HANOVER — High school wrestling is often a sport that's difficult to predict when it comes to the showdown matches.
Two teams — such as Spring Grove and South Western — can put up similar scores against the same foes. However, that doesn’t necessarily translate into a close contest when those two teams finally square off.
There’s only so much that can be ascertained by playing out matches on paper. For the most part, it comes down to individual match-ups and which wrestlers are better on a given night.
That’s why both Spring Grove coach Tony Miller and South Western coach Nate Murren gave up trying to devise the perfect battle plan for Thursday’s showdown in Hanover. At a certain point, it all boils down to the match-ups and the wrestlers.
Fortunately for Miller and his side, the key bouts in the mid-to-late part of the contest all went for the visitors. Mired in a 18-18 deadlock entering the 170 match, the Rockets were able to swing the momentum their way. Trent Baker (170) and Jared Barley (182) earned major decisions before Wyatt Becker essentially put the match away with a 8-5 decision at 195.
In total, Spring Grove claimed six of the final seven bouts to earn an intense 41-24 triumph over the Mustangs.
Spring Grove (9-1 overall) remained alone in first place in York-Adams Division I at 4-0. South Western fell to 7-4 and 3-2.
“I looked at so many stats and stuff and then finally at 1 o’clock today I said, ‘that’s enough,’” Miller said. “I just put them all away because I was just driving myself nuts.”
Murren had a similar take.
“Looking at it on paper is nothing to looking at the kids trying to wrestle,” he said. “You can look at it on paper all day long, but when the kid gets here he may not be feeling good so you never know.”
In front of a near capacity crowd filled with loud student sections on both sides of the bleachers, the atmosphere was unlike many others that both teams have experienced. That may have led to some early jitters for some of the younger wrestlers, but it seemed to fire up the better ones on both sides.
The Rockets took a quick 11-0 lead after getting big bonus points at 113 by Dalton Rohrbaugh (technical fall) and at 120 by Clay Baker (pin). The home team answered with a big pin at 126 by Chase Mowery to make it 11-6.
After that it became a series of toss-up battles that were fiercely contested. The Mustangs took their only lead of the night when Ethen Beney scored a late fall in the first period at 152 to make it 18-15.
That’s when the Rockets took over. Anthony Hinson evened the match with a decision at 160. Then came the back-to-back major decisions by Trent Baker and Barley before Becker earned a big win at 195.
Competing in an atmosphere such as the one on Thursday was certainly a new experience for Becker, who is getting used to being a big part of the Rocket lineup.
“I wrestled really well I think,” he said. “I’m just real happy. I heard the cheers going and the roaring and I was shaking. It was such a great feeling … I can’t even describe it.”
For the Mustangs, who were coming off a rousing upset of previously unbeaten Dallastown Tuesday, there was a sense that they aren’t too far away from a team such as Spring Grove. One or two matches flip the other way and it could have been an entirely different story.
“We thought we were matched up the way we wanted to be,” Murren said. “We just didn’t wrestle up to what I thought that we could.”
Perhaps the biggest disappointment of the entire night for the fans was that an anticipated showdown between highly-touted 220-pounders in Spring Grove’s Nate Young and South Western’s Tommy Aumen never took place. Both wrestled, but not against one another. Young scored a pin at 220, while Aumen did the same at 285.
New Oxford 46, Central York 25: At Pleasureville, the Colonials won five of the first seven bouts to set the tone for their win. Jared Bair (113), Matthew Poust (145) and Luke Lardarello (160) recorded pins for New Oxford. Central York got a pin from Michael Wolfgram at 285 and a major decision from Deontay English at 170.
Delone Catholic 58, York Tech 18: At McSherrystown, Robert Partenza (126), Dimitri Partenza (132), Ryan Hart (145), Brendan Quinn (182), Brady Repasky (195), Sean Sneeringer (220) and Bryce Perkins (285) all scored pins for Delone. York Tech got pins from Travis Keiser (138) and Tyler Enfield (170).
Susquehannock 46, Kennard-Dale 36: At Fawn Grove, the Warriors received pins from Ben Sweigard (120), Colby Romjue (132) and Lee Cook (220). For the Rams, Daemon Davis (113), Sam Stewart (126), Brody Baublitz (138), Nick Bradley (145), Andrew Barnett (152) and Austin McNamee (182) each picked up pins. The home team picked up all its points by pins.
West York 54, York Suburban 14: At West York, the Bulldogs cruised to victory, helped by three pins and five forfeits. Luke Stine (145), Willie Martin (170) and Allen Bailey (195) picked up those pins for West York. Andres Thomas (152) and Andrew Frey (182) scored pins for the Trojans.
Red Lion 44, Northeastern 30: At Red Lion, despite forfeiting four bouts, the Lions scored bonus points in several contested bouts to down the Bobcats. Riley Seredych (126), Dylan Gurreri (170) and Jack Conrad (182) scored pins for Red Lion. Northeastern’s Ryan Hussey (120) was the only member of his team to win a contested bout, earning a pin.
Gettysburg 68, Eastern York 9: At Gettysburg, the Warriors improved to 5-0 in York-Adams Division II and clinched at least a share of the division crown. No other details were reported.
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.