It’s already been an eventful season on the York-Adams League wrestling mats, and the best may be yet to come.
The most anticipated team match of the season thus far couldn’t have had a more dramatic climax, ending in a tie before being decided by the eighth tiebreaker.
The most anticipated individual match of the season, meanwhile, couldn’t have had a more anticlimactic finish, ending in a forfeit.
The York-Adams League wrestling season isn’t even a month old, but you already have to wonder what other surprises could be in store during the weeks and months to come.
In just more than two weeks, we’ll know the identity of the three division champs.
In just more than a month, we’ll know how the Y-A wrestlers fared in District 3 competition.
And in just about two months, we’ll know if any area wrestlers will be draped with gold medals around their necks at the conclusion of the PIAA state championship meet in Hershey.
Here’s a look at what we’ve learned so far — and what we can look forward to in the future — on the local mats.
Heavyweight showdown: Last week, fans from across the Y-A League were looking forward to a potential showdown of unbeaten heavyweights.
Unfortunately, it didn’t come off.
Dallastown’s Raymond Christas was in concussion protocol after suffering a head injury during the championship bout in a Florida tournament on Saturday, Dec. 29. He was not yet medically cleared to compete vs. Central York standout Michael Wolfgram on Thursday, Jan. 3.
A couple days later, however, Christas was back on the mat and as impressive as ever, registering five first-period pins on Saturday at the Hawk Mountain Duals in Hamburg. None of those matches even lasted 50 seconds.
Christas now stands at 19-0, while Wolfgram, a West Virginia recruit, is 12-0.
Wolfgram was visibly disappointed when his match-up vs. Christas ended in a forfeit victory.
Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the Christas-Wolfgram showdown should finally happen during District 3 Class 3-A Section 4 action at South Western on Saturday, Feb. 16.
Wolfgram is ranked No. 7 nationally at 285 by InterMat.
Division I: Dallastown (8-0 overall) is in the driver’s seat in Y-A Division I, thanks largely to a tiebreaker victory over Gettysburg, 32-31, back on Dec. 19 that was decided by criteria H — most first points scored.
The Wildcats sit at 3-0 in the division, followed by Gettysburg and Spring Grove at 2-1. The Warriors (6-3 overall) remained in the thick of the D-I race with an impressive 38-25 triumph over the Rockets (8-4 overall) on Jan. 3 in Papertown.
The division race will almost certainly be decided on Thursday, Jan. 17, when Spring Grove visits Dallastown. If the Wildcats win that match, they’ll likely earn their first outright D-I title since 2006. If Spring Grove can earn the road win that night, it’s likely the division will end with a three-way tie for the top spot that includes the Wildcats, Rockets and Warriors.
Division II: The D-II race, meanwhile, is wide open, as expected. Gettysburg dominated this division the past couple of years before moving up to D-I this season.
Right now, Dover, West York and Susquehannock appear to be the class of the division. Dover is 3-0 in D-II and 8-0 overall, while West York is 2-0 in D-II and 6-1 overall. Susquehannock sits at 2-0 in D-II and 6-4 overall.
No matter who emerges as the D-II champion, it will mark that team’s first divisional wrestling title this century. West York’s last title came in 1999 (D-II), while Susquehannock’s last championship came in 1992 (D-I). Dover hasn’t won a division crown since an overall league title in 1984, before the Y-A League had divisions.
Division III: The D-III race looks as if it will belong to Bermudian Springs — again. The Eagles have won every D-III title since the Y-A League went to three wrestling divisions in 2015.
In fact, the Eagles have won a Y-A division title in nine straight seasons.
This year’s Eagles are 9-0 overall and 2-0 in the division. Littlestown is 4-2 overall and 3-0 in D-III, but it would be a huge surprise if the Thunderbolts, or anyone else in D-III, could challenge Bermudian.
Stacked at 160: When the District 3 3-A Section 4 Tournament rolls around Feb. 15-16 at South Western, the weight class to watch most closely may well be at 160 pounds.
It could be stacked with standout wrestlers.
Of course, with more than a month to go before sectionals, it’s hard to predict how things will shake out. Wrestlers could move up or move down in weight classes.
Still, here’s a list of local 3-A wrestlers who have competed at 160 at some point during this season, along with their records: Susquehannock’s Colby Romjue (13-0), Spring Grove’s Anthony Hinson (21-2), Gettysburg’s Dylan Reinert (20-2), Dallastown’s John Ligon (17-4), South Western’s Ethan Baney (14-3) and Central York’s Tanner Schaller (14-4).
Reinert, Hinson and Baney were all state qualifiers a year ago, with Baney finishing eighth. Hinson’s only two losses this season came vs. Reinert (16-9 and 11-7). Reinert also defeated Baney (12-5). Romjue also earned a 7-1 win over Baney, while Hinson beat Schaller, 13-6.
Only four wrestlers can advance out of any weight class from the South Western sectional, so there’s a very good chance that a very good wrestler, or wrestlers, won’t make it past the sectional level at 160.
Freshman phenoms: It’s turning into a very good season for freshman wrestlers in the Y-A League.
Leading the way is Biglerville lightweight Levi Haines, who is 18-0 at 106 and 113 pounds. He is ranked 10th in the nation at 106 by InterMat.
Not far behind Haines is Dover’s Mason Leiphart, who is 16-1, also at 106 and 113. His only loss came to Haines, 9-7, on Dec. 15.
It should also be noted that York Suburban has compiled a 10-6 overall team record, powered largely by five freshmen boasting strong records: Zachary Emory (13-3 at 113), Noah Rice (13-3 at 132), Jamal Lewis (12-4 at 170), Bryson Neidigh (12-4 at 120) and Dequese Dillon (10-6 at 106).
Unbeatens: We’ve already mentioned several local wrestlers who have yet to lose, namely Christas, Wolfgram and Haines.
There are several others, including: Susquehannock’s Luke Ohmann, 14-0 at 195; York Tech’s Jacob Sharp, 7-0 at 220; Bermudian’s Chase Dull, 6-0 at 195; and Hanover’s Michael Corbin, 6-0 at 106.
— Steve Heiser is sports editor of The York Dispatch. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Individual records for this column were compiled with information supplied by Pa-Wrestling.com.