DALLASTOWN — What makes wrestling so entertaining is that there are so many matches that can swing the outcome of an overall contest.
While that was not the case during Dallastown’s 42-20 victory over Central York on Thursday, Jan. 25, at Dallastown High School, it very well may be the case on Saturday, Jan. 27. That’s the date for one of the biggest York-Adams League Division I matches this season, when the Wildcats (13-2 overall, 4-1 D-I) host unbeaten Spring Grove (19-0, 5-0).
Dallastown coach Dave Gable, however, didn’t really want to term Thursday’s battle with the Panthers as a "tune-up" for the Rockets.
The positive result, however, could be used as momentum.
“Central is an extremely solid team,” Gable said. “They have a bunch of really good competitors, so I expected some great bouts tonight and we got them.”
The Panthers (9-8, 3-3) started out strong when the showdown began at 126. The visitors claimed four of the first six bouts to race out to a 15-6 advantage.
The Wildcats turned things around quickly when the contest moved to the 170-pound battle between Dallastown’s Jarrett Feeney and Central’s Antonio Rivera. Feeney was able to catch Rivera to earn the stick in the second period to cut the deficit to three.
That margin was reduced to two points for unsportsmanlike conduct on Central, a one-point team deduction.
“Sometimes you just lose your mind,” Central coach Seth Beitz said. “Wrestling is a tough sport, but at the end of the day, you have to keep your composure.”
That point proved to be inconsequential. The hosts were just getting started. A decision at 182 by Garrett Johnson, a fall at 195 by Andrew Smith followed by a forfeit at 225 vaulted the Wildcats into the lead for good at 27-14.
Central received a pin by Michael Wolfgram at 285 to close to within seven points, but the Wildcats closed out the victory by capturing the final three bouts.
Smith, Feeney and Adam Karlie (106) picked up particularly big falls that the Wildcats and Gable hope they can replicate Saturday against the Rockets. Winning matches on paper and in the imagination, however, is really no way to determine how any big showdown may unfold.
Gable is just hoping that a big crowd of Dallastown fans pack the house when his team takes on a Spring Grove squad that has become the class of York-Adams Division I over the past decade.
“It’s going to be exciting to have a last match of the year against a team like Spring Grove in our home gym,” he said. “Hopefully it will bring out a lot of wrestling fans. I just hope it’ll be a good night for wrestling.”
Beitz, whose team has now wrestled both the Rockets and Wildcats, wouldn’t mind watching Saturday’s showdown if he was available. The Panthers, however, will be participating at the Coal Cracker Tournament this weekend. Still, the Central coach heaped praise on both programs.
“Both teams are just loaded,” Beitz said. “There are going to be a lot of key head-to-head match-ups that are going to be the (difference). Whoever gets the most bonus points is going to come out on top.”
New Oxford 66, Northeastern 6: At Manchester, the Colonials received a pin apiece from Luke Lardarello (170) and Derrick Rudisill (195) to secure the road victory.
Eastern York 59, York Suburban 15: At Suburban, the Golden Knights received pins from Dillon Mealey (160) and Drake Brown (195). There were a total of nine forfeits between both teams.
Bermudian Springs 78, York Tech 3: At York Springs, the Eagles received pins from Cole Mosier (106), Tyler Rawson (126), Hogan Swenski (132), Trace Grim (160) and Chase Dull (220).
South Western 48, Dover 27: At Hanover, the Mustangs got pins from Adam Leib (132), Cameron Stevens (145), Cavin Sullivan (152), Cole Stremmel (182) and Dylan Goodman (195). Dover got pins from Jarrod Love (285) and Bradyn Yerges (113).
Reach Ryan Vandersloot at firstname.lastname@example.org.