The injury bug bit Bermudian Springs again, but it didn't prevent another dual meet victory.
The Eagles, who have wrestled without their starting 113- and 182-pounders all season, showed up to the District 3 Class AA team tournament third-place match Saturday with 195-pounder Isaiah Fannin on the bench in jeans and holding crutches due to a sprained lateral collateral ligament (LCL) in his knee. Another starter, 132-pounder Brady Sanders, failed to make weight in the morning.
Despite all of that, Bermudian Springs defeated Hamburg, 35-30, to earn third place for the second season in a row.
“Thinking about the way things are going, these guys have been resilient," Eagles coach Dave McCollum said. "Just a phenomenal effort for all the guys in our lineup. ... It shows a lot of character. We have great kids, they’re hard workers. They believe in the program and I’m just really, really proud of them.”
Noah Fleshman (170 pounds) started the day off with a pin, but Bermudian Springs appeared in danger of falling behind, 18-6, early on when Logan Luckenbaugh struggled from his back to avoid a second-period pin. The senior 220-pounder flipped the script in the third period by pinning Max Kline in the third period to tie the meet.
It's the second time in two matches that Luckenbaugh battled from behind to pick up a pin. He earned a pin Thursday against Boiling Springs in a second overtime period.
“I get mad and I have to try and keep my head," Luckenbaugh said. "Then I calm down and get back to wrestling the way I do.”
Bermudian Springs trailed, 27-24, with four matches remaining, but decisions by Jared Miller (138 pounds) and Darren Beall (145) pushed the Eagles in front. A technical fall by Ashton West (152) cemented the victory with one match left.
“We have some pretty tough kids there at 138, 145 and 152," McCollum said. "We’re always hoping it’s coming down to some of our better kids, and it did tonight, thank goodness. Our kids came through there.”
Across the gym, Northern Lebanon built a 30-0 lead against Boiling Springs and dethroned the Bubblers, 39-25, to win the Class AA team championship. The Vikings' victory ended any chances of Bermudian Springs qualifying for the state tournament. With the top two teams in the district advancing to states, Bermudian needed a Boiling Springs win to set up a true second-place match with Northern Lebanon later in the day. Since Boiling Springs defeated Bermudian Springs in the tournament Thursday, the Bubblers earned the second spot.
“At least we know we’re up there," Luckenbaugh said of placing third in the district. "We lost to (Northern Lebanon and Boiling Springs during the season), but at least we can say we’re right behind them.”
It's the second straight season the Eagles finished one qualifying for the state tournament by one spot.
“We’ve just got to stay focused and keep doing what we do," McCollum said. "We have a great program and we have great kids. We’re just gonna battle and battle until it happens. We have a great nucleus coming back next year, and we have an outstanding junior high team of kids coming up. So I’m not looking for us to go backward, I’m looking for us to go forward.”
Bermudian Springs 35, Hamburg 30
at Milton Hershey High School
170 — Noah Fleshman, BeS, pinned Zak Scheffler, 3:07. 182 — Tyler Herber, H, pinned Nate McCollum, :59. 195 — Ignacion Reynoso, H, pinned M. Covington, 1:27. 220 — Logan Luckenbaugh, BeS, pinned Max Kine 4:15. 285 — Brady Linebaugh, BeS, dec.Dalton Gromlich, 6-1. 106 — Landon West, BeS, pinned Shane Strausser, 5:03. 113 — Owen DeTurk, H, won by forfeit. 120 — Lucas DeTurk, H, pinned Dylan Griffie, 3:56. 126 — Austin Clabaugh, BeS, dec. Jake Johnson, 9-4. 132 — Mike Madera, H, dec. Brandon Jackson, 9-2. 138 — Jarod Miller, BeS, dec. Dylan Miller, 10-3. 145 — Darren Beall, BeS, dec. Reese Mason, 3-1. 152 — Ashton West, BeS, tech. fall Brendan Hamilton, 19-4 (3:16). 160 — Matt James, H, dec. Lucas Gladfelter, 4-1.