Dave McCollum knew plenty about Central Columbia before his high school wrestling team's match against the Blue Jays on Friday afternoon.

Sure, Bermudian Springs didn't face Central Columbia during the season, but McCollum, the Eagles' coach, spent a portion of the six hours between his team's 28-27 morning win against Jefferson Morgan and his team's second-round consolation bracket match researching the opponent.

Two parents also sent him text message updates while watching Central Columbia's match against Boiling Springs, with which the Eagles are familiar. If that wasn't enough, one gave him a written report when he walked into Giant Center in Hershey.

Say what you will about the ensuing 39-27 win over Central Columbia in the PIAA Class AA Team Wrestling Championship, but you must admit that it was thoroughly researched.

The Eagles wrestle District 11 runner-up Pen Argyl at 9 a.m. Saturday. Their first loss was 47-9 to District 11 winner Bethlehem Catholic on Thursday, and their next loss eliminates them from the tournament.

A win advances Bermudian Springs to an 11 a.m. fourth-round match with the winner of that round competing in the third-place match at 1 p.m.

McCollum's research led him to believe the Eagles would need 30 to 36 points to beat Central Columbia. He was right about that, and his team exceeded the hoped-for figure.

The Eagles (27-3) jumped to an 11-0 lead after Tyler Fitzkee opened with a technical fall at 170 pounds, and 182-pounder Tristan Sponseller followed with a pin in 3 minutes, 28 seconds.

Central Columbia (24-3) won the next two bouts, but Eagles heavyweight Jonathan Jimenez earned a 4-1 decision that was part of his team's 19 consecutive points and four wins. Jimenez is 3-0 at the state tournament and credited the strong performances to the big stage and more confidence.

"Huge win from Jimenez, our heavyweight," McCollum said. "He's just wrestling, finally. That gave us new life. I think Jimenez set the tone for us. Our lightweights responded to that."

The four-bout win streak ended with Brad Farley's pin of Steve Shannon in the 120-pound bout in 1:54. Farley is 29-0 this season.

Bermudian Springs, ironically, secured the win - excepting any team point deductions - when Central Columbia's Aaron Johnson earned a 4-3 decision over Jared Spahr. That made the score 36-15 with just three bouts remaining.

The Eagles were coming off an exciting win over Jefferson Morgan just hours earlier. They entered the final match needing Colton Dull to pin his opponent in the 145-pound bout.

McCollum, though, didn't really stress that point.

"He told me to go out and wrestle the match," Dull said. "He said, 'If the pin's there, take it.'"

Dull pinned Joe Arezmendi in 1:27.

"When you're in a position to pin someone when you need a pin, it's difficult," McCollum said. "I think Colton did a good job not panicking. He got it under control."

Added Jimenez: "That was crazy. Definitely helped out a lot with our confidence."

Had the match ended in a tie, Jefferson Morgan would've won because it led in bouts won with eight.

The Eagles trailed much of the match and was behind 14-10 after Nathanael Wolfe earned a 16-0 technical fall of Jose Arriola in the 220-pound bout. The Rockets (15-4) won two of the next three matches for a 20-13 lead.

Farley then cut the lead to 20-19 with a 21-second pin. That came two bouts before Austin Jackson's 12-10 decision at 132 in a match in which Jackson was nearly being pinned twice. The outcome brought the Eagles within one, 23-22, with two bouts left.

The Rockets extended their lead to 27-22 with a 9-1 major decision at 138 before Dull's pin. He had been sick Thursday night.

"I got some medication," he said. "I'm feeling good now."


dpaulling@eveningsun.com; 717-637-3736, ext. 139

BERM. SPR. 28, JEFFERSON-MORGAN 27 152 - Noah Blasone, BeS, maj. decision Jason Perkins, 9-1; 160 - Brandon Lesko, JM, dec. Jacob Slonaker, 5-4 OT; 170 - Dustin Conti, JM, dec. Tyler Fitzkee, 3-2; 182 - Tristan Sponseller, BeS, won by forfeit; 195 - Joe Phillips, JM, dec. Brock Linebaugh, 4-3; 220 - Ryan Mayfield, JM, tech. fall Jose Arriola, 16-0; 285 - Jonatan Jimenez, BeS, dec. Brian Rush, 5-3; 106 - Brendan Howard, JM, dec. Dalton Becker, 6-0; 113 - John Demaske, JM, dec. Ted Marines, 8-3; 120 - Brad Farley, BeS, pinned Jacob Guthrie, 0:21; 126 - Jason Miller, JM, dec. Briton Shelton, 4-3; 132 - Austin Jackson, BeS, dec. Shane Black, 12-10; 138 - Ryan Zalar, JM, maj. decision Jared Spahr, 9-1; 145 - Colton Dull, BeS, pinned Joe Arezmendi, 1:27.

BERM. SPRINGS 39, C. COLUMBIA 27 170 - Fitzkee, BeS, tech. fall Nick Fester, 15-0 (3:33); 182 - Sponseller, BeS, pinned Jake Coombe, 3:28; 195 - Matt Hockenberg, CC, dec. Linebaugh, 3-1; 220 - Eric McCracken, CC, pinned Arriola, 2:59; 285 - Jimenez, BeS, dec. Alex Shiber, 4-1; 106 - Becker, BeS, pinned Taylor Johnson, 2:01; 113 - Marines, BeS, pinned Taylor Johnson, 2:01; 120 - Farley, BeS, pinned Steve Shannon, 1:54; 126 - Jesse Shannan, CC, dec. Shelton, 4-3; 132 - Jackson, BeS, pinned Austin Miknich, 1:45; 138 - Aaron Johnson, CC, dec. Spahr, 4-3; 145 - Demetrius Starr, CC, pinned Dull, 1:53; 152 - Blasone, BeS, dec. Michael Roosa, 3-1 SV; 160 - Kurt Meske, CC, won by forfeit.