Warwick, MC matmen prepare for L-L Tourney Warwick Manheim Central
By: BRUCE MORGAN Record Express Sports Editor, Staff Writer
First things are first for the Warwick wrestlers.
Early this week, their thoughts weren’t going any further than their Section One showdown with unbeaten Solanco on Wednesday night.
Once they stepped off the mat with the Mules, however, their attention was going to turn pretty quickly to the L-L League Tournament, slated for this Friday and Saturday at Conestoga Valley High School.
"There won’t be (a problem gearing up for Leagues)," Warwick coach Ned Bushong said.
Manheim Central skipper Troy Sunderland doesn’t expect motivation to be a problem for his wrestlers either with L-L League bragging rights on the line in Witmer.
"I think the attitude’s been good and I think we’re right on track for where we want to be as far as progressing and developing," he said.
Both the Warriors and Barons have goals to grab multiple individual medals, along with placing among the top teams. In 2012, Warwick took 13th in the team standings with four place-finishers, while Central ended up fourth with eight medalists.
"I expect to place higher this year (than 13th)," Bushong said. "I would hope to be in the top six. But, you can’t tell. Right now, we’re wrestling well. I can’t complain about the way wrestling at this point. We have a lot of bouts between now and the end of the season, so we just have to wait and see."
Warwick has established itself as one of the top teams in Section One this year. As of press time, they were tied with Manheim Township for second place while holding a 4-1 league record (12-3 overall). In Section Two, Manheim Central (5-1 L-L, 5-3 overall) is tied for second with Garden Spot and the Barons had a solid finish at their Manheim Tourney in December, taking seventh out of 13 teams and claiming seven individual medals.
"I’d be pleased with (top four at Leagues)," Sunderland said. "Obviously, Township and Solanco have balanced teams and good teams that will score a lot of points in a tournament setting, and Warwick has some tough (wrestlers). I mean, there’s a lot of individuals here and there that will score some points. We just need to turn in a balanced effort like we did (at the Manheim Tournament). We need to get a lot of guys placing and a lot of guys in the semis and as many guys as we can to the finals to score the big points. We’ve got to battle in every weight class."
The Warriors return two place-finishers from a year ago in Josh Charles, who won bronze at 106, and Colin Schnupp, a seventh-place medalist in the 145-pound weight class.
Senior Tom Devenney, who is currently ranked number two in the District Three Triple-A 285-pound rankings with a 15-0 record, was unavailable to compete at Leagues last year due to a medical condition. Both he and freshman Devin Schnupp (19-0, 2nd-ranked at 106) had key bouts against Solanco’s Bo Spiller (top-ranked at 285) and Connor Sheehan (number one at 106), respectively, last night (Wednesday) against the Mules. The outcomes of those bouts were also likely to decide who received number one seeds for the L-L Tournament.
"If Tom and Devin win, we should have two first seeds," Bushong said.
Seniors Steve Woolley (17-3 at 160) and Charles (16-4 at 113) and junior Logan Stroh (15-4 at 126) are among the others that Bushong expects to make some noise.
"I expect to have Devin and Devenney finishing high, Woolley finishing high, Charles and Stroh … I expect all those to finish fairly high and placing," Bushong said. "Then it’s hard to say after that. (Ryan) Gray (12-7 at 170) should do pretty well in the tournament. I expect Colin Schnupp (11-6 at 152) to be placing in it. With (Ethan) Quinn (7-10 at 132), (Matt) Mousetis (7-9 at 138), (Tyler) Esbenshade (8-7 at 145), they’d all be capable of placing. If you lose two before you get into the consolation round for eighth place, you’re out. So it’s hard to say. None of them are out of it."
The Barons, meanwhile, have three returning place-finishers from last year’s L-L Tourney in Kyler West and Rey LaSanta, who took fifth at 106 and 195, respectively, and Ben Metzler, a seventh-place finisher at 126.
West (18-9), a junior, will get a test this year moving up to the 113-pound weight class.
"Kyler’s had to make some adjustments going up a weight to 113 and he’s wrestling some kids who are a little bit bigger, a little bit stronger and he’s had some battles in the league," Sunderland said. "So it will be a good test for him for the post-season to see how he does here at the League Tournament."
Central wrestlers who could earn seeds in the top three or four include juniors LaSanta (15-6), Metzler (18-5 at 138) and Tyler Rhoads (11-6 at 160) and freshman Jared Siegrist (21-5 in the 145-pound weight class).
Metzler and Siegrist both reached the finals at the Manheim Tournament and earned silvers, while LaSanta and Rhoads placed third and sixth, respectively.
LaSanta and Pete Michael have been interchangeable at 195 and 220 this season depending what the Barons need in dual meets, but Sunderland’s gut feeling was that LaSanta would wrestle 195 at the L-L Tournament.
"I think (eight place-finishers) is reasonable," Sunderland said. "If we’re going to place in the top four, then we’re going to need to have that many placers again (as they did in 2012). I think we’re capable of that and more probably. Having seven underclassmen place at Manheim, I think probably a couple more — maybe nine or 10 — would be a goal for us."
There will be five rounds of wresting in Session One on Friday, beginning at 4 p.m. and continuing through 10 p.m. Competition will include preliminaries, first-round and quarterfinals in the championship round, along with two rounds of consolations.
Wrestling resumes Saturday morning at 10 a.m. with Session Two. This includes the third round of consolations, with the semi-finals and the fourth-round of consolations to follow at 11:30 a.m., followed immediately by the consolation quarterfinals. The consolation semi-finals and seventh-place matches begin at 1:30 p.m.
At 4 p.m., the announcement of scholarship winners and the induction of the 2013 Class of the L-L Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame will be held. The championship finals, as well as the third and fifth-place medal matches, will be held concurrently, beginning at 4:30 p.m.
In dual-meet action last week, Manheim Central hammered Lampeter-Strasburg 49-16 in a Section Two battle last Wednesday, Jan. 16 and they suffered a hard-fought 33-32 non-league loss to Spring-Ford last Saturday.
The Pioneers won three of the first six bouts and grabbed early leads of 6-0 and 16-12. But Central ended the match with eight straight wins, with four of its five falls, to pull away.
Scoring pins for the Barons were LaSanta (1:55), David Fantom (4:46), Metzler (2:52), Rhoads (5:34) and Brock Fittery (3:02). Austin King added a 3-1 OT win at 152, while Joe Giffin (6-2) West (3-1), Jordan Esbenshade (8-1) and Siegrist (8-1) chipped in with decisions.
J.J. Sanchez added bonus points with an 11-2 major in the 170-pound bout.
Last Saturday, Spring-Ford overcame a 27-18 deficit with four bouts left by ralling for a 33-32 victory over the Barons in Manheim.
The Rams earned falls at 220 and 285 and then a decision at 106 to go up 33-27. West did all he could to score six points at 113, but had to settle for an 18-2 tech fall in 5:04, leaving the Central matmen just short.
Earlier, the Barons overcame an early 15-3 deficit as Siegrist won by fall in 4:30 at 145, King pulled out a 4-3 win at 152, Rhoads scored a fall in 3:59 at 160, Fittery earned a 6-4 decision at 182 and LaSanta flattened his opponent in 1;10 in the 195-pound bout, giving the Barons a nine-point lead. Unfortunately, though, it wasn’t quite enough. Fantom added a 4-0 shutout win in thee 132-pound weight class.
As of deadline, wrestlers who will wrestle at the L-L League Tournament, along with their current records, are as follows: 106- Devin Schnupp(19-0)
113- Josh Charles(16-4)
120- Marcus Tout(3-8)
126- Logan Stroh(15-4)
132- Ethan Quinn(7-10)
138- Matt Mousetis(7-9)
145- Tyler Esbenshade(8-7)
152- Colin Schnupp(11-6)
160- Steve Woolley(17-3)
170- Ryan Gray(12-7)
182- David Brubaker(6-11)
195- Carson Snavely(8-5)
220- Austin Maguire(6-6)
285- Tom Devenney(15-0) 106- Caleb Enck(15-11)
113- Kyler West(18-9)
120- Mike McCormick(3-14)
126- Jordan Esbenshade(6-7)
132- David Fantom(10-7)
138- Ben Metzler(18-5)
145- Jared Siegrist(21-5)
152- Austin King(11-7)
160- Tyler Rhoads(11-6)
170- J.J. Sanchez(15-9)
182- Brock Fittery(6-5)
195- Rey LaSanta(15-6)
220- Pete Michael(10-15)
285- Joseph Giffin(6-6) More MATMEN, page B-6