Biglerville, Eastern York wrestlers find place in state tournament
WEST LAWN – Good luck charms come in all shapes and sizes.
Nate Newberry’s just happens to be round and shiny.
“I was rubbing my (regional) gold medal from last year for good luck all week,” said the Biglerville wrestler.
After his Saturday evening performance at Wilson High School, the senior has another gold to bring him luck at next week’s PIAA Class AA Wrestling Championships.
The Canner captured his second PIAA Class AA Southeast Regional championship in as many years, defeating Hunter Gimbor of Brandywine Heights, 6-1, to claim the 152-pound weight class.
Joining him at the top of the medal stand was Eastern York’s Dakota Mackley, who captured the 170-pound weight class with a 4-2 decision over Camp Hill’s Tita Nyambi.
Those two YAIAA grapplers are among nine league competitors whose top-six finish at regionals secured a berth in the PIAA Class AA Wrestling Championships which start Thursday in the Giant Center.
Delone Catholic’s Brian Shermeyer (152) and Bermudian Springs’ Noah Fleshman (170) earned victories in the consolation final to finish third while two of Fleshman’s Eagle teammates – Austin Clabaugh (120) and Ashton West (145) – lost in the same round to end up fourth.
Landon West (sixth at 106) and Logan Luckenbaugh (fifth at 195) also qualified for Bermudian Springs, which finished fifth in the team standings with 82.5 points.
The final state tournament qualifier was Brady Repasky of Delone Catholic, who ended fifth at 182 pounds.
Newberry (36-3) was in control from the start against Gimbor, getting the lone takedown 37 seconds into the bout. He then registered a three-point nearfall with a tilt less than a minute later to make it 5-0.
The two-time regional champion cruised from there, riding Gimbor the entire second period before tacking on a third-period escape to complete the scoring.
That appearance in the final almost didn’t happen as Newberry gave up a four-point move early in his semifinal match against Tri-Valley’s Chase Schaeffer.
However, the Bloomsburg-bound wrestler got off his back and got to within 4-3 when he hit a late takedown to win a dramatic 5-4 match.
“You can’t (get) down on yourself,” said Newberry of his early deficit against Schaeffer. “You just have to keep working and keep pushing the pace.”
Newberry is the second Canner wrestler to earn a pair of regional titles, the other one being Laike Gardner, a current starter for Lehigh University. That place in history at Biglerville is not lost on the senior.
“Biglerville is wrestling. I hope the tradition continues,” he said. “I couldn’t ask to be part of a better program.”
Mackley provided the only finals excitement for the locals, as he recorded the lone takedown at the second-period buzzer against Nyambi.
“I caught his left arm and hit a drag by. I just got around him for the two,” said the Golden Knight senior who had beaten the Mid-Penn wrestler two weeks ago at the sectional tournament.
The takedown gave Mackley (28-3) a 3-0 lead heading into the final two minutes.
The Lions senior took down and promptly reversed Mackley to cut the lead to one. But Mackley was out from bottom just 13 seconds later for the final point of the match.
Nyambi (34-10) did get off one good shot in the closing seconds of the match but the YAIAA wrestler was able to fend it off without giving up any points.
“He got in real deep but he is open to a mousetrap every time he shoots,” said the two-time state qualifier.
A couple of returning PIAA qualifiers came up on the short side of the score, ending their careers just short of another trip to Hershey.
Hanover’s Caleb Gardner responded to his Friday loss with a pin in his first 126-pound consolation bracket. But after taking a 2-1 lead over Tanner McHugh of Tamaqua in the first tiebreaker, the Nighthawks senior gave up a reversal on a switch midway through the second tiebreaker and the District 11 competitor held on for a 3-2 decison.
Bermudian Springs’ Brady Linebaugh, the defending regional champion, ran into his nemesis, Robert Dunbar of Wyomissing, in his first consolation round match at 285.
The Eagles senior had choice in the ultimate tiebreaker and took down but could not escape the Spartans big man’s control, dropping a 3-2 decision. In last week’s District 3 semifinal round, Dunbar beat Linebaugh in the second tiebreaker, also by a 3-2 score.