NEW HOLLAND — It was a two-county meet, but Northern Lebanon stole the show.
Having come close in recent seasons, the Northern Lebanon wrestling squad tore through the Lancaster-Lebanon League tournament mat by mat Saturday afternoon at Garden Spot high school, taking the team title by a whopping 55.5 points over second-place finisher Manheim Central.
“Someone said they think this might be the first time that a AA school has won the league tournament, the first time a section three team has ever won the tournament,” stated Vikings’ coach Rusty Wallace Jr.
“We try not to put a ton of stock in the regular season tournaments,” he added. “It’s just practice for the stuff at the end of the year. But in the back of your mind, it’s pretty neat whenever you do something that no one else has done before.”
Trevor Leonard (132), Luke Funck (182), and Matt Vines (220) all grabbed gold for the Vikings.
While Leonard’s pin in 1:03 of Garden Spot’s Gary Clark was impressive, Funck’s late second-period reversal was the catalyst of a 6-2 decision over Lampeter-Strasburg’s Jake Kelly.
“That gave me two extra points, breathing room for the whole match,” Funck said.
“All year long we’ve been saying to be the best, don’t give up, keep pushing forward and everyone wrestled well this weekend,” added the Vikings’ junior. We only had two we brought here who didn’t place, who wrestled tough anyway. Everyone who made it to the second day made top-6. So I think we’re doing phenomenal as a team.”
Manheim’s Jared Siegrist was voted the Ken Ober outstanding wrestler, culminating with a 19-9 domination of Penn Manor’s Jack Zimmerman for the 170-pound title.
“It means I guess I’m doing something right if I’m able to keep winning,” said Siegrist, a senior and three-time gold-medalist, who defeated Zimmerman in last year’s final as well. “It means the hard work I’m putting in is paying off and just keeping looking forward.”
The bout featured nine takedowns from Siegrist and nine escapes from Zimmerman for all the scoring.
“I’m a longer guy; I’m able to get the opponent to step where I want them to,” Siegrist said of his knack for the takedown. “I go and take my shot, make sure I keep my head up. Just good positioning and timing, I guess.”
Speaking of timing, the 220 and 285 finals each were nip and tuck battles. Northern Lebanon’s Matt Vines outlasted Cocalico’s Ben Fromm in ultimate tie-breaker, riding-out Fromm in two separate 30-second overtimes to earn the victory.
“To ride a guy out for 30 seconds, then to turn around and do it again, when they’re both tired…” Wallace began. “It’s great. As a senior (Vines) is still getting better every day. That’s exciting for him; he’s getting good at the right time.”
Elco senior Ryan Rolon followed up that performance with gold at 285, a 3-2 decision over Warwick’s Ryan Stewart.
As Stewart attempted to escape in the second period, Rolon was able to score a 3-point near-fall with some heady wrestling.
“I just knew that I wasn’t going to score many points off the back because he already has so much weight on me,” Rolon said. “I saw he turned his back a little bit so I just kind of squeezed him to the mat hoping to get points.”
Other bouts of note were Warwick’s Devin Schnupp taking the Vikings’ Dustin Breinegan to the mat in 4:38. Like Siegrist it was his third career title, garnering the Shorty Hitchcock award for most tourney falls, going four-for-four in that aspect.
On the other side of the coin, Lancaster Catholic senior Joe Lobeck took his first career gold after a pair of runner-ups, defeating Solanco’s Grayson Charles by 4-1 decision at 126.
While Manheim Township’s Victor Kenderdine won an 8-5 decision over Solanco’s Wyatt Jennings at 145, the Golden Mules did manage gold when Joey Davis bested Annville-Cleona’s Josh Renninger, 8-3, for the 138-pound title.
Garden Spot’s Dan Swarr pinned Cedar Crest’s Barry Breidegan with a vicious-looking headlock in 3:56 to take gold at 152.
Penn Manor had a pair of gold-medal winning pins from undefeated grapplers Jonah Barley (160) and Jesse Kann (195). The Comets’ Nick Fafel settled for silver, however, after Ephrata’s Austin Jones took the 106 title via 5-1 decision.
In the least suspenseful bout of the night, Hempfield’s Brandon Loperfido, also unbeaten this season, was awarded the 120-pound title when Conestoga Valley’s Jose Morales forfeited the bout due to medical reasons.
L-L Wrestling Tourney
At Garden Spot
106 — Austin Jones (EPH) d. Nick Fafel (PM), 5-1
113 — Devin Schnupp (WW) p. Dustin Breidegan (NL), 4:38
120 — Brandon Loperfido (HEM) d. Jose Morales (CV), medical default
126 — Joe Lobeck (LC) d. Grayson Charles (SOL), 4-1
132 — Trevor Leonard (NL) p. Gary Clark (GS), 1:03
138 — Joey Davis (SOL) d. Josh Renninger (AC), 8-3
145 — Victor Kenderdine d. Wyatt Jennings (SOL), 8-5
152 — Dan Swarr (GS) p. Barry Breidegan (CC), 3:56
160 — Jonah Barley (PM) p. Luis Negrerios (NL), 5:26
170 — Jared Siegrist (MC) m.d. Jack Zimmerman (PM), 19-9
182 — Luke Funck (NL) d. Jake Kelly (LS), 6-2
195 — Jesse Kann (PM) p. Abdul Saad (COC), 5:06
220 — Matt Vines (NL) d. Ben Fromm (COC), 2-1 UTB
285 — Ryan Rolon (ELCO) d. Ryan Stewart (WW), 3-2
(Place: Team, Points)
1: Northern Lebanon, 237.5
2: Manheim Central, 182
3: Penn Manor, 174
4: Solanco, 151.5
5: Cocalico, 146
6: Warwick, 118
7: J.P. McCaskey, 117
8: Garden Spot, 116
9: Conestoga Valley, 97
10: Annville-Cleona, 86
11: Ephrata, 83
12t: ELCO, 80
12t: Lampeter-Strasburg, 80
14: Manheim Township, 71
15: Pequea Valley, 66
16: Hempfield, 59.5
17: Elizabethtown, 45.5
18: Lebanon, 44
19: Lancaster Catholic, 38.5
20: Cedar Crest, 36
21: Columbia, 22
22: Donegal, 20