RED LION — The marquee wrestling matches in the York-Adams League are typically must-see events.
Thursday evening’s early-season clash between Spring Grove and Red Lion figured to be one of them.
Spring Grove has been a dominant force in Division I throughout the past decade, as evidenced by eight outright or shared division titles over the past 10 seasons.
While Red Lion hasn’t won the division since 2009, the Lions typically have been one of the division's better outfits.
So a somewhat competitive match was expected when the two teams opened their Division I schedule against one another on Thursday night, right?
The visiting Rockets put the match away almost from the outset. Spring Grove took a 39-0 lead after seven bouts to help Tony Miller’s team cruise to a 53-21 triumph.
“This was the first league match so you never know what’s going to happen,” Miller said. “But we were fortunate enough to get a couple of matches under our belt over the weekend. But it’s still early.”
It may be early, but it’s not hard to tell that the Lions may struggle as a team this season. Under first-year head coach Albert Gleichauf, Red Lion will have a hard time filling out spots in the 14-person lineup regularly. Against Spring Grove, the Lions forfeited three matches. That’s something that Gleichauf doesn’t anticipate ending anytime soon.
“We don’t really have guys to fill (those spots),” said Gleichauf, a former standout wrestler at York College. “Unfortunately we’re not going to be able to fill those spots (this year).”
Those spots include one in the heavyweights and two in the lower weights. Since Thursday’s match began at 220, the Lions were forced to forfeit three of the first six bouts (220, 106, 120).
In the spots that Red Lion did have participants, the sledding was rough against a stout Rocket side. Despite giving up nearly 60 pounds, Nathan Young was able to pin his opponent, Nathan Schmuck, in just 39 seconds at 285. Dalton Rohrbaugh, a returning PIAA medalist a season ago, needed just 89 seconds to pin Alex Rabette at 113. After the forfeit at 120, the visitors were ahead by a 30-0 margin.
“I knew that they had some returning kids,” Miller said of Red Lion. “But I also knew that they didn’t have a full lineup so that really changes it up a little bit.”
While the team battle was never in question, there were a few individual bouts that stood out for both sides. For Spring Grove, it was at 145, where Chance Jackson faced Devin Gurerri. Gurerri seemed to have the better of the matchup throughout but had difficulty generating points. Leading 1-0 with under 30 seconds left, Gurerri was called for a locked-hands violation which evened the score. It remained that way until a one-minute overtime period, when Jackson earned a takedown with under five seconds left to claim a 3-1 decision.
“That takes a lot of guts and heart,” Miller said. “And that’s kind of what we have going on over here. We wish he could have gotten a takedown earlier in the match so he would obviously not be in the situation, but we’re happy we pulled through.”
A similar comeback effort paid dividends for Red Lion’s Dylan Gurerri at 160. Trailing Trent Baker with under 20 seconds left, Gurerri caught Baker off balance and put his shoulders on the mat with seven seconds remaining.
“He showed heart to finish it out there,” Gleichauf said. “He’s still got some things to work on, but hopefully he’ll have a great season for us.”
Isaac Rivera scored a pin at 138 for the Lions, who also received a forfeit in the final bout of the night at 195.
For Spring Grove, Jared Barley (182) also earned a victory by pin, while Anthony Hinson (152) scored a tech fall.
Dallastown 38, New Oxford 20: At Dallastown, the Wildcats avoided giving up too many bonus points while they scored plenty of their own in their win over the Colonials. Dallastown’s John Ligon (138), Ben Hyman (152) and Matt Ross (182) won by pins, while Drake Pew (170) scored a tech fall. Jared Bair (120) and Matt Poust (145) were the only wrestlers to score bonus points for New Oxford, winning by major decisions. Three-time state qualifier Zurich Storm won his bout at 126 pounds, 7-2.
York Tech 36, Biglerville 30: At Spry, the Spartans earned a huge win in the final bout of the match to down the Canners. With the match tied at 30-30 going into the last event at 182 pounds, Tech’s Zach Hagarman scored a pin in 1 minute, 49 seconds to earn the home team the victory. Travis Kesier (138), Luke Kordaz (160), George Ellenberger (195) and Kyiau Fake (285) scored pins for the Spartans. Biglerville got pins from Blake Showers (106), Brandon Miller (145) and Brent Hayes (220).
Kennard-Dale 64, York Suburban 18: At Fawn Grove, the Rams bounced back from an early-season loss to Gettysburg to knock off the Trojans in Division II action. Sam Stewart (126), Camron Miller (132), Andrew Barnett (145), Jacob Rose (152) and Troy Jones (170) picked up pins for K-D. Colin Shelton (120), Janner Torres (220) and Adoniyah Johnson (285) scored pins for Suburban.
South Western 46, Northeastern 24: At Hanover, the Mustangs won the first five bouts, all by bonus points. Camden Conaboy (132), Ethan Baney (152), Tyler Osborne (160), Calvin Sullivan (170) and Cole Stremmel (182) won by pins for South Western. Northeastern’s Cole Wilson (113) had a pin for the Bobcats. One of the state’s top heavyweights, Blaine Yinger, won by forfeit for the Bobcats.
Susquehannock 48, West York 34: At West York, the Warriors got five pins in the match from Jacob Sillman (120), Colby Romjue (138), Joey Romjue (16), Tim Mettee (170) and Tyler Crumbling (182). Trent Ketterman (132), Luke Stine (145), David Pressel (152) and Frank Veloce (285) scored pins for West York.
Eastern York 51, Dover 32: At Dover, the visitors grabbed a high-scoring triumph. No other details were reported.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at email@example.com.