Two weeks of YAIAA wrestling are in the books, and while preseason favorites Bermudian Springs and South Western continue to thrive, a team that hasn't contended for a division title in a number of years looks poised to attack.
That team? It would be Red Lion. The Lions knocked off New Oxford 38-20 on Thursday, leading 35-11 heading into the final three matches. The Lions will head to South Western January 13th and then to Spring Grove two days later in a pair of matches that could determine the Division I Championship, a crown the Lions haven't held since 2008-2009.
Spring Grove, despite graduating a ton is 2-0 early on in Division I and will certainly have a say in the title.
Even wilder is the likely upcoming scenario in Division II. Dover leads early on at 2-0, but Kennard-Dale and West York are right behind at 1-0 apiece. Of the three, West York is the only team that has won a YAIAA Division title. Dover captured a league title back in 1983-84, in what was known as the YCIAA. Kennard-Dale has never won a division title.
If you want to mark some dates on your calendar, Kennard-Dale will host West York on Jan. 13th and then will travel to Dover two days later. West York will then host Dover then on Jan. 20th.
Division III has given us some interesting races so far. Delone Catholic is on top with a 2-0 division record and 6-1 overall mark. Bermudian Springs and Biglerville are each 1-0 in division.
Looking ahead, the Squires will travel to Eagle country on Jan. 8th. The following week on the 13th, the Squires will host Biglerville in what will surely be a loud gymnasium. Bermudian Springs will host Biglerville in each of their final division matches of the season (postponements not withstanding) on Jan. 22nd.
Without further ado, let's jump into this weeks power rankings:
1. South Western (LW: 1): The Mustangs keep the top spot because they haven't done anything to lose that spot- proven with victories over New Oxford and Kennard-Dale are not to be taken lightly. Two Mustangs, Seth Janney and Owen Wherley, recently took home fifth-place finishes at the prestigious King of the Mountain tournament. Teammate Derek Wilson added an eighth-place finish at the same event. South Western will be out of action until the Cumberland Valley Duals on Jan. 3rd, which can be seen on GameTimePA.com.
2. Bermudian Springs (LW: 2): Eagles coach Dave McCollum recorded his 500th career win this past weekend at the Northern Lebanon duals. On to the wrestlers, 220-pounder Sam McCollum picked up back-to-back individual tournament wins at the Cumberland Valley Classic and then the following week at the Carlisle Invitational. Despite injuries to Colton Dull and Briton Shelton, the Eagles have been very good and as a team won the title at Carlisle.
3. Red Lion (LW: T4): The Lions move up to No. 3 after a very good win over New Oxford. Last year Red Lion tossed out a very young roster and had success, going 14-4 and qualifying for the District 3 Team Tournament. This year, the Lions look ready for a run at the YAIAA Division I crown after a statement win over the Colonials. Jacob Frock started the Lions off with a fall and the Lions went on a 29-3 run from 132-182 to clinch the match.
4. Spring Grove (LW: T4): Despite a young roster, the Rockets have been quite successful thus far, going 2-0 as a team and also competing well as a team at the Solanco Tournament to open the season. Marcus Kehr (160), Hunter Sterner (195) and the Rohrbaughs -- Dalton (106) and Dylan (113) -- have been bright spots for the Rockets. How quickly this young team learns will determine just how much of a player they will be in YAIAA Division I.
5. Kennard-Dale (LW: HM): No Chance Marsteller, no problem! The Rams are starting to reap the benefits of arguably the greatest wrestler PIAA has ever seen with a full lineup and talented wrestlers. The Rams kept it close with South Western before ultimately dropping the tightly fought match. The Rams then headed to the Philadelphia area to compete in the Travis Manion Memorial Tournament and won the team title with 172 points, out-distancing second-place Neshaminy by 22 points. They also crowned seven individual champions led by Michael Bracey, a District 3 finalist at 113-pounds last year. Could the Rams be a favorite in YAIAA Division II?
6. New Oxford: The Colonials dropped out with a pair of losses to South Western and Red Lion. They should bounce back. 7. Delone Catholic: The Squires have been impressive in the early part of the season. Can they challenge Bermudian Springs? 8. West York: The Bulldogs will be right in the thick of things in Division II. Should be a great one when the Rams and Bulldogs meet. 9. Biglerville: The Canners have had a bit of a slow start, even dropping one this week to an improved Camp Hill. Canners have the talent. 10. Littlestown: The Thunderbolts have a large amount of returning wrestlers and could push the better teams in Division III.
What a week of wrestling it was. We had a wild match at York Suburban between the Trojans and the Warriors that came down to criteria H. I had the privilege to call this match with Tom Hunt on the livestream, and it did not disappoint. If you missed it, you can catch it all here.
There's not a whole lot going on this week with the Christmas break set to begin on Wednesday. We do have York County Tech at York Suburban on Monday and then a few tournaments on Saturday including the Chambersburg, Conestoga Valley, and Boiling Springs tournaments.
How would you rank the top 5 teams? Who wins each division? Comment below or tweet your picks to @ameaseYDR
Come back next week for an updated power rankings, review of the top matches and a look ahead to the final week of 2014 and a look at the Cumberland Valley duals and other matches the first Saturday of January!