Site updated 01/28/14 12:19 PM Upper Dauphin Sentinel ©2006
The Bulldogs saw more first-place finishes than any other participating squad. Bringing home the gold were Sammy Hepler (106), Caleb Bordner (120), Chase Schaeffer (138), Hunter Harner (145) and Anthony Snyder (152).
Hepler got the Bulldog rally started by knocking off UDA’s talented sophomore, Connor Boyer, in the championship semifinals. Hepler beat Boyer 8-3 to advance to the finals, where he squared off against Williams Valley’s Willy Girard.
Hepler used two first-period takedowns to cruise to a 7-4 victory. It was Hepler’s second victory over Girard in less than a week. The Bulldog freshman had beaten Girard by a 13-3 major decision at a dual meet Jan. 13. Girard earned his spot in the finals by pinning Blue Mountain’s Hunter Blankenhorn in third period of their semifinal bout.
Bordner continued Tri-Valley’s dominance with solid victories in both the semifinals and finals. The two-time state place winner won by fall in the semis before winning by technical fall 15-0 over Blue Mountain’s Bryant Penberth in the finals. The victory gave Bordner his second consecutive league championship.
Sophomore Chase Schaeffer kept the momentum going for Tri-Valley. Schaeffer, who also was seeking his second consecutive league title, decisioned Pine Grove’s Jared McCabe 5-1 in the semifinals before posting a 5-2 decision over Blue Mountain’s Christian Gosch in the finals.
Returning state place winner Hunter Harner made it back-to-back champions for Tri-Valley, winning the 145-pound bracket immediately following Schaeffer’s victory. Harner cruised through the semifinals, pinning Pottsville’s Kody Stencovage in 1:17 to earn a spot opposite Blue Mountain’s Lucas Forbes in the finals. Harner beat Forbes with a convincing 6-0 decision.
In the next weight class, Snyder made it back-to-back-to-back for the ’Dawgs. After posting a 12-1 major decision over Schuylkill Haven’s Trevyn Fessler, Snyder went on to beat the Vikes’ Matt Miller by technical fall, 18-2. Miller earned his spot in the finals by pinning Mahanoy Area’s Alex Witiszen in the second period of their semifinal bout.
Campbell, Harner reach semis. UDA had two wrestlers in the championship finals, though neither one left with gold around their neck. Junior 113-pounder Coy Campbell ran out of steam against Pottsville’s Luke Gardner while Devon Hoffman ran into a hammer in Tamaqua’s Colin Mashack in the 126-pound finals.
Campbell got to the finals via 6-3 decision over Panther Valley’s Len Ogozalek, but Gardner was too much to handle by then. The Pottsville sophomore, who finished fourth in last year’s District 11, Class AAA tournament, took the stop spot on the podium after beating Campbell 11-5.
Hoffman made it to the finals after pinning Pine Grove’s Danny Diaz-Walton in just 58 seconds in the semifinals. In the finals, Mashack ran up a 15-0 technical fall just eight seconds into the second period.
Two local wrestlers competed in the consolation finals for third and fourth place – UDA’s Jackson Kennerly (138) and Williams Valley’s James Cox (285).
Kennerly’s route to the consolations came via a loss by fall in the championship semis and a major decision in the consolation semis. In the third-place bout, Kennerly beat Pine Grove’s McCabe 3-2 to earn a bronze medal.
Cox lost by fall in the semis before winning by fall in the consolation semis. He was pinned again in the third-place bout to earn fourth.
Other local place winners were: UDA’s Connor Boyer, fifth at 106; Joe Becker, fifth at 182; Trey Campbell, fifth at 195; and Payton Kennerly, fifth at 220; Tri-Valley’s Kyle Stephen, fifth at 113; Halifax’s Amber Laudenslager, fifth at 132; Lucas Burke, sixth at 113; and Nathaniel Enders, sixth at 138; and Williams Valley’s Daymian Shoop, sixth at 182.
Blue Mountain won the team championship with 180 points. North Schuylkill finished second with 170 points. Tri-Valley was the highest local finisher, taking fourth with 146 team points. Rounding out the top five were Pine Grove, third with 150.5 and Tamaqua, fifth with 118.5.
UDA finished in eighth place with 112.5. Williams Valley was 11th with 85.5 and Halifax ended in 13th with 60 points.
LOCAL DUAL MEETS
Line Mountain 39, UDA 27, Jan. 15. In a matchup that was expected to be close, the real-life action met the pre-match hype. The final outcome was undecided until the next-to-last bout. The action was frantic, and sometimes unexpected, leading up to that deciding bout.
The match started off on uneventfully, with UDA forfeiting the 285-pound bout. The Trojans had several heavyweights available, but opted to concede the bout to Line Mountain’s Garrett Kieffer, giving the visiting Eagles an early 6-0 lead.
Two talented lightweights started the real action at 106, as UDA’s Boyer squared off with the Eagles’ Collin Klinger. Boyer cut the Eagles’ lead in half after a hard-fought 2-1 decision, which set the stage for the night’s main event.
Upper Dauphin’s Coy Campbell, ranked first in District 3-AA at 113, squared off against Line Mountain’s Cameron Newman, ranked first in District 4-AA at 113. Newman appeared to strengthen as the bout wore on, and eventually beat the talented Trojan 6-2 to expand his team’s lead to 9-3.
Cole Hauck beat UDA’s Cheyne Oren in a swing bout at 120 to give the Eagles a 12-3 lead after four classes. The two teams traded forfeits at 126 and 132. UDA’s Devon Hoffman got the six-point victory at 126, while highly touted Brian Earlston got the victory at 132 for Line Mountain. Many in the crowd were hoping the two grapplers faced each other at 126, where both are certified, but the Eagles opted to trade six-for-six instead of sending Earlston at 126 after the Trojans sent Hoffman to the mat.
The night’s most unexpected victory went to UDA’s Evan Hoffman in the 138-pound bout. Trailing 10-2 to Line Mountain’s Blake Carl, Hoffman nailed the Eagle wrestler with a headlock and secured a much-needed pin – and six team points – for the Trojans. Hoffman’s victory made the team score 18-15 at the halfway point in the match.
Recently-returned Kenny Boyer held on to beat UDA’s Jackson Kennerly 4-2 in the 145-pound bout, and Gary Laudenslager got his first victory of the season for Line Mountain in the next bout at 152. Boyer and Laudenslager’s wins gave the Eagles a nine-point cushion heading into the final five weights.
Jesse Zilinski won by forfeit for UDA at 160, before the Eagles’ Brendan Renn pinned Ryan Straub-Fisher in the first period at 171. With three bouts to go, Line Mountain led UDA 30-21. Line Mountain got a bump when Riley Shaffer beat the Trojans’ Cody Zerby in overtime of the 182-bout, but the three team points only gave Line Mountain a 12-point lead, which meant the Trojans still had a chance with two classes left.
Rayce Boyer, the hero of the night, ended the Trojan faithful’s hopes when he pinned Joe Becker midway through the second period. Boyer’s heroics came after Becker nearly stunned the Eagle with a pin of his own in the first period. Boyer fought off his back after Becker stuck him there near the edge of the mat late in the first period.
UDA’s Trey Campbell ended the night with a pin of Line Mountain’s Austin Baumert at 220 pounds.
The win was Line Mountain’s first over the Trojans in several years, and opened the door for Newport and Juniata to share the Tri-Valley League title with UDA, which had been in sole possession of first place prior to the match.
Williams Valley 33, Tri-Valley 32, Jan. 13. Williams Valley and Tri-Valley have waged some memorable wars throughout the years, though most of them have occurred in sports like football or baseball.
Wrestling, for the most part, has been a sport dominated by Tri-Valley, but the two long-time rivals squared off in a classic back-and-forth match last week in front of a rowdy Viking crowd.
The outcome of the match was in doubt until the final contested bout, where Williams Valley’s Alex Raho decisioned Tri-Valley’s Kyle Stephen, 9-6, at 120 pounds.
The Bulldogs exploded out of the gates, building a 22-0 lead after first-period falls by Bordner (132), Schaeffer (138) and Hunter Harner (145), and major decision by Snyder (152). There was no bout at 160, but back-to-back forfeits at 170 and 182 kept Williams Valley alive.
Mason White pinned Williams Valley’s Noah Crisswell at 195 before the Vikings’ Ian Minnich received a forfeit and heavyweight Cox recorded a fall at 285, making the score 28-24 with only three contested bouts remaining. (There was no bout at 126.)
Hepler won by major decision over Girard who apparently was battling an illness. The victory gave the ’Dawgs an eight-point lead with two bouts to go. Freshman Dagan Dickinson gave the Vikes hope with a second-period fall at 113, setting up the pivotal 120-pound bout between Raho and Stephen.
The Vikes came out victorious, at 120 and in the team score, when Raho edged Stephen by three points. The victory was Williams Valley’s third in a row this season.
Pottsville 45, Tri-Valley 29, Jan. 15. Tri-Valley won six of 10 contested bouts, but four forfeits was too much to overcome.
Hepler (106) and White (195) won by fall. Harner (152) won by technical fall, while teammates Bordner (126), Schaeffer (138) and Snyder (160) all won by major decision.
Newport 67, Halifax 12 at Halifax, Jan. 15. Tanner Weldon (126) and Nathaniel Enders (145) were the only two victors for Halifax in a defeat of Tri-Valley League foe Newport.
Weldon won by fall in the second period of his 126-pound bout, while Enders pinned his Buffalo opponent late in the third period.