Four YAIAA wrestlers win District 3 Class AAA gold
Note: This article was originally published Feb. 27, 2011.
HERSHEY -- Think of the District 3 Class AAA wrestling championships as a piece of granite.
New Oxford's Jordan Conaway, South Western's Cameron Throckmorton and Kennard-Dale's Chance Marsteller worked away on that rock during Saturday night's finals with a chisel, chipping away piece by piece, to carve their names into the record books.
Neal Grudi of Spring Grove, however, made his mark using a sledgehammer.
Conaway (112), Throckmorton (130), Marsteller (152) and Grudi (171) came away from Hersheypark Arena with district titles as the league went 4-for-8 in the big-school finals.
South Western's Max Good (125), Spring Grove's Trey Duncan (145), Central York's Jake English (160) and Dallastown's Phil Sprenkle (189) each earned silver medals and -- more importantly -- slots in the PIAA wrestling championships March 10-12.
Red Lion's David Quackenbos also earned a spot in states with his third-place finish at 215. The Lion was the lone league wrestler to win a consolation final, defeating Dallastown's Mike Shoemaker, 5-0, in an all-YAIAA matchup.
Conaway faced Hempfield's Austin Miller in the finals for the second year in a row, this time in the 112-pound final.
After giving up an early takedown to the Black Knight senior, Conaway got a tying reversal with one second left in the period. The Colonial senior recorded takedowns in the second and third periods, the last with 18 seconds left in the match.
"I knew whoever got the takedown in the third was going to win ... I was not sure I got the two (for the reversal). That turned out to be big," said Conaway, who will make his third trip to the state tournament.
Throckmorton's 11-4 decision over Celby Allen of Middletown was typical: Three takedowns, some back points and lots of pain for the Raider senior. It's the North Carolina-bound wrestler's third district crown.
"I felt comfortable going into this one," Throckmorton said. "I knew I had to keep pressing the action. You always need to keep looking to score."
The title capped a big day for Throckmorton (35-0), who broke Joey Wildasin's school record of 132 career wins with a 13-4 major decision against Big Spring's Chad Wickard in the semifinals.
Marsteller, a freshman, showed everyone that he will be a force for a long time to come, racking up six takedowns in thrashing Hamburg's Jackson Stabile, 16-5.
"It's good to get the title my freshman year," said Marsteller, now 38-0 this season. "Now there will be no pressure next year to win.
"Stabile opened up so I was able to open up. I just wanted to keep attacking."
While his three league compatriots were steadily scoring their points, Grudi used one big five-pointer to defeat Solanco's Connor Moran, 5-2, in the 171-pound final.
Down 1-0 heading into the third period, the Rocket senior took down in search of a match-tying escape at the very least. What he found was a Granby roll that gave him a reversal and put the Golden Mule senior on his back for an extended length of time.
Eventually, Moran was able to get off his back and an escape for the final point of the match but couldn't score on Grudi (31-4).
"No one's been able to hold me down for long this year," Grudi said. "I have no idea how (the five-point move) happened. But it won me the match."
Duncan had a tough finals opponent in defending district champion Jayshon Wilson of Carlisle. The Thundering Herd senior won at 152 last season but came down with a case of the Marsteller flu this year, dropping a weight class.
The Rocket senior was battling from behind all match long, giving up a takedown and two back points in the first period, and eventually dropping a 7-4 decision.
"My coaches had a good game plan to try to tire him out, but I didn't stick with it," said Duncan (34-4). "He was able to slow me down ... I'm happy to (go to states), but this loss left a feeling that something is incomplete."
Good faced Penn Manor's Bobby Rehm, who was Throckmorton's victim in last year's 125-pound championship bout.
The Mustang freshman reached the final by knocking off one of the pre-tournament favorites, Susquehanna Township's Daniel King, 3-2, in his semifinal. But he couldn't make it two returning state qualifiers in one day.
After a scoreless opening period, Rehm notched a reversal early in the middle period and then tacked on three takedowns for a 8-3 victory.
"It feels good to (make states) but it sucks that I didn't win a district title," said Good, now 31-4. "I think he had a little more strength than me."
English ran into a hammer in the form of Mechanicsburg's Zach Thomson, who put the Panther senior on his back midway through the second period and registered the fall at 3:23.
"He looked strong but I didn't think he was going to be fast. He was really quick," said English (31-5).
Sprenkle also ran into a tough opponent in defending state champion Kenny Courts of Central Dauphin.
The Wildcat senior put up a better fight than the Ohio State recruit's previous three opponents in the tournament, who lasted a combined 3:18. But Sprenkle (32-4) was never able to penetrate Courts' defense, scoring just a pair of escapes in a 7-2 loss.
"I'm glad I hit him here so I can see what he does," said the Lock Haven-bound grappler. "Everyone's beatable. You just have to keep your head and wrestle the best you can."
Dallastown's Brooks Morrison (160) and Josh Burg (171) as well as Central York's Andrew Wesner (135) all dropped decisions in their consolation finals to end their seasons one step away from the state tournament.
112 - Jordan Conaway, NO, dec. Austin Miller, Hemp, 7-4
119 - Tyson Dippery, CD, dec. Dereck Enders, BS, 3-1 (OT)
125 - Bobby Rehm, PM, dec. Max Good, SW, 8-3
130 - Cameron Throckmorton, SW, dec. Celby Allen, Mid, 11-4
135 - Dan Neff, Sol, dec. Garett Hammond, Cham, 8-5
140 - Shane Miller, Mid, dec. Tre Miller-Scott, CDE, 3-2 (UTB)
145 - Jayshon Wilson, Car, dec. Trey Duncan, SG, 7-4
152 - Chance Marsteller, KD, dec. Jackson Stabile, Ham, 16-5
160 - Zach Thomson, Mech, pin Jake English, CY, 3:23
171 - Neal Grudi, SG, dec. Connor Moran, Sol, 5-2
189 - Kenny Courts, CD, dec. Phil Sprenkle, Dt, 7-2
215 - Zach Nye, EP, dec. Thomas Haines, Sol, 3-2
285 - Averee Robinson, ST, dec. Dawson Peck, Cham, 7-4
112 - Kenny Arentz, GM, dec. Bryce Killian, Mid, won 2-0
119 - Jon Brigham, CuV, dec. Giovanni Giorgio, Wil, 2-0
125 - Daniel King, ST, dec. Austin Rose, CD, 7-0
130 - Shyheim Brown, CD, dec. Ian Shannon, Car, 5-1
135 - Zach Ross, Nor, dec. Andrew Wesner, CY, 6-2
140 - Kevin Gooding, CD, pin T.C. Warner, CuV, 1:55
145 - Garrett Peppelman, CD, dec. Mitchell Ramsey, Mech, 10-6
152 - Rustin Barrick, Mech, dec. Devin Anderson, LM, 2-1
160 - Mike Shermot, GM, dec. Brooks Morrison, Dt, 4-2
171 - Grant Dickey, CCl, dec. Josh Burg, Dt, 5-4
189 - Kyle Stauffer, LD, dec. Delis Kruup, ConV, 11-8
215 - David Quackenbos, RLi, dec. Mike Shoemaker, Dt, 5-0
285 - Evan Singleton, PM, dec. Kyle Friend, CuV, 6-4 (OT)
KEY - Big Spring (BS), Carlisle (Car), Cedar Cliff (CCl), Cedar Crest (CCr), Central Dauphin (CD), Central Dauphin East (CDE), Central York (CY), Chambersburg (Cham), Cocalico (Coc), ConestogaValley (ConV), Cumberland Valley (CuV), Dallastown (Dt), Daniel Boone (DB), Donegal (Don), Dover (Do), East Pennsboro (EP), Eastern Lebanon County (ELCO), Ephrata (Eph), Elizabethtown (Et), Exeter (Ex), Fleetwood (Fleet), Garden Spot (GS), Gettysburg (Get), Governor Mifflin (GM), Greencastle-Antrim (GA), Hamburg (Ham), Hempfield (Hemp), Kennard-Dale (KD), Lampeter-Strasburg (LS), Lancaster McCaskey (LM), Lebanon (Leb), Lower Dauphin (LD), Manheim Central (MC), Manheim Township (MT), Mechanicsburg (Mech), Middletown (Mid), Muhlberg (Muhl), New Oxford (NO), Northeastern (Ne), Northern (Nor), Palmyra (Pal), Penn Manor (PM), Red Land (RLa), Red Lion (RLi), Shippensburg (Ship), Solanco (Sol), South Western (SW), Spring Grove (SG), Susquehanna Township (ST), Twin Valley (TV), Warwick (War), Waynesboro (Way), Wilson (Wil), West Perry (WP), York Suburban (YS).