West York wrestled some of more stronger programs from York and Lancaster counties at the recent Lancaster Duals and came away with a satisfied and respectable 2-2 mark.
More importantly, though, the Bulldogs took a major step forward in their growth and maturity. It also proved to be a boost for their morale.
“I think we took a step in the right direction,” West York head coach Brian Gross said. “We wanted to win some matches and we won a pair of them. We hadn’t won a match all year. To come here and win two matches is a good feeling.
“We had some guys who had some really good days here, and our goal is to get better every day. I think we did that.”
And the Bulldogs kept up the momentum Tuesday night with a 49-24 win against Eastern York. The Bulldogs won all eight weight classes from 106 to 152 to pull away.
On Saturday, two West York sophomores had productive days: 285-pounder Frank Veloce, who recorded a 4-1 mark and on Tuesday moved to 11-6 overall, and 152-pounder Luke Stine, who posted a 3-2 mark at Lancaster and upped his overall mark to 8-7 on Tuesday vs. Eastern.
“It’s been a pretty good year for me so far,” said Veloce, who finished second at the Carlisle Tournament. “The wrestling part is fun at something like this, but the sitting is a real killer. I think I am a little behind where I should be, but this was a good day. Everything has been going well for me lately.”
Stine, who has seemingly rebounded from a 5-21 mark last season, sees the season off to a positive start.
“Things went pretty good for me there,” said Stine of his effort in Lancaster. “Last year, I only had one win here. This year, I have been getting better and better. Being 3-2 in a tournament like this one is pretty good for me.“After some matches when you have a long layoff, you easily can get stiff. This is a big boost for your self-esteem and pushes you to keep winning and moving forward.”
“They both had good days,” added Gross. “Both of them have worked really hard and have made strides this year. It was a good test for both of them.”
It also was gratifying for Gross to watch his daughter, Carly Gross, a freshman wrestling at 106 pounds, compete in the tournament. She recorded a fall to go 1-0 at Saturday's tournament, and she added a pin in 2:27 on Tuesday to improve to 5-2 on the season.
Gross finished fourth in the Body Bar Women’s National freestyle championships in mid-May in Irving, Texas. It earned her All-American status in the division, and also provided a transition to the high school scene. Carly is currently a spot starter for the Bulldogs.
“I think it is paying off for her,” Brian Gross said. “I’d like to get her a couple of more matches. She’s battling for the 106 spot and it will be a challenge for her the rest of the way.
“I just like to wrestle,” Carly Gross said. “It has been a great experience for me. I know I have to deal with the fact that boys can out-muscle me, so I have to work on my techniques.”
Gross also viewed the grueling five-match afternoon as an early measuring stick for his program.
“Absolutely,” Brian Gross stressed. “Our goal now is to get better and pick up some more wins along the way. We’ll go back and work on some things and get ready for this week.”
Check out this week's GameTimePA Top 5 Plays Video by Lindsey Smith