WRESTLING

York-Adams League big picture: One division champ crowned, more to come

Spring Grove wrestling is first on the board. Who's next?

Thomas Kendziora
York Dispatch

The York-Adams League crowned its first division champion of the winter sports season Thursday, and the rest of the races are set to be decided in the coming weeks.

Spring Grove’s wrestling team secured its hardware last Thursday, completing a perfect run through Division I with a 49-19 thumping of Dallastown. The Rockets went 5-0 in the division, their toughest test coming in the first meet against Central York. The Panthers took down their next four opponents to finish second at 4-1, with New Oxford following at 3-2, Red Lion 2-3, South Western 1-4 and reigning champion Dallastown 0-5 during a rebuilding campaign.

The Rockets (14-4 overall) have a pair of non-league dual meets this week against fellow District 3 Class 3A contenders. Spring Grove, which is sixth in those power rankings, visits No. 2 Cumberland Valley (17-1) on Wednesday and No. 11 Gettysburg (12-4) on Saturday.

Spring Grove's Henry Rumbaugh against New Oxford's Clayton Miller during their 152lbs wrestling match in Spring Grove on Thursday, Jan.12, 2022.

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York Suburban had a chance to clinch the D-II title last Thursday, but the Trojans suffered a 36-28 home loss to Eastern York, which now controls its own destiny. Due to scheduling quirks, the Golden Knights are just 4-0 while Suburban is in the clubhouse at 5-1; Eastern has meets Wednesday against Northeastern (4-14, 3-1) and Thursday against Susquehannock (4-10, 2-3 D-II). The former was initially scheduled for next week but was moved up because Eastern is in position to make districts.

The Division III race still features three teams — Bermudian Springs and Biglerville are both 4-1, with Hanover at 3-1. The Eagles have a 39-34 win over Biglerville and a 64-6 rout of Hanover on their resume but suffered a 36-35 setback at Littlestown on Dec. 22. If they can beat York Tech on Thursday, they’ll clinch at least a share of first. Biglerville can do the same Thursday at Hanover.

While no division wrestling meets remain after this week, two full weeks remain in the league’s basketball, swimming and bowling seasons. Here’s a look at some of the notable happenings around the local high school circuit.

Red Lion's Chris Williams (5) against Spring Grove's Misael Santana (13) and Dawson McMaster (5) during their boys basketball game in Red Lion on Friday, Jan. 13, 2023

HARDWOOD HURRY-UP

Turnaround teams: A division schedule of 12 or 14 games means a slow start can quickly turn into a lost season. Especially in groups with thin talent gaps, dreaming of contention often gives way to battling for a playoff spot. A handful of local squads, however, have fought to put themselves back in the mix.

Red Lion’s boys were a victim of tough scheduling, starting 0-3 in Division I with losses to Central York, York High and Dallastown before beating the rest of the pack and returning to .500. The Lions fell again to the Panthers and Bearcats last week, but a 56-41 win over Dallastown on Friday has head coach Steve Schmehl’s team at 4-5 and half a game behind third place. (Red Lion has also won six of nine games overall, improving from 2-8 to 8-11.)

Northeastern is that third-place team at 4-4. The Bobcats were 4-9 overall and 1-3 in D-I after a 57-51 loss to Red Lion on Jan. 6. Since then, though, Northeastern has beaten Dallastown, South Western and Spring Grove while giving Central York a battle in its lone loss. Both the Bobcats and Lions are still outside the District 3 Class 6A playoff picture, but a spot in the league tournament is still plenty to play for.

The Bobcats host York High on Tuesday before a key rematch at Red Lion on Friday. The Lions won’t play until that meeting.

York High’s girls also started 0-3 in the division, got back to 3-3 and went 1-2 in revenge games last week. The Bearcats are now 4-5 in Division I and 13-5 overall, with their only losses coming to the three teams ahead of them — Central York twice, Red Lion twice and Dallastown once. Their overall record has them safely in the district bracket, but they’ll need some wins and some help to make the county tournament.

Waiting for it: Several York-Adams teams will be playing division rivals for the first time this week despite already going through the rotation once. All 12 division games scheduled for Friday, Dec. 23, were postponed due to subfreezing temperatures, and while six have been made up, six more have been rescheduled to the end of the regular season.

Delone Catholic's Kaitlin Schwarz (40) against West York during one of the tip off girls basketball tournament games in West York on Dec. 3, 2022.

The York Catholic and Delone Catholic girls were the perceived Division III frontrunners when the season began, both were off to strong starts in December and both remain undefeated in the division entering Tuesday’s contest in McSherrystown. The Squirettes (15-1, 7-0) have won 14 straight, with the Irish (14-3, 8-0) playing great basketball as well. The second meeting is scheduled for Feb. 6 in York.

Tuesday will also mark the first meetings of the season between Dallastown and South Western, as well as Eastern York and Susquehannock. The boys’ teams at Biglerville and York Tech will also clash for the first time Tuesday. 

SWIMMING SPRINT

The five-week York-Adams division slate is already three weeks in. The Dallastown and Susquehannock boys are 3-0 in Divisions I and II, respectively, while Central York’s girls are 3-0 in D-I. A handful of D-II teams are also 2-0 with a bye week included, so several questions remain unanswered.

The Central York girls have a key visit to South Western (2-1 D-I) looming on Thursday, while Dover and York Suburban’s girls are both 2-0 entering a head-to-head contest Tuesday. Dover’s boys are also 2-0 but won’t get their shot at Susquehannock until Feb. 2.

Division races are admittedly a less central part of the high school swim season than in other sports, but as teams and individuals gear up for league, district and even state competitions, putting wins on the board and chasing hardware as a collective is always an important first step.

FINAL FRAMES

This may be just the second season of York-Adams League bowling, but the league has already established itself as one of the state’s best. Central York topped Spring Grove for the team title last year, and those two are once again battling for local supremacy, with the Rockets holding off the Panthers twice this season.

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There’s a third team in the mix, though, as York Tech knocked off Spring Grove on Jan. 6 and was in second place entering last Friday’s bout with Central York. The Panthers won 3-2 thanks to having the higher total team score even though the Spartans won two of the three individual games. The result left Spring Grove in first at 7-1, moved Central into second at 7-2 and dropped York Tech to 5-2 in third.

The only remaining matchup between the top three teams will come Jan. 30 when York Tech visits Spring Grove. The last match of the league’s regular season is set for Feb. 3.