DALLASTOWN — It’s been a long wait for the Dallastown wrestling program.
A dozen years to be exact.
The program with a record 29 York-Adams League championships hadn’t claimed a division title since the 2006-07 season, when the Wildcats earned a share of the crown.
However, after knocking off Spring Grove 46-24 Thursday evening, the Wildcats have finally clinched at least a share of the D-I title for the first time in more than a decade.
“We haven’t won one in a awhile,” Dallastown senior Jarrett Feeney said. “And to be able to get one up there and to be able to look back and know that my team was a part of that (is special).”
Key win: While Feeney didn’t clinch the contest for his team, the Wildcat standout gave the fans their money's worth. Moving up in a weight to face Spring Grove’s Eric Glass in the highlight match of the evening at 195, Feeney was able to overcome a 1-0 deficit in the second period to earn a 3-1 decision in overtime.
“I was a little nervous at first,” Feeney said. “I could tell right away that this guy (Glass) is big, he’s huge. So I was just excited to go out there and scrap with him. It wasn’t an easy match but I’m very excited.”
Feeney, who weighed in at 172 pounds, somehow managed to avoid a takedown early in the overtime period after Glass appeared to be on his way to slipping behind the Wildcat.
“I couldn’t really tell you what was going through my head,” Feeney said. “It was kind of like, ‘oh my goodness, it can’t happen’ so I just picked it up. I’m just so relieved to be out of it.”
Feeney was able to score the decision moments later when he grabbed the left leg of Glass to secure the two-point takedown.
“To go around and be able to take him down after that was just super-exciting for me,” Feeney said.
While Glass came out on the short end of the stick this time, Spring Grove coach Tyke Conover was happy to see his standout get a chance to face off against a quality opponent.
“That’s a good match for Eric to get ready for the postseason against Feeney, whose a quality kid,” Conover said.
Gable guides team back to championship: Dallastown coach Dave Gable was the last Wildcat coach to earn a D-I title. Gable, who stepped down after the 2008-09 season before returning to the helm last year, seemed to understand the significance of clinching the school’s 30th division title against the program that supplanted the Wildcats as the dominant D-I team 12 years ago.
“It’s been awhile,” Gable said. “Spring Grove has had a great run with a lot of great teams and (this year’s team) is a solid team too. They’ve kind of been ravaged by injuries, but the ones they brought up here wrestled hard.”
While Gable and his Wildcats were victorious Thursday, on a different evening and at a different venue he is well aware that things could turn out different. The Wildcats prevailed over Gettysburg earlier this season on a tiebreaking criteria. New Oxford also put up a good fight, much like the Rockets did Thursday.
District 3 event looms: Some rematches may very well be in line come the District 3 3-A team tournament. Dallastown (13-0 overall, 5-0 in D-I) is listed No. 1 in the latest district power ratings.
“With the way the (District 3) power ratings work, we could face someone very good,” he said. “There is such a big differential in schedules in wrestling that you can have teams ... like Gettysburg and the Cumberland Valleys, that are in the middle of the pack, but they’re unbelievable teams. But because of their strength of schedule, it’s just weird that power ratings in wrestling I don’t think do the same kind of justice as they do in other sports.”
Dallastown has one match left on the D-I schedule against a winless Red Lion team. A victory over the Lions next Thursday would earn the Wildcats the outright title, which would be their first since 2006.
Spring Grove fell to 10-6 overall and 3-2 in D-I.
Adam Karlie (113), John Ligon (170), Jamal Brandon (220) Raymond Christas (285) had pins for Dallastown. Christas improved to 23-0 on the season.
Charles Styk (120), Clay Baker (132) and Anthony Hinson (160) had Spring Grove pins.
The match was moved up two hours, to 5 p.m., in an attempt to beat Thursday's snow storm.
Central York 45, Red Lion 27: At Red Lion, the Panthers received pins from Brendan Smith (113), Tanner Schaller (160) and Michael Wolfgram (285). Wolfgram is now 23-0 on the season. Teammate Mason Myers (132) also captured a technical fall. For the Lions, Caleb Strayer (120) Cole Daugherty (152) and Cole Joines (195) each captured pin. Central is now 4-6 overall and 1-4 in Y-A D-I. Red Lion fell to 0-7 and 0-5.
Dover 50, West York 24: At West York, the Eagles improved to 10-5 overall and 4-1 in Y-A D-II. Dover trails first-place Susquehannock (4-0) by a half game. The Eagles got pins from Dakota Grim (126), Mason Lewis (132), Bradyn Yerges (138), Brandon Lawyer (182) and Jarrod Love (285). West York (9-7, 3-2) got pins from Luke Stine (152), Cladio Cruz (170), Raymond McGettigan (195) and Frank Veloce (220).
Spring Grove 113.5, Red Lion 56.5: At Red Lion, the Rockets got two individual wins apiece from Brian McGlynn (100 backstroke, 200 freestyle), Josiah Kline (200 individual medley, 100 butterfly), Daniel Gordon (50 free, 100 free) and Orval Fissel (100 breaststroke, 500 free). Spring Grove is 2-1 in Y-A D-I. Red Lion fell to 0-3.
Dover 133, New Oxford 30: At Dover, Tanner Glatfelter (100 free, 200 free) and Drew MacDonald (100 breast, 200 IM) each had two individual wins for the Eagles, who improved to 3-0 in Y-A D-II. New Oxford fell to 0-3.
Susquehannock 89, West York 80: At Shrewsbury YMCA, Rohit Kandala led the Warriors by taking first in the 100 back and 100 free. For the Bulldogs, Luke Foery won the 200 free and 500 free. Susquehannock is now 3-1 in Y-A D-II. West York fell to 0-3.
Central York 114, Northeastern 64: At Central York, the Panthers captured first in nine of the 12 events. Individually for the Panthers, Cameron Speed won the 200 free and 100 fly. Central is now 3-0 in Y-A D-I. Northeastern fell to 1-2.
Spring Grove 108, Red Lion 62: At Red Lion, Megan Heist won the 100 breast and 200 IM to lead the Rockets. Red Lion got two individual wins apiece from Sam Schwinger (500 free, 100 fly) and Holly Aggen (100 back, 100 free). Spring Grove is 2-1 in Y-A D-I. Red Lion fell to 0-3.
Dover 137, New Oxford 45: At Dover, Grace Beierschmitt won the 100 fly and 50 free to lead Dover, which moved to 3-0 in Y-A D-II. New Oxford is 0-3.
West York 94, Susquehannock 76: At Shrewsbury YMCA, Meghan French broke a pool record in the 100 free with a time of 55.22 seconds to lead the Bulldogs to a road victory. French also captured first in the 100 back. Also for West York, Meaghan Harnish took first in the 200 IM and 100 fly, while Tesia Thomas captured the 100 back and 50 free. For the Warriors, Katlyn Baer broke a school and pool record in the 100 free with a time of :55.22. She and French ended the race with the same time. Baer also captured first in the 200 free. West York is 1-2 in Y-A D-II, while Susquehannock fell to 2-2.
Central York 119, Northeastern 67: At Central York, the Panthers were led individually by Brynn DuRand capturing first in the 50 free and 100 back. As a team, the Panthers captured first in nine of the 12 events. For the Bobcats, Madison Taylor won the 100 breast and 200 IM. Central is now 3-0 in Y-A D-I. Northeastern fell to 1-2.
Red Lion Christian 42, Twin Valley Bible Academy 32: At Red Lion, Bailey Sanders led the home team with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Teammate Christine Ort scored 12 points.
Christian School of York 46, Lancaster-Mennonite (Hershey Campus) 36: At York, Kayleigh Rhine and Emma Bell each scored 17 points to lead CSY. Mallory Tome added 11 for CSY (8-5).
Twin Valley Bible Academy 57, Red Lion Christian 25: At Red Lion, Brennan Warner led the Swordsmen with 11 points.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.