Schnupp wins gold, sets wins record

By on February 24, 2016

 

Stewart also wins Sectional title, as five advance

Warwick’s Devin Schnupp celebrates after pinning Hempfield’s previously-unbeaten Brandon Loperfido in 2:23 for the 113-pound Sectional title last Saturday. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

Warwick’s Devin Schnupp celebrates after pinning Hempfield’s previously-unbeaten Brandon Loperfido in 2:23 for the 113-pound Sectional title last Saturday. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

Warwick senior Devin Schnupp and sophomore Ryan Stewart reached the top of the medal podium in the same fashion last Saturday at the District Three Triple-A Section Three Tournament.

Getting there with a pin in the finals wasn’t something either one would have predicted.

After all, Schnupp — who earlier set the school record with his 148th career win — doesn’t consider himself one who gets a lot of falls.

And Stewart needed to go to triple OT to defeat McCaskey’s Justin Boyer in a dual meet last month.

In the heavyweight championship match last Saturday at Sectionals, Warwick sophomore Ryan Stewart (right) tries to outmuscle McCaskey’s Justin Boyer. Stewart claimed his first Sectional gold with a fall in 3:43. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

In the heavyweight championship match last Saturday at Sectionals, Warwick sophomore Ryan Stewart (right) tries to outmuscle McCaskey’s Justin Boyer. Stewart claimed his first Sectional gold with a fall in 3:43. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

But both had their A-game at Hempfield.

“Not expected,” Schnupp (37-1) said of his fall in 2:23 over Hempfield’s Brandon Loperfido (30-1) for his second straight 113-pound Sectional gold. “I take what I get, but I’m not going into that match thinking, ‘I’m going to pin this kid.’ I just caught him, so it’s exciting.”

“It’s all a blur,” smiled Stewart (28-6), who flattened Boyer in 3:43 for the heavyweight gold. “Probably tomorrow I’ll remember it better. I just laid on top of him like a heavyweight usually does.”

Led by those two, the Warriors went 2-for-4 in the finals, qualified five for the District Three Championships at Hersheypark Arena this Friday and Saturday, and finished third in the Sectional team race with 145 1/2 points. Manheim Central took the team crown with 197 points, while Penn Manor (154) placed runner-up.

Senior Ben Hershey (29-10) and sophomore Evan Clark (24-10), who was less than 100 percent after missing back-to-back days due to illness, claimed silver after suffering hard-fought losses in the finals at 138 and 220, respectively, while Brock Lieberman (24-14) punched his ticket to Districts with a bronze in the 132-pound brackets.

Just missing were freshman Mateo Chacon (17-18), a fourth-place finisher at 106, Luke Hirtzel (18-12, who finished fifth at 145, and sixth-place finishers Steven Seepaul (12-21) and Josh Miller (16-16) at 170 and 195.

“I thought it was a good day for us,” Warrior coach Ned Bushong said. “I was very pleased … We have a little bit coming back that we can build on for next year. I look at where we were at the beginning of the year and where we finished and it was nice.”

Among those moving on will be Schnupp, who began his final post-season at Warwick in dominant form. With his first-period fall (:52) against CV’s Trent Rider, followed by a 5:11 pin over Penn Manor’s Brandon Miller in the semi-finals, Schnupp found himself back in the championship match.

Waiting for him was Loperfido, whom Schnupp defeated 11-4 in dual-meet action in 2015.

This time, he capitalized on two takedowns for a 4-1 first-period lead.

“The biggest thing was I knew he liked the front headlock,” Schnupp said, “so I just watched that. I just tried to keep moving, keep good position and stay smart.”

Starting in the bottom position in the second, Schnupp reversed Loperfido, then worked from a nearside cradle to a half-nelson for the clinching fall.

Going head-to-head against Solanco’s Joey Davis, Warwick senior Ben Hershey (right) tries to finish a first-period takedown in the 138-pound Sectional finals. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

Going head-to-head against Solanco’s Joey Davis, Warwick senior Ben Hershey (right) tries to finish a first-period takedown in the 138-pound Sectional finals. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

“It’s huge in terms of confidence because if you’re not a Section champ, it’s hard to be a State champ,” Schnupp said. “It helps build confidence more than anything and gets me used to wrestling high-caliber kids like him, so I was glad to get that match in because I’m going to be wrestling those types of opponents the rest of the year. It just gets you in the right mindset for Districts and States.”

Stewart got a confidence boost as well. He needed just :22 to pin Penn Manor’s Nate Rachor and then his third-period escape was the difference in a 1-0 semi-final win over Lampeter-Strasburg’s Connor Feister (25-12).

The championship match was another low-scoring affair, and it was still scoreless after one.

“Stall the first period and then try to take it to him the second and third periods,” Stewart said of his game-plan against Boyer. “You don’t do much wrestling the first period as a heavyweight.”

Stewart was on top to start the second and caught Boyer trying to roll, flattening him in 3:43.

“You’re both tired in the first. I got him in a pinning combination,” Stewart said, “and when he was on his back, I could feel him just giving up once his first shoulder hit.”

Fresh off of a 2:40 pin over CV’s Kyle Houser in the quarters and a 17-2 tech fall over Manheim Central’s Kyle Zeamer in 5:21 in the semi-finals, second-seeded Hershey was in the driver’s seat with a 5-4 lead after two against Solanco’s top-seeded Joey Davis (26-9) in the championship match. Then in the third with Hershey trying to finish a deep double-leg shot, Davis countered and won by fall in 4:43.

“On the way down, Davis countered with an elevator — he hit the mat and elevated Hershey over and that was it,” Bushong said. “You don’t see it happen that often, but apparently, he does that kind of stuff. He’s a little unorthodox… We had a couple matches that were close, but no cigar.”

Clark also fell into that category at 220 after pinning Hempfield’s Donal Strausbaugh in 5:06 in the quarters and surviving for a 4-3 OT win over McCaskey’s Julian Sitts in the semis. Trailing just 3-2 against Penn Manor’s Dante Jones (19-6) in the finals with the clock melting, he took a solid double-leg shot, only to see Jones fight it off and instead score a takedown with :09 left which sealed a 5-2 decision.

“It was a scramble,” Clark recalled, “I thought I had it, the ref obviously saw otherwise, but again we took a nice scramble and (Jones) just ended up on top. I had to take the shot at some point. Losing 5-2 is the same as losing 3-2.”

In addition to the silver, Clark got the reward of extending his season at least one more week. He estimated that he was about 80 to 85 percent after battling illness earlier in the week.

“Not trying to make excuses, but for the condition I was in, I was pleased with the way I was wrestling. I just wish I could have got that last one,” Clark said. “I just wanted to push on and get to Districts. I wanted to keep wrestling because I love the sport, I love the camraderie that we have as a team, and I just wanted to keep going with another week of that.”

Warwick sophomore Evan Clark (right) locks up with Penn Manor’s Dante Jones in the in the 220-pound District Three Triple-A Section Three finals last Saturday night. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

Warwick sophomore Evan Clark (right) locks up with Penn Manor’s Dante Jones in the in the 220-pound District Three Triple-A Section Three finals last Saturday night. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

At 106, Chacon was faced with the task of getting past Solanco’s Sheldon Peiffer (12-9) in the bronze-medal match to earn a guaranteed spot in Districts. Trailing just 3-0 after two, Chacon came out aggressive in the third, but to no avail, as the Mules’ junior finished off an 8-1 decision.

“(Mateo) went for it and got hit (on a takedown) for five,” Bushong said. “But like I said, if he doesn’t go, he loses anyway.”

In the 132-pound brackets, Lieberman was running out of time to earn a spot in Districts, trailing 4-2 going to the third against Hempfield’s Luke Granbois (28-13) in the third-place match. But the Warrior senior took Granbois to his back, held him there as time expired and capitalized on the three-point nearfall to claim a 5-4 decision.

At 145, Hirtzel’s hopes to advance to the bronze-medal match were dashed when MC’s Connor Pavlik won by fall in 2:39 in the consolation semi-finals. But Hirtzel bounced back, beating Donegal’s Tyler Amspacher 5-3 for the fifth-place medal.

Seepaul and Miller also wrestled for fifth place. In the 170-pound brackets, Seepaul was pinned by McCaskey’s Alex Gainer in 2:06, while at 195, Miller suffered a 7-2 loss to McCaskey’s Zyibrazil Hollingsworth.

“I was pleased with the way they wrestled,” Bushong said. “The kids did a nice job. I thought we had a very good preliminary round with all the wins that we picked up there.”

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