Gettysburg High's and Boiling Springs' wrestling teams left Thursday focused on Saturday.
The Warriors lost 52-13 to the Bubblers at Gettysburg after entering Thursday in 17th place in the District 3 Class AAA power ratings, one spot from qualifying for the postseason. They have an opportunity to move up with Saturday's home tournament, which features Shippensburg.
"Ship is huge," Warriors coach Perry Smith said. "That's what Saturday's going to be for us."
The Bubblers have a postseason berth seemingly secured but face Bermudian Springs on Saturday. The winner has a strong chance of being the No. 1 seed in the district tournament and would likely avoid wrestling Biglerville until a possible district championship match.
Boiling Springs is healthy after 126-pounder Kyle Shoop, who hadn't wrestled since Jan. 5, returned and pinned Tyler Wilt in 1:22.
"He looked pretty good," Bubblers coach Rodney Wright said. "He has been feeling better. It's just that we wanted to give him a little bit of time to make sure he's healed up.
"To get a match before Saturday, that's also very important. It all worked out for him. Hopefully we get a good match on this weekend."
Thursday started with Gettysburg 170-pounder Jake Sharrah earning a pin in 3:35. The lead wouldn't last.
The Bubblers received consecutive decisions and then consecutive pins for an 18-6 lead. Their 106-pounder, John Day, then pinned Warriors freshman Chris Kemp, who was wrestling the third match of his life.
Warriors assistant coach Chris Haines was walking through the hallways of the school a few weeks into the season when he spotted Kemp and asked him to watch wrestling practice. Kemp, 84 pounds, fit the team's need at 106.
"It looked really, really hard," said Kemp, who had played soccer. "Harder than anything I've ever done. It looked like a good challenge, and I wanted to try it."
The Warriors have kept Kemp out of matches where he'd face an opponent weighing more than 100 pounds -- Day weighed in around 95 -- as they've taught him how to wrestle.
There's still a slight learning curve. Kemp turned left after leaving the bench instead of right toward the scorer's table to check in. But he did remember to shake his opponent's hand Thursday after forgetting to do so his first two matches.
Thursday was also the first time he made it through the first period, and he is up to 87.1 pounds -- "He's heavy today," Smith said -- after increasing his caloric intake.
"I feel great," Kemp said. "I've never gotten that far. I'm just trying to get used to things."
The Bubblers received a forfeit at 120 pounds and won five of the final seven matches for the final 52-13 margin. Smith was disappointed with his team's performance.
"I would've hoped we would've wrestled a little tougher than we did as a team," he said. "We probably didn't wrestle quite what I would think our capabilities are. We're just going to get ready for Saturday. That's all we can do."
Wright shared the same sentiment, though he thought his team was trending upward toward its annual matchup with fellow district power Bermudian Springs.
"I think the kids are wrestling well right now," he said. "I haven't been disappointed in them for a while. I feel like we need to finish a little better, but there's always areas we need to work on. We got a good match Saturday."
firstname.lastname@example.org; 717-637-3736, extension 139. Twitter: @DanielPaulling.
BOILING SPRINGS 52, GETTYSBURG 13
170 -- Jake Sharrah, Get, pinned Kyle Jones, 3:35; 182 -- Kyle Taylor, BoS, dec. Corey Hardman, 5-0; 195 -- Nate Gouhin, BoS, dec. Scott Six, 3-1; 220 -- Calvin Barrick, BoS, pinned Giovani Alvarado, 1:09; 285 -- Noah Davis, BoS, pinned Juan Perez, 1:10; 106 -- John Day, BoS, pinned Chris Kemp, 3:11; 113 -- Korbin Myer, BoS, won by forfeit; 120 -- Grant Bond, BoS, pinned Alex Fata, 1:38; 126 -- Kyle Shoop, BoS, pinned Tyler Wilt, 1:22; 132 -- Andrew Mellott, BoS, maj. decision Conner Smith, 14-0; 138 -- Josh Boehner, Get, dec. Travis Wickard, 11-7; 145 -- Tyler Kauffman, BoS, dec. Jesse Stouch, 5-2; 152 -- Clay Kocsis, Get, maj. decision John Vaughn, 15-7; 160 -- Connor Murphy, BoS, dec. Mitchell Hoffman, 9-4.