Fantom, Siegrist win Sectional gold

By on February 20, 2014

Manheim Central sophomore Jared Siegrist (right) catches Penn Manor’s Jonah Hoffer in a single leg shot in the 160-pound finals at Sectionals last Saturday. Siegrist, who qualfied to Districts for the second year in a row, ended up pinning Hoffer 5:38 to claim his first Sectional championship. Photo by Preston Whitcraft

Manheim Central sophomore Jared Siegrist (right) catches Penn Manor’s Jonah Hoffer in a single leg shot in the 160-pound finals at Sectionals last Saturday. Siegrist, who qualfied to Districts for the second year in a row, ended up pinning Hoffer 5:38 to claim his first Sectional championship. Photo by Preston Whitcraft

When it was all over, Manheim Central coach Troy Sunderland was able to crack a little smile.

Earlier, with Baron grappler David Fantom leading 3-0 in the third period, but in danger of getting caught in a cradle by Conestoga Valley’s Ilya Dariychuk, Sunderland was a bit alarmed.

“I was definitely scared,” Sunderland said.

Imagine how Fantom felt.

“I was pretty scared there actually,” the Baron senior recalled. “I was like, ‘I don’t want to give this up.’ (Dariychuk) is a strong wrestler.”

Fantom didn’t give it up. He actually came out on top of a scramble with the Buckskins’ senior and decked him in 4:37 in the 152-pound finals, clinching his first District Three Triple-A Section Three Tournament at Hempfield High School.

As the No. 5 seed in the brackets, Fantom (23-12) was an underdog to win the crown, but he dug deep to knock off two higher-seeded wrestlers en route to a 4-for-4 day in his final Sectional Tourney.

“Coming from the fifth seed and beating the No. 1 seed in the semis, he had a great day,” Sunderland said. “He deserves it. He’s worked hard, so I’m proud of him and happy for him.”

Sunderland was also happy for Jared Siegrist (27-3), who won the 160-pound title, along with Tyler Rhoads (22-10) and J.J. Sanchez (27-8), who claimed bronze at 170 and 182, respectively. Those three will join Fantom at the District Three Triple-A Championships, to be held this Friday and Saturday, Feb. 24-25 at Hersheypark Arena.

A sixth-place finish in the team standings (96 points) and four District qualifiers wasn’t bad considering that two of the Barons’ stars -seniors Ben Metzler and Rey LaSanta – were unable to go due to injuries.

“I’m pleased,” Sunderland said. “I’m proud of the effort those guys gave, and with Ben getting hurt last week, it sorta did take the wind out of the sails from the team and LaSanta was hurt and couldn’t wrestle. Earlier in the season, (Jordan) Esbenshade came in with a broken wrist from football. With all those things sorta going against us that way, I’m happy to have four guys go.”

Following a 40-second fall over Solanco’s Brandon Wiggins in the prelims, Fantom capitalized on a big effort to shut out L-S’ Jake Kelly (25-17) by a 4-0 score in the quarter-finals.

“I was pretty upset that I was seeded lower than Kelly, just because I’ve wrestled him previously in the year (and won 7-0 in a dual meet),” Fantom said. “But he had more wins than I did, and his points were better, so it just happened.”

Next, Fantom continued to open eyes with his 12-7 conquest on top-seeded Jack Zimmerman (25-7) of Penn Manor in the semi-finals, clinching his second straight trip to Districts.

That set the stage for his match against Dariychuk, whom Fantom had defeated earlier this year 5-1.

“I think that gave him confidence that he could win the match,” Sunderland said.

His confidence no doubt remained high after getting a takedown with :16 left in the first and then taking a 3-0 lead through two. Then came the scramble early in the third.

“You knew (Dariychuk) was looking to try a cradle,” Sunderland said, “and Fantom was able to roll through, break his lock and come up on top.”

Asked if he felt like he had something to prove, Fantom said, “I really wanted to show everybody that I should be the number one seed, at least number two. I’ve never wrestled Zimmerman before, but I definitely wanted to make my mark and keep going on to Districts.”

Siegrist is headed back to Districts for the second year in a row, pinning Penn Manor’s Jonah Hoffer in 5:38 in the finals for his first Sectional championship. The top-seeded sophomore had built a commanding 7-3 edge through two periods before putting Hoffer’s shoulders to the mat in the final stanza.

That was his third fall in as many matches in the tournament, including a pair of first-period pins over Solanco’s Hunter Smith (1:41) in the quarter-finals and Hempfield’s Alex Gainer (:39) in the semis.

“(Jared)’s had a great year,” Sunderland said. “He’s methodical and was solid in all three positions, so you don’t fear putting him on the bottom or on top – he can score points and he has solid defense on his feet and good shots. He comes to wrestle a full six minutes.”

Rhoads appeared to be on his way to the finals, holding a comfortable lead on CV’s Zach Cain (25-9) in the 170-pound semi-finals before losing by fall in 3:59. He regrouped to major E-town’s Cody Cornelius 12-4 and then broke open a 3-1 lead against Penn Manor’s Ashton Leschke (18-8) with three third-period back points in a 6-2 decision for the bronze medal.

At 182, Sanchez dropped an 11-2 major to Township’s John Shorter, the eventual champ, but he answered with a 3-1 win over L-S’ Mason Miller and then took advantage of a five-point second period to beat Connor Maxwell 7-3 for third place.

Caleb Enck (17-16) seeded No. 5 at 113, was a longshot to advance, but he still advanced to the consolation finals, where he suffered a 9-5 loss to Solanco’s Taylor Morrison (20-16).

Enck finished 2-2 in the tournament, including a 6-5 win over Donegal’s two-seeded Jacob Ziegler (21-9) in the consolation semi-finals.

“Caleb Enck did a nice job, came up a little bit short, but won some big matches to get himself in the consolation finals,” Sunderland said.

Bruce Morgan is the sports editor for the Lititz Record Express. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at bmorgan.eph@lnpnews.com or at 721-4451.

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