Bermudian's Ashton West wrestles to 100th victory
Red Land senior 106-pound wrestler Ryan Ressler was born without a right hand. That hasn't stopped him from becoming one of his team's top wrestlers. He helped lead the Patriots to a second-place finish at Saturday's Canner Duals. Matt Allibone
LANCASTER – For Ashton West, it a bit of an anti-climactic afternoon.
The Bermudian Springs senior picked up his 100th career win, but his team dropped a hard-fought 39-30 decision to Bishop McDevitt in the championship bout of the Lancaster Catholic High School Duals on Saturday afternoon.
Bermudian Springs was one of four YAIAA competitors at the duals, along with Hanover, Central York, and West York. The Eagles easily disposed of Newport (47-13), Hershey (70-8), Central York (42-27) and West York (72-9) before falling in the finals of the nine-team, 10-hour, four-mat showdown that began at 9 a.m. and completed shortly after 6 p.m.
“We managed to come out early and get a good win against Newport, one of the top Double-A teams around,” said Bermudian Springs head coach Dave McCollum. “We wrestled well against Hershey. Once we hit the third match of the day, we were wondering if any guys had gas in the tank. We came out a little flat (against) Central York and get some points and pulled out the win.
“We got through West York and then had McDevitt, possibly the top Double-A team in District 3. We were wire-to-wire with them coming down to the last matches. But I don’t think I would have changed anything. We didn’t get the points we thought we would at one weight, but that’s all part of wrestling.”
McCollum viewed the tournament as a measuring stick for his club.
“This is huge,” McCollum said. “That’s why we do it. We want to get five matches. You can’t duplicate this in the practice room. This is how we get in shape. We’re wrestling as a team right now and giving 100 percent and I don’t think we could have done anything different or better in our match.
“It was two quality teams going at it, and we came up a little short.”
In other action, Central York’s Michael Wolfgram kept his record unblemished on the season (17-0) at 285 as he recorded five victories, three by fall and two by forfeit. Central York won three matches and lost to Newport and to Bermudian Springs.
West had an equally impressive day in the 160-pound bracket, as he recorded two falls along with a 4-2 and 6-3 decision. His 100th win has been in sight for quite some time.
“Since day one this year, it has been what I was shooting for,” West said. “It is special, and I consider it an accomplishment. I set the goal my freshman year and it is nice to finally reach the milestone.
“We definitely ended up in the position that we wanted to be in at the end. This was a step up from last year at this tournament. Being in a situation like this was normal for me. I am used to wrestling five matches in other tournaments that I have been involved."
West was looking forward to a rematch with McDevitt’s Griffith Haines, who gave him his lone defeat at the Cumberland Valley Kickoff Classic in early December, but Haines was moved up the 170-pound bracket.
“They (McDevitt) ran away from him (West) and bumped him up to one of our kids to give us six (points) and give them six,” McCollum said. “It was a smart move on their coach’s part, and I probably would have done the same thing for the team’s sake.”
However, it will prove for further motivation for West, who anticipates another meeting with Haines down the road.
“We were all ready,” boasted West. “I can’t wait to wrestle him again. I wrestled back in the consolation bracket in (the Cumberland Valley tournament and) was supposed to wrestle him for third or fourth place or fifth or sixth, but he medical forfeited. I am hoping to get that matchup again sometime soon.”