Showers (36-8) will wrestle Bald Eagle Area’s Garrett Giedroc (29-14) at 120 pounds Thursday.
Eli Tuckey (32-10) will face off with Donavin Chambers (34-1) of Ellwood City in the first round of the 132-pound bracket.
Josh Tuckey (35-6) will take on Williamson’s Matthew Carpenter (29-7) in the first round of the 126-pound tournament.
Bermudian Springs: Eagles 152-pounder Trenton Harder (30-4) earned a bye and will take on Commodore Perry’s Gage Musser (37-7). Harder and Erickson are on opposite sides of the bracket.
Fairfield: Page Karsteter (28-8) will wrestle Lake Lehman’s Hunter Burke (22-9) at 145 pounds Thursday.
Reach Jacob Calvin Meyer at firstname.lastname@example.org.