Shortly after the brackets were released for last week’s District Three Triple-A Wrestling Championships, Manheim Central’s Tyler Rhoads made a quick trip to his computer.
“One of the funnier moments this week,” Barons’ coach Troy Sunderland laughed, “was Tyler came up to me, we were getting ready to start practice and he was like, ‘Hey coach, I Googled how to beat Chance Marsteller and I got no result.’”
Marsteller, the second-ranked high school wrestler in the United States, pinned Rhoads in 55 seconds on his way to a fourth District title.
For Manheim Central’s Jared Siegrist, only one of his five opponents had the Google results for success in the 160-pound brackets at the Hersheypark Arena. The Barons’ sophomore bounced back from a 7-3 semi-final loss to Carlisle’s Ian Shannon and took home not only the bronze medal, but his first trip to the PIAA State Championships, to be held March 6-8 back in Hershey at the Giant Center.
“I’m pretty happy with (third),” Siegrist said.
“(Jared) very easily could have been in the finals,” Sunderland remarked, “but we’re happy – he’s a sophomore, so it will be a good experience. Getting that experience here and moving forward to the State Tournament as a sophomore … we’re pleased with the bronze.”
Central senior David Fantom (25-14) also won a pair of matches in the 152-pound brackets and was just two wins shy of qualifying for States, while senior J.J. Sanchez (28-10) capped his high school career with a 1-2 finish at 182.
Of the Barons’ four District qualifiers, Siegrist (31-4) was the lone semi-finalist, coming off a 10-0 major over Reading’s Anthony Rivera (29-11) and a hard-fought 3-2 decision against Lower Dauphin’s Bailey Shutt (28-6).
“That Shutt match (Friday) night was a big win for (Jared),” Sunderland said.
Matching up with Shannon (30-3), the Section One champ, in the semi-finals, Siegrist fell behind 4-1 after two periods. But he made it close on a single-leg takedown with just :09 gone in the third.
His strategy to cut Shannon loose looked like a good one when he caught the Carlisle senior with an ankle pick with less than a minute left. But Shannon was able to get into a scramble and eventually ended up on top, pushing the lead to 7-3, which was how it ended.
“Shannon did that little funk roll and Jared nearly was able to hold him there on his back,” Sunderland recalled. “But Shannon ended up turning down and coming up and converting the takedown.”
“We got into a scramble with all the shots I took,” Siegrist remarked, “and he was just better at scrambling and got on top.”
From there, Siegrist didn’t allow any more points in his next two matches.
“You have to get yourself together pretty quick and just be ready to wrestle the next match,” Siegrist said. “It took me a couple minutes, but then I got back in it.”
That was bad news for Chambersburg’s Drew Peck (29-13), as Siegrist cruised to a 5-0 win.
“I give (Jared) a lot of credit because, one, it’s difficult for him to come back after a hard-fought match like that (against Shannon), coming up short, and then having to turn around and wrestle again,” Sunderland said. “But it was just a dominant effort. He looked good on his feet, stayed away from Peck’s strengths.”
As Siegrist was finishing off Peck, he also caught a glimpse of Lampeter-Strasburg’s Jack Habowski (33-11) decking Shutt in 3:14 in the other consolation semi-final match.
“I was watching from my match with Peck,” Siegrist remarked, “and saw that he pinned him and I was like, ‘Nice.’”
“We were happy to see Habowski beat Shutt,” Sunderland acknowledged.
Siegrist took advantage of it, scoring two takedowns in the first two periods en route to a 5-0 edge, and then sealing his 7-0 win on a reversal with 1:09 left in the final stanza.
Knowing he already had a State berth locked up, Siegrist still had motivation to face Habowski.
“I already beat him (earlier this season) and I didn’t want to lose to a guy I already beat,” he said.
Siegrist is certainly not going to want to lose to Shannon again if they face each other at States. Don’t expect him to go on Google, but it’s a safe bet that Siegrist will be working on some things leading up to the State Championships.
“If we make some adjustments, it’s a winnable match for us,” Sunderland said.
Bruce Morgan is the sports editor for the Lititz Record Express. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at email@example.com or at 721-4451.