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Dover standout Mason Leipart hoping to get over hump and win District 3 wrestling title

DANTE GREEN
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  • The District 3 Class 3-A Wrestling Championships are this weekend at Spring Grove.
  • Dover's Mason Leiphart is a three-time district runner-up.
  • Leiphart, in his senior season, is looking to claim his first district championship.
  • Leiphart, a four-time District 3 sectional champ, has a career record of 125-11.
Mason Leiphart

Mason Leiphart is hoping to finally get over the hump.

Since losing in the title match at last year's District 3 Class 3-A Wrestling Championships and coming in second for a third consecutive year at the event, the Dover High School standout has had one goal in mind — finally get over the hurdle and win a district crown.

He’ll get one final opportunity to do that this weekend at Spring Grove High School during the 2022 district 3-A meet.

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Leiphart has accomplished plenty for his team during his career, winning four straight District 3 Class 3-A sectional titles and 125 matches overall. In his final year of high school, however, Leiphart has looked like a man on a mission, dominating his opponents. The 120-pounder is the only undefeated wrestler left in the York-Adams League at 32-0. Still, the goal of winning a District 3 crown is one that ranks very high on Leiphart’s agenda.

“My first season I got stopped. I was too timid, and I didn’t wrestle well. I am excited to finally win one and break that streak. I want to advance to the state tournament,” Leiphart said.

Chambersburg's Karl Shindledecker, left, and Dover's Mason Leiphart wrestle in the 120 pound weight class during the PIAA District III, Class 3-A South Central Region Championships at Spring Grove Area High School in Jackson Township, Saturday, Feb. 27, 2021. Shindledecker would win the match by decision 4-2. Dawn J. Sagert photo

There isn’t any one foe that the Dover senior is particularly interested in matching up against, saying: “Wherever the cards fall, that’s who’s I'm going to wrestle.”

Leiphart has broken record after record at Dover, including compiling the most wins in school history. His career mark is 125-11.

At last year's PIAA Class 3-A state meet he finished third at 120. He has a legitimate shot to win a gold medal at this year's state meet in mid-March in Hershey.

Competitive spirit: Nevertheless, Leiphart says it’s his competitive spirit that keeps him on the mat, rather than any awards he might win. 

“I have been wrestling for a long time,” he said. “I've tried to get better in every way possible. I want to be well-rounded and one of the best. I like the sport in general and I like the competitive nature. I like the idea that two guys go out and one guy wins.”

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He already has his sights set on being an All-American at the college level. He will attend nearby NCAA Division III Franklin and Marshall in Lancaster next fall.

His coach is impressed: Dover’s head wrestling, Josh Murray, has seen the hard work his star athlete has put in over the years. 

“He has a drive and he just wants to get better,” Murray said. “He’s setting the bar for wrestling. Getting on the podium. He’s doing extra practices. In the room and out of the weight room. Everything is coming together. He’s a product of all his hard work.” 

Leiphart has trained and gotten better at his craft over the years, developing his ability to wrestle on the bottom and top. Murray believes his hard work will eventually pay off in the district meet.

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“One of the things he’s been working on is staying on his feet and staying neutral,” Murray said. “The big thing that sticks is how he has matured and how calm and collected he is. He has always been like that. He excels in those areas and his athletic ability is the best in the district. He’s always had the best attitude.” 

Developing a strategy: Leiphart says he now takes his time to develop a strategy, compared to when he first started wrestling, when he would rush into the battle. That change may play a key factor in him being able to win a district championship. He knows that when he takes to the mat in one of the final bouts of his high school career, it won’t matter to his opponent about his accolades or records. 

“Records don’t matter,” Leiphart said. “Anything can happen. Each week you start 0-0. To finally win there (the District 3 meet), first, I need to wrestle to the best of my ability. Stay neutral. Set good shots and finish.”

Reach Dante Green at dgreen@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @ydsports.