Rockets' 113-pounder seeks encore after state semifinals appearance last year. (Teddy Feinberg/GameTimePA.com)
Not much has changed at the top of YAIAA wrestling world, but that doesn't mean there haven't been some surprises.
The two teams expected to be the best at the start of the season — Spring Grove and Bermudian Springs — have not lost a league match and this week clinched their respective divisions. The Rockets and Eagles are both deep, experienced and primed for postseason runs.
But on the unexpected side, Gettysburg has emerged as the dominant team in Division II, while Dallastown, South Western and New Oxford have each looked like the second-best team in Division I at some point. That makes putting together the bottom half of our YAIAA wrestling power rankings quite difficult.
There are numerous arguments to make for placing a couple of teams at various spots. But with one week to go in the regular season, here's where things stand.
5. Dallastown (11-3, 4-2 Division I)
The Wildcats were No. 3 in our last rankings, and there's certainly reason to keep them there. After all, they are currently the second highest-ranked York-Adams team in District 3 Class 3A, behind Spring Grove. But while Dallastown is probably better than South Western on paper, the Wildcats fell to the Mustangs, 32-31, when the two teams met on Jan. 10. And with third-ranked 170-pounder Drake Pew in jeopardy of missing the postseason after sustaining a second-degree MCL sprain in a loss against Spring Grove, the Wildcats have some things to figure out. Still, Dallastown has a strong lineup with four other district-ranked wrestlers and could be a threat in the team tournament.
4. South Western (13-5, 4-2 Division I)
The Mustangs lost to New Oxford by 10 points earlier this season, but they've come on strong in recent weeks and are currently ranked 15th in Class 3A. The win against Dallastown has clearly been the team's top achievement, but South Western has also earned quality wins against Delone Catholic and Central York. Senior 126-pounder Chase Mowery has been dominant lately, and the Mustangs can boost their district playoff chances by beating a strong Susquehannock team next week.
3. Gettysburg (9-2, 6-0 Division II)
The Warriors have proven this season that youth and inexperience don't always hold a team back. With half of its starting lineup composed of freshmen or sophomores, Gettysburg has rolled through the Division II slate this season, winning three dual meets by 55 or more points. The Warriors also topped New Oxford by nine and challenged Bermudian Springs in a 12-point loss. Freshman Luke Sainato (113 pounds), freshman Dylan Reinert (138), junior Joseph Pecaitis(145) and senior Daniel Zeigler (152) are all ranked in the top 10 in 3A.
2. Bermudian Springs (17-1, 6-0 Division III)
The Eagles won their seventh-straight YAIAA division title on Thursday, topping rival Delone Catholic by 20 points. A year after dealing with nagging injuries last season, Bermudian has stayed relatively healthy this campaign and has eight starters ranked at the district level. The team's lighter-weight wrestlers are especially formidable, led by Landon West (113, 120 pounds) and Austin Clabaugh (126, 132). The Eagles will go into the final week of the regular season ranked No. 1 in Class 2A.
1. Spring Grove (14-2, 6-0 Division II)
It's a shame the Rockets and Eagles can't compete this season to officially determine which team is the league's best. Still, it's hard to bump the Rockets from the top sport when they went undefeated in Division I and are ranked second in 3A. Spring Grove's lineup is peppered with ranked wrestlers, from 113-pounder Dalton Rohrbaugh to 220-pounder Nate Young. The Rockets should be a contender for a team District 3 title.
New Oxford (10-7, 4-2 Division I), Delone Catholic (9-3, 5-1 Division III)