We have reached the time of season that every wrestling fan and wrestler themselves looks forward to.
Welcome to showdown week wrestling fans!
With YAIAA Division Championships implications, we have some huge matches to look forward to in the coming days. But that's not all!
We even have a match Saturday that will likely help in determining who the top seed will be in the District 3 Class AA team tournament.
On Tuesday, we start the week off strong with four matches between teams at or near the top of their respective divisions.
We will start with a Division I battle between South Western (9-5 overall, 2-0 YAIAA Division I) and visiting Red Lion (10-1, 2-0). The Mustangs will rely on Ben Doll (106), Chase Mowrey (113), Derek Wilson (120), Owen Wherley (132), Gage Thomas (152) and Seth Janney (220) to rack up the bonus points while the Lions will rely on Jacob Frock (106), Reily Seredych (120), Jesse Stermer (138), Anthony Moser (220) and Jared Schell (285).
Quick analysis: Bonus points will be key as the Lions and Mustangs each have strong suits in different parts of the lineup.
Prediction: Red Lion 32, South Western 31 (criteria)
Another key Division I battle will feature Dallastown (6-3, 3-0) traveling to Spring Grove (2-0, 2-0). The Wildcats, led by Nick and Bryce Shields pulled off a big victory over New Oxford this past Thursday and will look to remain atop the division. Can a young, yet talented Spring Grove team take the next step?
Quick analysis: Do the Wildcats have the depth to push a very "under-the-radar" Rocket team? How will the Rockets youth and "lack of experience" fare in an important match?
Prediction: Spring Grove 41, Dallastown 28
Also on Tuesday we have a Division II showdown between West York (8-4, 2-0 YAIAA Division II) and host Kennard-Dale (6-1, 2-0). The Rams beat the Bulldogs earlier this year by 20 points at the Shikellamy Duals. Will it be a repeat performance for Mike Bracey, Andrew Barnett and the Rams or will Garrett Stauffer, Ryan Narber and company have other plans.
Quick analysis: Will the Bulldogs be able to swing two to three matches in their favor from the 20+ point defeat?
Prediction: Kennard-Dale 38, West York 27
Down in Division III is another great match on Tuesday as Biglerville travels to McSherrystown to renew their rivalry with Delone Catholic. Despite a thorough beatdown by Bermudian Springs, the Squires rebounded nicely with a team win at the Gettysburg tournament Saturday. The Canners will look to continue their recent surge after a slow start to the season.
Quick analysis: Can the Squires move past last week's throttling in time? Biglerville's performance leads me to picking them.
Prediction: Biglerville 35, Delone Catholic 30
If you thought Tuesday was big, Thursday may prove EVEN bigger.
On Thursday, Kennard-Dale is in another battle, heading to Division II leading Dover (6-7, 3-0) while Red Lion will head to Spring Grove in a massive Division I battle that you can watch live on GameTimePA.com. We've also got South Western at Dallastown as well.
Predictions: Kennard-Dale 48, Dover 21. South Western 46, Dallastown 25. (Note: Won't predict the Red Lion at Spring Grove contest as I will be calling the match.)
On Saturday, we hit the main event - Boiling Springs at Bermudian Springs. The annual "Battle of the Springs" will loom large this year as a potential precursor to the District 3 Class AA Team Tournament Championship match.
In the team tournament the Bubblers have edged the Eagles the last two season on criteria D, 31-30 in 2014 and 32-31 in 2013. The Bubblers had the edge in overall victories in each of those two matches, winning eight of 14 each. If the Eagles stand a chance they will not only need to earn bonus points, but also steal a match or two.
Quick analysis: Boiling Springs has a few studs in defending PIAA Champion Korbin Myers and runner-up Kyle Shoop as well as Jalin Hankerson, Grant Bond, among others. Bermudian Springs responds with some of their own in Briton Shelton, Colton Dull, Sam McCollum, Brady Linebaugh and Bayley Oberlander. Key bout? Hankerson vs. Oberlander (pending no lineup tweaking) at 106-pounds.
Prediction: Boiling Springs 33, Bermudian Springs 31. This one isn't going to be decided until the final whistle in the final bout.
Without further ado let's head on over and check out this week's power rankings.
1. Bermudian Springs (LW: 1): The Eagles remain in the top spot with zero controversy as they are starting to get healthy, more experienced and ready for the postseason grind. The Eagles smacked around Delone Catholic Thursday night, 55-12, furthering their hold onto first place in Division III. The Eagles also jumped past rival Boiling Springs' and into the top spot of the District 3 power rankings (more on these later). HUGE showdown on Saturday as they host the Bubblers after Division III matches with York County Tech (Tuesday) and Littlestown (Thursday).
2. Red Lion (LW: 2): Avoiding temptation at moving the Lions down after a narrow 31-29 win over Central York this week. The Lions were without a few key wrestlers (notably 106-pounder Jake Frock). Lions in for a pair of battles this week as they head to South Western on Tuesday and then to Spring Grove on Thursday. Programming note: You can watch the Spring Grove match on GameTimePA.com where yours truly will be there to commentate. Expect to see some shakeup in the 2-4 range next week.
3. South Western (LW: 3): The Mustangs had another solid, yet unspectacular week as they went 3-2 at the Central Dauphin duals after smacking around Northeastern on Thursday. The Mustangs will host Red Lion on Tuesday in a match with HUGE Division I implications then they will head to Dallastown on Thursday for a battle with the much improved Wildcats before heading to West York on Saturday. Big week for the 'stangs.
4. Spring Grove (LW: 4): Still no change in the pecking order, but the Rockets could make a statement this week. They start the week out by hosting Dallastown and then they will host Red Lion Thursday in what is likely the match of the week. Well, one of them anyway. Again, you can watch it live on GameTimePA.com on Thursday. On Saturday then the Rockets will head to Waynesboro for a tournament.
5. Kennard-Dale (LW: 5): No need for any change in the top 5 as each team took care of business ahead of showdown week. The Rams went out this past week and took down York Suburban, 51-21, led by Andrew Barnett's 10 takedowns (6 in the second period alone). On Tuesday, the Rams will host West York, both teams entering the match with 2-0 league records. The Rams beat West York last month. The Rams will then head to Dover on Thursday to face the Eagles who remained unbeaten in Division II after a 48-30 win over Eastern York. (You can watch that full match at the link provided.)
6. Delone Catholic: despite their loss to Bermudian, the Squires still stick to this spot as they are the "best of the rest".
7. Biglerville: The Canners are on the rise, and these two could flip as they meet Tuesday in a GameTimePA.com livestream.
8. Dover: The Eagles rise simply due to their 3-0 mark in Division II action at this point. Tough week as they head to 10-win Susquehannock and then get Kennard-Dale.
9. Dallastown: The Wildcats take over a spot in the top 10 from New Oxford due to a somewhat surprising 40-33 victory on Thursday. Wildcats get Spring Grove and South Western this week.
10. West York: Bulldogs don't really "move down" so much as there is a huge jam between 8 and 12 or 13 that I just tossed them in a hat and went with it. Bulldogs get Kennard-Dale, Susquehannock and South Western this week.
Updated District 3 Power Rankings:
In Class AAA, Spring Grove heads a YAIAA quartet that would currently qualify for the tournament. The Rockets come in at No. 7 just ahead of No. 8 Red Lion and No. 9 South Western. Kennard-Dale also pops in the rankings at No. 16.
Just on the outside of the top 16 is West York at No. 19, Dallastown at No. 22 and Susquehannock at No. 26. York Suburban sits in at No. 39 while New Oxford is in at 41. No. 46 Central York, No. 53 Northeastern, No. 58 York County Tech and No. 63 Gettysburg round out the YAIAA contingency.
In Class AA, Bermudian Springs has overtaken rival Boiling Springs for the top spot. Delone Catholic sits in at No. 3 followed by Lancaster-Lebanon League entrant Northern Lebanon at No. 4. Also in the top eight is Biglerville at No. 8. Hanover and Littlestown are just on the outside at No. 10 and 11 respectively while Eastern York at No. 19 and Fairfield at No. 23 round out the YAIAA field.
What matches are you looking forward to and who do you have winning each of the big showdowns? How would you rank your type five teams?
Let me hear it!
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