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Rohrbaugh, Wolfgram in district championship hunt

Friday evening at the Giant Center, Dalton Rohrbaugh of Spring Grove and Michael Wolfgram of Central York showed the rest of District 3 why they have been among the dominant wrestlers in the YAIAA this season.

The underclassmen duo won convincing semifinal matches in the District 3 Class AAA Wrestling Championships to earn a shot at district gold Saturday morning.

The lone other finalist from the league’s big schools is New Oxford senior Zurich Storm (120).

Those three earned automatic return trips to Hershey for the PIAA Wrestling Championships in two weeks with their semifinal victories.

Also punching their ticket to state were eight other YAIAA competitors who advanced into this morning’s consolation finals, assured a top-four finish.

Three of Rohrbaugh’s Rocket teammates — Clay Baker (120), Jake Meyer (132) and Nathan Young (220) — will be wrestling for third place along with Northeastern’s Cole Wilson (103), Gettysburg’s Dylan Reinert (138), Red Lion’s Dylan Gurreri (160), Dallastown’s Bryce Shields (220) and Northeastern’s Blaine Yinger (285).

Rohrbaugh (31-2) won two close decisions Thursday evening but used a first-period takedown of Ephrata’s Cameron Terry to grab an early lead before blowing open the match with a pair of three-point nearfalls in the middle period.

The 15-1 major decision made the junior the first Rocket wrestler ever to reach three district finals. And that wasn’t the only first for the Spring Grove program Friday evening as the Rockets advanced four competitors to the state tournament for the first time ever.

“Thursday night, I got nervous. (Friday) I just wanted to go out and have fun,” said Rohrbaugh. “Once I got up 8-0, he stopped going for big moves.”

Rockets coach Tony Miller was pleased to see a more typical performance out of the standout lightweight.

“We were a little tentative (Thursday). But Dalton opened up a little more,” he said. “In the top position, he looked better than he looked through all of sectionals.”

Wolfgram needed just nine seconds to register his first takedown of Warwick’s Ryan Stewart. It would be one of four takedowns the unbeaten Panthers sophomore would put on the board on his way to an 11-4 decision over the Warrior junior.

“I just wanted to score early to show the other guy this is (my) mat,” said the 33-0 heavyweight.

Standing between him and a District championship is Shippensburg’s Cameron Tinner.

Tinner, the 2016 district champ at 220, won the showdown of district champs as he edged Yinger,  7-6, on takedown in the last 20 seconds of the match.

“I’ve wanted to wrestle (Tinner) all year. It should be fun,” said Wolfgram of the 36-1 Greyhound senior.

Storm reached his second consecutive District 3 championship match with a thorough domination of Matthew McCann of Waynesboro.

In the first period, the 32-1 senior racked up two takedowns and two two-point nearfalls to jump out to an 8-1 lead. He tacked on another pair of takedowns in addition to two reversals to complete the 16-5 major decision over the Mid-Penn Conference grappler.

Storm, who lost last season’s district final to state finalist Austin DeSanto of Exeter, will meet Chris Wright of Central Dauphin, in his final. Wright was also a silver medalist in last season’s district tournament.

Wilson and Reinert, both freshmen in their first district tournament, bounced back from semifinal losses to grab a spot in the state tournament.

Wilson earned his PIAA spot with a 14-4 major decision over Austin Jones of Ephrata in their consolation semifinal match while Reinert got the lone takedown in a 3-2 decision over Joey Stoak of Central Dauphin.