Heavyweights may see lot of each other

Patrick Strohecker

On Jan. 28, Red Lion's Jared Schell and Northeastern's Blaine Yinger faced off in a battle of heavyweight standouts.

Red Lion's Jared Schell, right, enters the individual postseason tournaments as the top-rated wrestler at 285 pounds in District 3-AAA.

That day, Schell scored a 2-0 decision over Yinger. It was a showdown of the top two wrestlers in PennLive.com's District 3-AAA rankings, with Schell holding the top spot and Yinger right behind him.

It was one of those matches that was a treat for any of the wrestling fans who had a chance to witness it. At the time, the bout was all about the present, with each wrestler hoping to score points that would ultimately help his team win the match. But now, about 2 1/2 weeks later, that bout may have just been the first part in what could be a trilogy of matches for the two heavyweights.

With the regular season concluded and the team postseason tournament also complete, all the focus in the Pennsylvania high school wrestling world now turns to the individual tournaments. First up is this weekend's sectional round, where all of Section V in Class AAA will be made up of York-Adams League schools. That includes the Lions and Bobcats, meaning that the top two wrestlers in District 3 at 285 pounds could meet again.

Of course, because of their seedings, a rematch of that Jan. 28 bout would likely have to wait until the championship bout, when they'd finally cross paths from opposite halves of the brackets.

"I'd like to go against him again," Yinger said. "I have no doubt that I can beat him. I just need to wrestle my match."

A potential meeting between Schell and Yinger would hardly be the only weight class with compelling match-ups during the sectional tournament. But, because of how the weight class is set up, it could very well be the most intriguing.

Northeastern's Blaine Yinger is fresh off a District 3-AAA title at 285 pounds.

Unusual heavyweights: In most of the 14 weight classes in high school wrestling, there's a very limited slot where a wrestler's weight can be and still compete at his desired class.

That typically spans about six or seven pounds, until you start to get to the heavier weights. But, even then, that threshold still only ranges anywhere from 10-25 pounds. However, at heavyweight, the only limit for a wrestler is the maximum weight, 285 pounds. That means that you could have a match-up between one wrestler who weighs 220 pounds and one who weighs 280.

Because of that, you often get a contrast of styles, with the lighter guys relying more on technique and speed, while the heavier wrestlers who use their brute strength and size. For that very reason, the Schell-Yinger meetings should be extremely interesting.

Schell, who's a senior, doesn't max out his weight at much more than 220 pounds. That makes him one of the smaller heavyweights you'll see, routinely going up against guys who have 50 pounds, or more, on him. Meanwhile, Yinger, who's a junior, tries to keep his weight anywhere from 255 to 260 pounds. Bigger than Schell, he settles somewhere in the middle of the heavyweight spectrum.

However, despite weights that don't come close to the class limit, the two have still managed to find success. Schell finished the regular season at 26-2, while Yinger is 23-3. That's a solid 49-5 combined record. And when you watch them wrestle, they're not your typical slug-it-out heavyweights, either. Because they don't push the 285-pound limit, they're forced to use their quickness and technique to score points and win bouts, leading to more entertaining matches.

"When you take a shot, you want to stay driving your feet and lower your level," Schell said about how he finds success. "I just keep doing that and take them down a lot easier because most heavyweights don't shoot and are just standing straight up."

For Schell, he's used to being the undersized heavyweight. After wrestling at 195 pounds his freshman year, Schell made the jump to 220 pounds for his sophomore year, but didn't like it, so he tried 285 and saw more success there, staying at that weight ever since. This is only the first year for Yinger at 285 pounds, wrestling at 220 during his freshman and sophomore years.

Entering this weekend's sectional tournament, Schell has won his last 22 bouts after beginning the year 4-2. Yinger, meanwhile, hasn't lost since the Schell match back on Jan. 28 and it's his only defeat in his last 17 bouts.

Both wrestlers have had success in the postseason, both qualifying for the District 3-AAA tournament in their careers. However, neither has made it to the state competition, a goal that both of them set for themselves at the beginning of the year.

But, in order to get there and be the district's top seed in the state competition, they're more than likely going to need to go through each other.

Fresh face to watch: There are several top 285-pound wrestlers from the Y-A League who could potentially make noise in sectionals, districts and possibly even states.

Outside of Schell and Yinger, one other name worth watching is Central York's Michael Wolfgram. Only a freshman, Wolfgram posted a 22-7 record in his first year as a varsity wrestler, recording eight pins, three major decisions and a tech fall.

In his three bouts against Schell and Yinger, Wolfgram lost all three, but in close decisions. In his two matches against Schell, Wolfgram lost 9-8 and 5-4, while in his only bout against Yinger, he lost a 6-4 decision.

— Reach Patrick Strohecker at pstrohecker@yorkdispatch.com

Following are Saturday's District 3 wrestling sectional sites for York-Adams teams.


Section V (At South Western)

Central York, Dallastown, Dover, Gettysburg, Kennard Dale, New Oxford, Northeastern, Red Lion, Spring Grove, South Western, Susquehannock, West York, York Suburban, York Tech.


Section I (At Susquenita)

Bermudian Springs, Biglerville, Delone Catholic, Eastern York, Fairfield, Hanover, Littlestown, Boling Springs, Camp Hill, Susquenita, Halifax, Newport, Upper Dauphin.