OXFORD — First he made some history, then he delivered some fireworks.
Norristown High senior Michael Springer is one of those must-see wrestlers.
Miss his match and you may miss something you've never seen before.
Saturday at the PIAA Class AAA District One Central wrestling tournament at Oxford Area High School, Springer took care of some long-overdue Eagles history in the tourney semifinals when he registered his 111th career pin, taking over the school record from former teammate Brett Harner.
But Springer was hardly done.
For the finals he came up with one of those piece de resistance moments when he stuck finals foe Steve Okoorian of Sun Valley in a mere 34 seconds. To no one's surprise it was a headlock that did the trick.
But it wasn't the decisive throw that was as impressive as the fact that the Eagles senior can seemingly come up with it whenever he needs it.
"I've been doing this for so long that I can feel it if it's there,' said the champ after claiming his third district crown in four tries. "And if it's there, I take it.'
Springer was one of only two local wrestlers to come up with gold as the Ches-Mont League dominated the proceedings.
But speaking of big performances, none was bigger than that of Upper Dublin sophomore Colin Devlin, who blew through the 132-pound weight class via a first-period fall and a major decision to reach the finals.
There, Devlin took on another surprise participant, Downingtown West's Tristan Reynolds, who reached the championship bout from the pigtail bracket.
Devlin led 4-0 late in the match only to see Reynolds tie it at 5 and force overtime.
Instead of bemoaning the lost lead Devlin went right at Reynolds and scored a takedown 41 seconds into sudden victory to earn Upper Dublin's first district crown since 2004.
"I've always been drilled that in overtime it comes down to who wants it more,' Devlin said. "I was tired, I was beat, but I knew I was a competitor and that I was going to win the match.'
The finals were not so kind to Norristown sophomore Rashon Lusane, who was upset in the 170-pound championship bout by Downingtown West senior Gabe Hale, 8-5.
The returning Norristown state qualifier led early, but Hale seized the lead in the second period, led, 6-2, at one point, and closed out the upset victory with a late takedown.
In all, the local contingent produced six regional qualifiers as Norristown's Shaun Jones (220) joined teammates Springer and Lusane for next weekend's regional soiree, while Plymouth Whitemarsh gobbled up three regional berths, as Francesco Palagruto (120), Gianpietro DiBattista (132) and Austin Pollock (182) all placed third.
Outside of the tournaments enjoyed by Springer, Lusane and Devlin, the D1 Central turned out to be windfall for the Ches-Mont League and a bonafide disaster for the Suburban One League's American Conference.
The SOL American accounted for only four championship finalists and just nine of the possible 42 regional qualifying spots.
Among the hardest hit was Wissahickon, which advanced none of its nine district qualifiers to next weekend's regional tournament at Pottstown.
But they were hardly the only locals who took it tough.
PW was 3-for-11 and Norristown pushed through just three of 10.
Upper Merion's Matt Koresko was one-and-done in his pigtail match at 126 pounds.
Among the local survivors was PW's Palagruto, who took third at 120 pounds on a day that featured a 2-1 win in the quarterfinals and a 1-0 loss in the semis.
Palagruto put in another gear from there on, pinning Wissahickon's Alex Ortiz in the consie semifinals before a dominating 6-1 triumph over Coatesville's Colin McBride in the consolation finals.
"My second match (the 1-0 loss) kind of motivated me to push forward to get to regionals,' the bronze medalist said. "I believed I could get (to regionals), I just had to push through all the tiredness and everything else.
"Last year I wasn't here because of injury and that motivated me, too.'
BACK POINTS: Wrestling was delayed a few minutes Saturday afternoon by a brief power outage. Norristown finished third in the team proceedings — Downingtown East won the team title. Norristown's Springer was named Oustanding Wrestler of the tournament.