WRESTLING: Spring Grove gets at least share of crown

Patrick Strohecker
  • Spring Grove earned a share of the Division I title with 40-24 win over Dallastown.
  • The Rockets won five consecutive bouts to erase an 18-16 hole and take control of the match.
  • Cameron Green (195), Bryce Shields (220) and William Anderson (285) won the first three bouts to put the Wildcats up 13-0 early.

SPRING GROVE — Often, when you think of Spring Grove wrestling, the first name that comes to mind is 113-pounder Dalton Rohrbaugh.

After him, the next notable name might be 120-pounder Clay Baker. Together, Rohrbaugh and Baker made up a lethal duo at the lighter weights a season ago, excelling in part of the high school wrestling lineup where many teams struggle to find any wrestlers at all, let alone two standouts.

While small in stature, the Rocket lightweights tend to overshadow many of the other strong Spring Grove wrestlers in the middle part of the lineup, guys who aren't as flashy on the mat, but do their jobs well.

Tuesday night, in a York-Adams Division I match against a formidable Dallastown side, it was the middle of Spring Grove's lineup that pushed the team over the top. The Rockets won five consecutive bouts from 132 pounds through 160 pounds to secure a 40-24 victory. The win clinched at least a share of the Division I crown. They can win it outright with a victory over New Oxford on Thursday night.

"They're pretty consistent," Spring Grove coach Tony Miller said about his middleweights. "They may not be the stars, so to speak, but they're pretty consistent in what they do. Brady Pitzer, especially, I was very impressed with Brady Pitzer tonight."

Brady Pitzer of Spring Grove earns back points on Dallastown's John Ligon during the 132-pound match, Tuesday, January 17, 2017. John A. Pavoncello photo

With the match beginning at 195, right in the heart of the strong part of Dallastown's lineup, it allowed the visiting side to jump out to an early lead. Then, it was up to guys such as Chase Bricker, Rohrbaugh and Baker to get the Rockets back into the match. They did just that, but after Dalton Daugherty scored a technical fall at 126 pounds, the Wildcats jumped back ahead, 18-16. That's where Pitzer came into play.

The freshman took on John Ligon at 132 pounds, a guy he lost to by pin in junior high a year ago. The bout was one of a few toss-ups out of the 14 bouts. If Ligon could've scored a win, it would've given Dallastown a different outlook on the match. However, it was Pitzer who stunned a lot of people and received perhaps the biggest roar from the home crowd when he scored a pin at the 3:30 mark to put Spring Grove back on top, this time for good.

"I really wanted revenge," Pitzer said after the match. "Just trying to get a win. A pin (was) a bonus."

It was a bonus on the scoreboard and provided that extra little spark for the rest of his team. It kick-started a huge run of wins for the Rockets, three of which provided bonus points. Trent Baker was the fifth consecutive Spring Grove wrestler at the middleweights to score a win and his 4-0 decision at 160 over Hayden Jones secured the match victory with two bouts still to contest.

"It's tough because it's hard to get bonus points on them because even their less-experienced kids, they're very good at keeping control and staying off their backs," Wildcats head coach Rob Jansen said about Spring Grove. "They're tough in those kind of positions and it's tough to find a weak spot."

Jansen got what he could've hoped for to begin the match, scoring three consecutive victories at 195, 220 and 285, to build a 13-0 lead. Cameron Green earned a major decision at 195 and William Anderson got a pin at 285.

"We were hoping for that (bonus points) and they were working on doing their jobs," Jansen said about his team's good start. "It just wasn't enough. At least not this time."

Unfortunately, it didn't take long for the Rockets' bread and butter to quickly erase the deficit. Bricker got a major decision at 106, followed by a quick, 49-second pin by Rohrbaugh at 113 and then a pin by Clay Baker at 120 had Spring Grove ahead 16-13. The Daugherty tech fall at 126 was the final bright spot for the Wildcats before Ben Hyman pinned Juan Landaverde at 170. The match ended in grim fashion at 182, with a strong showdown between two solid wrestlers in the Rockets' Jared Barley and Dallastown's Drake Pew. Barley scored the 9-6 win, but it was the apparent knee injury suffered by Pew that grabbed most of the attention.

Dallastown's Drake Pew reacts as Jared Barley of Spring Grove uses Pew's injured leg to take him down during the 182-pound match on Tuesday. Pew suffered a Grade 2 sprain of his MCL. John A. Pavoncello photo

It'll be a quick turnaround now for Spring Grove, which will be back in action against the Colonials at home Thursday. In that match, the Rockets can repeat as outright Division I champion, while New Oxford, which defeated Northeastern 60-12 Tuesday, needs a win to grab a share of it for the first time since the 2014-15 season.

"It's another league match, so the mindset is we gotta come out and come back to work on Thursday," Miller said. "Well, it starts tomorrow at practice. This is really great, but you don't want to slip at the end."


Susquehannock 54, Dover 27: At Glen Rock, the Warriors cruised to the home victory on the strength of seven pins. The fastest pin earned was picked up by Susquehannock’s Lee Cook at 220 pounds against Kenny Laird. The Eagles scored three pins of their own, with Mason Torney pinning Mitch Brown in 23 seconds at 106 pounds.

Central York 39, Red Lion 16: At Central York, the Panthers used a team effort in capturing the victory by picking up six decisions. For the Lions, Cole Daugherty (145) picked up the lone pin of the match. As a team, Central picked up 24 points by forfeit.

Eastern York 62, York Suburban 12: At Wrightsville, the Golden Knights got pins from Thomas Paulson (132), Troy Staats (152) and Drake Brown (220). Collin Shelton had a pin for Suburban at 120. Eastern was helped by five Suburban forfeits.

Bermudian Springs 78, York Tech 6: At York Springs, the Eagles rolled to the York-Adams Division III triumph. Bermudian is 16-1 overall and 5-0 in the division. Bermudian got pins from Tyler Rawson (120), Dylan Griffie (126), Austin Clabaugh (132), Tanner Althoff (145), Ashton West (152), Trace Grim (170), Noah Fleshman (195), Doran Steele (220), Ryan Forsythe (285) and Korey Smith (106). Travis Keiser had a pin for Tech at 138).

Gettysburg 72, West York 12: At West York, the visitors rolled to sew up the York-Adams Division II outright championship at 6-0. No other details were available.

Reach Patrick Strohecker at pstrohecker@yorkdispatch.com.