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
He may have been ranked lower than his opponent, but Chase Mowery wasn't worried.
The South Western 126-pound senior entered Saturday's Canner Duals at Biglerville High School ranked one spot below No. 4 Austin Rowzer of Red Land in the District 3 rankings. Having pinned Rowzer in a meet last season, Mowery didn't let the rankings affect his mindset.
"My dad (thinks about the rankings) but I look at past experiences," Mowery said. "I caught him on his back last year but I knew it was going to be tough this year."
Mowery didn't get the pin this time around, but he did earn a hard-fought, 5-1 win that highlighted his undefeated performance in the tournament. He was one of a number of South Western wrestlers to have a strong day.
The Mustangs finished third at the tournament with a 3-2 record, losing to Saucon Valley and Red Land but beating Delone Catholic, Hempfield and Northeastern. Saucon Valley won the tournament for the second straight year, beating Red Land, 37-31, in the tournament final.
"Even in the matches that we lost we were still moving forward and correcting mistakes that we've made in the past," South Western head coach Nate Murren said. "We didn't really do anything fancy or try to move anybody around to get matchups. It was, 'Here's our lineup, let's go.'"
One South Western wrestler who did move around was senior Tom Aumen, who competed at both 220 and 285. A natural 220-pounder, Aumen finished 3-2 in the tournament but registered pins for all three of his wins, with two coming at heavyweight.
"He wrestles heavier guys in the room when we can," Murren said of Aumen. "We assess what weight it is and whether we're going to get points out of it. Tommy likes both, definitely more comfortable at his own weight but definitely likes wrestling these bigger kids sometimes."
Northeastern duo earns key wins
It was a tough tournament for Northeastern, but a strong day for 220-pounder Dedrick Turner and 285-pounder Blaine Yinger.
Turner, who is ranked 22nd in the state at his weight, beat 25th-ranked Aumen, 7-3, in Northeastern's opening bout. In the team's following match against Delone Catholic, defending district champion Yinger beat one of his top local competitors in Bryce Perkins, 4-1. Perkins entered the day ranked eighth in the state in Class 2A.
Both wrestlers had beaten those competitors before, giving them confidence entering Saturday's tournament. Still, both said that getting a tough bout out of the way early helped them the rest of the event. Yinger finished 5-0 while Turner went 4-1.
"I'm more fresh for that match than if I had to wrestle four matches and then go into that one," Yinger said. "I watched film on (Perkins) from last year and I just went into the match confident."
Northeastern finished the tournament in sixth place with a 2-3 record. The Bobcats beat Littlestown and Biglerville and lost to Saucon Valley, Delone and South Western.
Biglerville picks up win over Littlestown
It's been a rebuilding season for Biglerville, which lost most of last season's lineup to graduation and has a new coach in Ken Haines. While the Canners struggled for most of Saturday, they did post a 42-33 win against Littlestown.
While Biglerville did get key pins from Blake Showers and Joshua Tuckey to clinch the win, the Canners also got a huge boost from four bouts that Littlestown was forced to forfeit. The Bolts only have nine wrestlers in their lineup.
"They understand sometimes we're outgunned in certain situations," Haines said. "We really just focus on performances, we don't focus on the wins at all."
Biglerville finished in seventh place with a 1-4 record while Littlestown finished eighth by going 0-5. Delone Catholic gave the second-best performance of any YAIAA school, finishing 3-2 and in fifth. The Squires lost 40-36 to South Western but got pins in that match from Zach Hart, Ryan Hart and Brady Repasky.