Central York wrestler makes quantum leap in 2017. (Teddy Feinberg/GameTimePA.com)
The “Road to Hershey” begins Saturday with the District 3 wrestling sectional tournaments.
York-Adams teams will converge on Bermudian Springs (Class 2A) and South Western (3A), with the top finishers qualifying for the District 3 tournament set for Feb. 23-25 at Hershey’s Giant Center.
The top four finishers in Class 3A will advance, while the top three finishers in Class 2A will advance.
Here is a look at the top storylines to watch. All records listed are according to District 3, and all rankings are courtesy of PA Power Wrestling.
In Class 2A, a potential barn-burner championship match is set for 170 pounds, where the top two seeds are Littlestown sophomore Carl Harris (26-2, No. 2 in southeast regional) and Kennard-Dale senior Austin McNamee (23-1, No. 5 in southeast regional at 182 pounds).
Harris is a state qualifier from a year ago, while McNamee is a two-time District 3 qualifier in 3A. But don't overlook Delone Catholic senior Brendan Quinn (20-6, No. 3 in southeast regional) at that weight. Quinn could face Harris in the semifinals.
In Class 3A, does it get any bigger than the potential 285-pound final between Northeastern senior Blaine Yinger and Central York sophomore Michael Wolfgram? Yinger is the returning District 3 Class 3A champ at 285 and Wolfgram is a returning PIAA qualifier.
Last year Yinger beat Wolfgram twice: A 6-4 decision in the team dual, before he pinned Wolfgram in 2:50 in the sectional tournament semifinals. Wolfgram exacted a little revenge this year, pinning Yinger in 4:37 in the teams dual on his way to a perfect record so far.
West York’s Frank Veloce and Susquehannock’s Andrew Senft will try to spoil the showdown.
Injuries affect sectionals
One month after being diagnosed with a second-degree MCL sprain, Dallastown senior Drake Pew will make his return to the month Saturday at the Class 3A sectional at South Western.
Pew will enter the 170-pound bracket as the No. 2 seed with a record of 17-4. The top seed in the weight class is Spring Grove’s Jared Barley —who, coincidentally, was Pew’s opponent when he suffered the injury.
On the other side of the equation, Dover junior Matt Rodriguez will miss the postseason with an injury. The Eagle was once ranked among the top 10 in the state by PA Power Wrestling at 106 pounds.
Sectional champs look to repeat
New Oxford senior Zurich Storm will be looking for his fourth sectional championship at 120 pounds. Storm won sectional titles at 106, 113 and 120 in 2014, 2015 and 2016, respectively.
Spring Grove’s Dalton Rohrbaugh (113 pounds) won a pair at 106 in 2015 and 2016 while Dallastown’s Bryce Shields (220) won at 182 and 195 in 2015 and 2016, respectively, and Bermudian Springs’ Austin Clabaugh (126) won at 106 his freshman season and 120 his junior season.
Clabaugh’s teammate Landon West will look to win his second sectional title after winning at 106 pounds last year as he enters as the No. 2 seed at 113 pounds. Kennard-Dale’s Daemon Davis is the top-seed.
Gettysburg’s Joe Pecaitis (132), Spring Grove’s Nathan Young (220) and Northeastern’s Blaine Yinger (285) are returning champions from 2016.
Kennard-Dale drops to Class 2A
After spending several years in Class 3A, the Rams return to the Class 2A field looking to do some damage.
Daemon Davis (113), Samuel Stewart (126), Justin Camron Miller (132), Nick Bradley (138), Andrew Barnett (145), Austin McNamee (170), Troy Jones (182) and Tanner Harkins (285) all carry top-3 seeds into the tournament.
Davis and Barnett each have a No. 1 seed.
Warriors dominate top seeds in Class 3A
After winning their first YAIAA division title this year, Gettysburg was rewarded with three No. 1 seeds. Freshman Dylan Reinert (138) and seniors Joe Pecaitis (145) and Daniel Ziegler (152) each earned No. 1 seeds. Freshman Luke Sainato got the No. 2 seed at 113 pounds.
Gettysburg's weren't the only Warriors who had a field day earning top seeds. Their York County counterparts Susquehannock also earned three No. 1 seeds: Freshman Colby Romjue (132) and seniors Joey Romjue (160) and Jack Allred (182).