HERSHEY — Going into the District 3 3-A wrestling tournament at Hershey's Giant Center, Central York sophomore Michael Wolfgram knew that, in this case, zero equaled one.
Undefeated on the season heading into the three-day event, Wolfgram knew that if he kept a zero in the loss column, it meant he'd head into the state tournament in two weeks as the top seed out of District 3 as the 3-A champion.
Wolfgram was rarely tested in his four bouts in the tournament. He moved into the semifinals with a pair of pins on Thursday and followed that up with an 11-4 result on Friday to advance to the finals. Facing Cameron Tinner of Shippensburg in the championship bout, the reigning 220-pound gold medalist, it looked like Wolfgram might be in for a test.
Instead, he continued to roll, defeating Tinner 14-5 to win the gold medal and head into the state tournament with a perfect 34-0 record.
"It's a good feeling," Wolfgram said. "I've been waiting since last year at states wrestling these guys and I felt really prepared because my coaches and everyone in the room bring me in and kick the crap out of me every day."
Wolfgram showed his versatility that few at the heavyweight division possess. After Tinner opened the bout by shooting first, Wolfgram stuffed it and then eventually maneuvered his way around to complete a takedown. After letting Tinner up, Wolfgram scored another takedown just before the end of the first period to head into the second period up 4-1.
Tinner continued to push forward, despite a number of stuffed takedown attempts and it eventually wore him down. By the end of the bout, Wolfgram's dominance was on full display, as he had little trouble scoring two points on quick takedowns, cutting Tinner loose and then taking him down again.
As the final horn sounded on Wolfgram's victory, he got up and glanced at his coaches, Seth Beitz and Joe Musti, cracked a minor smile and that was it. There was no emphatic celebration. It was business as usual.
"Honestly, I didn't believe in myself as much as I should have," Wolfgram admitted. "After I went out there, I thought I started dictating the pace of the match and that's when it started going my way."
The longer Wolfgram carries his perfect season, the more pressure will mount on him and he admitted as such following the win, but tries not to focus too much on it.
"A little, not going to lie," he said. "If you start thinking about rankings and numbers and records, that's when you start holding back because you want to keep an undefeated record and you want to not get scored on. ...I went in here thinking that if I get taken down, just keep wrestling through it and that's the mentality my coaches gave me."
Wolfgram will have almost two weeks to regroup and prepare for his second state competition. He went 0-2 as a freshman last year, but he's a much more experienced wrestler this time around and will enter as one of the top guys to beat at his weight class.
Storm finally conquers districts: In his fourth appearance at the district tournament, New Oxford senior Zurich Storm finally found himself atop the podium.
Storm dominated his way through the 120-pound bracket in 3-A and then put the cherry on top with a convincing 8-4 win over Chris Wright of Central Dauphin, the third-ranked wrestler in the state at the weight.
Storm scored early on Wright and then was strong in top position, riding him out for much of the bout.
Prior to even getting to face Wright, it looked like Storm was going to win district gold by way of a forfeit. Wright missed weight at his initial weigh-in, which would've disqualified him all together from even qualifying for the state tournament. However, Wright weighed in again on another scale, taking advantage of a rule where wrestlers can weigh-in on every scale to try and make weight, and did end up making weight, allowing him to wrestle.
Regardless, Storm was ready for whatever awaited him and was more satisfied that he earned the crown by actually competing.
"Our coaches just told me to be ready, no matter what," Storm said. "So, if he didn't make weight, I was warmed-up and got a forfeit, but if he did make weight, I was warmed-up and ready to go."
Rockets put program-high into states: The long, historic success of Spring Grove wrestling set a new program mark during Saturday's finals.
Four Rockets' wrestlers qualified for the state competition in two weeks, the most ever for one season. Dalton Rohrbaugh lost in the finals to J.J. Wilson of Cedar Cliff, 7-4, to finish second at 113 pounds; Clay Baker took fourth at 120 pounds; Jake Meyer took fourth at 132 pounds and Nate Young finished fourth at 220 pounds. Young ended up facing York-Adams League Division I rival Bryce Shields of Dallastown in the third-place bout, with Shields earning the victory via pinfall in two minutes, 33 seconds. Both will still head to the state competition.
Y-A League finalists: Entering the day, nine Y-A League wrestlers were competing for a district title. Aside from Storm and Wolfgram, two other area wrestlers grabbed district gold. Austin Clabaugh of Bermudian Springs won the 126-pound 2-A title with an 8-4 win over Kollin Myers of Boiling Springs, while his teammate, Noah Fleshman, earned the 195-pound title with a 9-1 major decision victory over Austin Taylor of Boiling Springs.
Andrew Barnett of Kennard-Dale was tech falled by reigning District 3 3-A champion John Pipa of Bishop McDevitt at 145 pounds in 2-A, losing 18-3. Ashton West of Bermudian Springs dropped a 9-3 decision to Edmond Ruth of Susquehanna Township at 152 pounds, while Brian Shermeyer of Delone Catholic was reversed in the final seconds of his 160-pound bout to lose to Tanner Vogel of Wyomissing, 10-9. Lastly, Carl Harris of Littlestown lost, 10-6, to Dalton Group of Susquenita in the 170-pound final.
Other 3-A state qualifiers: Northeastern freshman Cole Wilson capped his first district experience with a 5-1 win in the third-place bout at 106 pounds; Dylan Reinert of Gettysburg finished fourth at 138 pounds; Dylan Gurreri of Red Lion finished fourth in 160 pounds; and Blaine Yinger of Northeastern had to forfeit his third-place bout against Oscar Daniels at 285 pounds, finishing fourth.
All 2-A regional qualifiers: The top-seven finishers at each weight class qualified for next weekend's regional tournament in 2-A. Here are the wrestlers from the Y-A League who will be moving onto the next round: Korey Smith of Bermudian Springs finished sixth at 106 pounds; Josh Tuckey of Biglerville took fourth at 113 pounds; Landon West of Bermudian Springs finished seventh at 113 pounds; Eli Tuckey of Biglerville took fifth at 120 pounds; Trenton Harder of Bermudian Springs finished fifth at 132 pounds; Nick Bradley of Kennard-Dale finished fourth at 138 pounds; Lucas Gladfelter of Bermudian Springs took sixth at 145 pounds; Colton Shriner of Fairfield finished seventh at 152 pounds; Darren Beall of Bermudian Springs took fourth at 160 pounds; Jahshim Snyder of Eastern York finished fourth at 182 pounds; Brady Repasky of Delone Catholic finished fourth at 195 pounds; Bermudian Springs' Dorian Steele defeated Delone Catholic's Sean Sneeringer, 5-2, in the fifth-place bout at 220 pounds; Bryce Perkins of Delone Catholic finished third at 285 pounds with a pin; and Tanner Harkins of Kennard-Dale finished seventh at 285 pounds.
— Reach Patrick Strohecker at firstname.lastname@example.org