New Oxford wrestling comes back for 27-26 victory over Red Lion

Ryan Vandersloot
For The York Dispatch

NEW OXFORD — To say that both the New Oxford and Red Lion wrestling squads were at their peaks heading into Thursday’s clash would be quite false. The first week back after the holiday break saw both programs competing with some disadvantages.

The visiting Lions wrestled with three members of their roster coming back from an illness, while a fourth grappler was forced out of action. The Colonials were similarly dealing with injuries and illness at some areas of their lineup.

Perhaps on another night the outcome would have been dramatically different, but the schedule makers set Thursday for the date of the contest.

The New Oxford boys had no complaints. Taking advantage of some holes in the Red Lion lineup, the Colonials were able to get a pinfall from freshman Tristan Camacho, a decision from senior Ethan Aiello and a forfeit in the final bout of the night to erase a 14-point deficit to claim a thrilling 27-26 victory.

New Oxford’s Wylan Hess against Red Lion’s Aaron Simpson during their 133lbs wrestling match in New Oxford on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023.

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The triumph kept the hosts unbeaten in York-Adams Division I action at 3-0, while the Lions dropped to 1-2.

“A lot of our guys wrestled with a lot of adversity,” Red Lion coach Matt Helwig said. “I was without my 121-pounder (Jackson Orrell) and I had a lot of guys who couldn’t practice this week because of the flu out there. But I’m not making excuses, we just have to wrestle better.”

Orrell, who already owned a victory earlier in the season at the Penn Manor tournament over his expected foe in New Oxford’s Trent Uhler, is one of the spark plugs in the Red Lion lineup. Going from expecting to earn three or more points by Orrell (12-5 on the season) to giving up six via forfeit certainly made a big difference in Thursday’s outcome.

“That certainly hurt, but we also had three guys wrestle coming off the flu tonight,” Helwig said. “They didn’t practice all week, but they showed up at school today because this was a big match.”

New Oxford’s Clayton Miller against Red Lion’s Tyler Bootier during their 145lbs wrestling match in New Oxford on Thursday, Jan. 5, 2023.

The Colonials had their share of issues with illness and injury as well.

“I know that they were wrestling without some of their kids,” New Oxford coach Brian Martin said. “And we had some situations where some of our starters were out, so it was a battle. Fortunately this time it worked out in our favor.”

The Lions were able to string together four straight wins starting at 172 to take control of the match. Frank Gulli earned a major decision at 172 (13-0), Alex Lusco scored a first-period fall at 189 before James Lopez (215) and Ethan Nelson (285) earned decisions.

That put the Red Lion boys up 26-12 with three bout remaining, but the Colonials were able to capitalize late to score a dramatic come-from-behind triumph.

“We faced some adversity, no doubt, but I have to give it up to New Oxford,” Helwig said. “They came out and I know that they were dealing with some struggles with adversity as well and they took it to us.”

Wylan Damon (139), Tyler Bootier (145) and Owen Smith (152) scored victories for the Lions on the night.

New Oxford 27, Red Lion 26

  • 127: Jerry Dattoli (NO) dec. Harvey, 3-1
  • 133: Wylan Hess (NO) dec. Simpson, 4-0
  • 139: Wylan Damon (RL) dec. R. Miller, 9-3
  • 145: Tyler Bootier (RL) maj. dec. C. Miller, 11-2
  • 152: Owen Smith (RL) dec. Lawyer, 1-0
  • 160: Lane Johnson (NO) pinned B. Smith
  • 1:41; 172: Frank Grulli (RL) maj. dec. Price, 13-0
  • 189: Alex Lusco (RL) pinned Speros, 1:52
  • 215: James Lopez (RL) dec. Bell, 5-0
  • 285: Ethan Nelson (RL) dec. M. Smith, 3-0
  • 107: Tanner Camcacho (NO) pinned Rogers, 4:41
  • 114: Ethan Aiello (NO) dec. Seager, 7-0
  • 121: Trent Uhler (NO) won by forfeit.