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FREDERICKSBURG – Thursday night's wrestling match between Northern Lebanon and Elco could have been a classic showdown. It had two of the ingredients necessary:

- Two in-county rival schools

- The last two unbeaten teams in Lancaster-Lebanon League Section 3.

But it was missing one vital ingredient: a competitive result. Northern Lebanon simply would not allow that part to happen.

The Vikings took sole possession of first place in LL 3 with an 80-0 victory over the Raiders. In 14 bouts, Northern Lebanon grapplers recorded nine pins, one tech fall, one decision, and three forfeit wins.

“All 14 kids we put on the mat have a lot of confidence,” Northern Lebanon head coach Rusty Wallace said. “I think some of it comes from our schedule. We have state qualifiers with six or seven losses already because the competition we see in some of the best invitationals out there. So our guys have a lot of confidence when we're in our dual schedule.”

That confidence, along with a lot of wrestling talent, was on display early in the match when Northern Lebanon won the first six weight classes with six pins. With two forfeits on the way, the Vikings had clinched the team victory in less than 25 minutes.

Getting the win over Elco and inching closer to the section title is part of Northern Lebanon's plan, but was only one small part in the grand design.

“We want to win a district title, and we want to be there on the last day when they crown a state champion,” Wallace said. “We want to win in February and March.”

Even with the win well in hand, the Vikings entertained their home crowd, especially with the victories by Kyle Sonnen and Chase Bressler.

Sonnen won the 285-pound bout with a pin in 1:35 over Tyler Horst, and received the loudest reaction from the crowd all night.

“He really doesn't have a lot of fear,” Wallace said. “He's going out after it and it makes him a crowd favorite. Heavyweight matches are typically boring, so when you get an exciting guy it gets the crowd up.”

Bressler's win over Shawn Price at 126, the last bout of the night, provided what little drama there was to the match. Bressler trailed 2-0 after a Price reversal, but then pulled a reversal himself and got a pin at 5:10 to clinch the shutout.

In addition to the success for the varsity team, the Northern Lebanon JV team put on a good opening act with a 48-12 win with eight pins.

“We have a lot of guys who are young and pulling their weight,” Wallace said. “And we have a full JV team and they're really, really tough. They'd be varsity on any other program, so when it's their turn to come up to varsity, they're ready.”

In addition to Sonnen and Bressler, other pins for Northern Lebanon were recorded by Kyler Anspach at 113 over Levi Brooks, Trevor Leonard at 132 over Liam Derosiers, Zach Kelly at 138 over Owen Nell, Stephen Herb at 145 over Cam Krow, Blane Bressler at 152 over Troy Donmoyer, Ethan Herb at 160 over Chris Habowski, Luis Negerios at 170 over Adam Firestine and Hunter Wallace at 220 over Adam Kohler.

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