Wrestling is a different story. Bermudian Springs coach Dave McCollum and Hanover coach David Castaldo rested some key figures in Thursday's YAIAA Division II match at Bermudian Springs High School.
"I don't know if (Ian) Brown's going to wrestle (Austin) Jackson. We'd have to bump (Brad Farley) up to wrestle Brown. I don't think you're going to see that tonight," McCollum said prior to his team's convincing 48-20 defeat of the Nighthawks.
He added, "Right now, it's all about team. It's not really about those kinds of matches. Those kinds of matches are mainly saved for the postseason. So right now, I think both coaches are going to do what they need to do to get team points. So I don't know if you're going to see any big matchups tonight."
Several matches later, McCollum's words proved prophetic.
Big ticket, highly anticipated matchups? No.
Competitive, down-to-the-wire battles? Yes.
Bermudian's blend of strength, body control, and awareness helped steer it to the home victory. Those aspects have catapulted the Eagles (15-1) to the league's upper crust. The Eagles' lone loss this season has come at the hands of a Boiling Springs team with plenty of manpower and depth.
The match opened with a bang as two 138-pounders got after it. Hanover's Brandon Shearer registered a 13-3 major decision over Bermudian's Jared Spahr.
Bermudian Springs' Colton Dull pasted Stanton Loveless to the ground with an electrifying 12-second pin at 145. The Eagles' Jake Slonaker pinned Brad Irvin in 3:20 at 160. In the battle between behemoths at 220, Bermudan's Brock Linebaugh also got into the act. Linebaugh pinned Justice Forbes in one minute, 32 seconds.
Bermudian Springs' Tristan Sponseller came out of the chute hot in the 182-pound bout, quickly getting good position on Hanover's Tyler Wentz before a fall in 1:51 Sponseller dictated the tempo at a furious pace, negating his foe's moves.
At 152, Hanover's Ian Wheeler was able to ward off some early surges from Noah Blasone. Blasone executed superb body control and was able to lock up his foe's arms and legs early. Wheeler countered as Castaldo implored him to wear down Blasone. It was easier said than done. Both wrestlers exchanged spurts of momentum. Blasone clamped down on Wheeler the rest of the way and posted an 8-5 decision.
Hanover's Zack Martin and the Eagles' Tyler Fitzkee went headgear to headgear early with Fitzkee steadily anticipating his foe's moves. Fitzkee eventually took control and kept pressure on Martin as he closed out a 3-0 victory in the 170-pound class.
Much to the dismay of the visiting Hanover cheering section, senior standout Derek Wolford did not wrestle. The 195-pound stallion was given a forfeit. Jon Jimenez helped widen the Eagles' lead with a overtime 3-2 defeat of Tony Aguilar in the 285-pound division.
The Eagles' Austin Jackson won by forfeit at 132. Ted Marines was methodical in a 4-0 decision over Hanover's Guilano Graziosi at 113. Bermudian Springs' Brad Farley won via forfeit at 120.
Hanover's Ian Brown, who has evolved into one of the area's elite at 126 this season, was explosive from the start en route to a 14-0 major decision of Jake Ford.
at Bermudian Springs
BERMUDIAN SPRINGS 48, HANOVER 20
106 -- Sasha Watson, Han, pinned Tyler Kunkle, 3:39; 113 -- Ted Marines, BeS, dec. Guliano Graziosi, 4-0; 120 -- Brad Farley, BeS, won by forfeit; 126 -- Ian Brown, Han, maj. decision Jake Ford, 11-0; 132 -- Austin Jackson, BeS, won by forfeit; 138 -- Brandon Shearer, Han, maj. decision Jared Spahr, 13-3; 145 -- Colton Dull, BeS, pinned Stanton Loveless, 0:12; 152 -- Noah Blasone, BeS, dec. Ian Wheeler, 8-5; 160 -- Jacob Slonaker, BeS, pinned Brad Irvin, 3:20; 170 -- Tyler Fitzkee, BeS, dec. Zach Martin, 3-0; 182 -- Tristan Sponseller, BeS, pinned Tyler Wentz, 1:51; 195 -- Derek Wolford, Han, won by forfeit; 220 -- Brock Linebaugh, BeS, pinned Justice Forbes, 1:32; 285 -- Jonatan Jimenez, BeS, dec. Tony Aguilar, 3-2, TB 2