With eyes on the postseason, Central York wrestling flattens New Oxford in D-I finale
EMIGSVILLE — Oh, what could have been had the schedule makers in the York-Adams League had the foresight to place the Central York wrestling team against Spring Grove in the Division I regular-season finale.
Instead of what could have been a barnburner of a battle, the Y-A schedule placed those two squads against one another to open the Division I campaign last month.
While the schedule makers would probably want a mulligan, the good news is that a rematch may be in the cards come the District 3 Class 3A team tournament in a few weeks. To get there, however, the Panthers needed to get past a New Oxford team that could use a victory to secure a berth into the 16-team draw.
Hosting the Colonials Thursday, the Panthers found themselves behind after four bouts — one of which was a forfeit at 139 pounds. That deficit, however, didn’t last very long as the Central boys took each of the final nine bouts of the evening to claim a big 57-12 triumph.
The Panthers improved to 9-2 overall and 4-1 in Division I, while New Oxford dropped to 10-6 overall and 3-2 in the division.
“It’s a long season,” Central York coach Eric Albright said. “We hit a bit of a funk where we had some sickness and battling some injuries, but everybody is dealing with that right now. So now we’re just getting the guys prepped and we’re peaking right now before (districts).”
Albright’s squad features a bevy of grapplers who appear to be in contention for state medals next month. The trio of Macon Myers (172), Carter Davis (160) and Wyatt Dillon (145) all made the trip to Hershey last year but came home empty-handed. The likes of Elias Long (133), Ian Scully (285) and Harris Keares (107) figure to be in the mix to join Myers, Davis and Dillon for what could be an interesting showcase of Central York talent at the PIAA individual championships.
All six of those wrestlers earned falls Thursday in great individual showings for the crew. Connor Knight (121), Kyler Setler (152), Ulonnam Ukattah (215) and Cash Twigg (114) also scored victories as the Panthers throttled the Colonials.
Contending for a possible District 3 Class 3A team title, along with the possibility of having multiple state medalists, is not something the Central York program has been accustomed to over the years. Under the guidance of Albright, a Red Lion graduate, the Panthers' program certainly appears to be headed toward new heights.
“A couple of years ago our junior-high team had four wrestlers,” Albright said. “And this year they went undefeated. So we’re making big progress there.”
So, too, is Myers, who entered the night ranked in the top five in Class 3A statewide at 172 pounds. After a 29-9 campaign saw him just miss out on a state medal as a junior, the Bloomsburg recruit is 24-1 this season.
“Macon has just been tremendous to watch,” Albright said. “His growth and maturity … he’s just become a fantastic leader to our younger guys. He just handles himself very well and his work ethic is at another level. He’s completely ready for the next level.”
The level Albright was referencing was the collegiate level, although it would also aptly apply to the medal podium at states. After watching his older brother, Mason, earn an eighth-place medal back in 2020, the Central York senior is eager to get a chance to match or exceed his sibling.
“I lost in the blood round in overtime last year,” Macon Myers said. “So I have not medaled yet. My motivation this year is just the thought of not having that medal last year and being that close. I just think about when I’m not feeling my best or if I feel like I shouldn’t work out.”
That mentality has rubbed off on his teammates throughout the lineup. Dillon (24-5), Davis (21-4), Long (24-5), Keares (21-6) and others see how Myers, one of two seniors on the roster, handles himself and they tend to follow suit. That’s something that Myers certainly has noticed himself.
“Wyatt and Carter … they’re just dogs,” Myers said. “They work really hard in the room along with a bunch of other guys on the team.”
Thursday’s victory figures to cement a top-eight seed for the Panthers in the District 3 Class 3A team draw, one spot behind a Spring Grove team that scratched out a 39-33 victory over the Central York in the division opener back on Dec. 14. The Rockets still have matches against Cumberland Valley (No. 3) and Gettysburg (No. 12) before the team rankings freeze on Jan. 28, so it’s possible a rematch could happen if Spring Grove suffers a slip-up in one of those contests.
Central York 57, New Oxford 12
- 121: Connor Knight (CY) d. Uhler, 4-2
- 127: Jerry Dattoli (NO) p. Silimperi, :49
- 133: Elias Long (CY) p. Hess, 3:28
- 139: Riley Miller (NO) by forfeit
- 145: Wyatt Dillon (CY) by forfeit
- 152: Kyle Setler (CY) p. C. Miller, 2:42
- 160: Carter Davis (CY) p. Price, 3:20
- 172: Macon Myers (CY) p. Johnson, 2:18
- 189: Grant Miller (CY) p. Speros, 4:51
- 215: Ulonnam Ukattah (CY) d. Bell, 5-1
- 285: Ian Scully (CY) p. Smith, 5:09
- 107: Harris Keares (CY) tf. Camacho, 19-2 (4:18)
- 114: Cash Twigg (CY) md. Aiello, 13-0