Warriors, Barons gear up for L-L League Tournament

By on January 21, 2015
Warwick senior Austin Maguire, who won L-L bronze at 285 last year, has his sights set on getting into the League finals this Saturday night. (Photo by Cathy Chapis)

Warwick senior Austin Maguire, who won L-L bronze at 285 last year, has his sights set on getting into the League finals this Saturday night. (Photo by Cathy Chapis)

Can Warwick junior Devin Schnupp repeat as the Lancaster-Lebanon League’s 113-pound champ?

Will Manheim Central junior Jared Siegrist be able to win a second straight L-L gold medal?

Those questions will be answered this weekend when the annual League Wrestling Tournament is held at Garden Spot. Action will get underway on Friday at 4 p.m. Wrestling will resume on Saturday at 11 a.m. with the championship semi-finals and consolation quarter-finals. Championship finals (1st through 6th) will get follow at 4 p.m.

A year ago, the Barons crowned two champs &tstr; Siegrist and Ben Metzler &tstr; and placed second in the team standings behind only Solanco.

The Warriors, meanwhile, tied Penn Manor for sixth place in the 22-team field.

Looking toward this weekend, WHS coach Ned Bushong believes a top-three finish is probably out of reach, but he’s hopeful for a strong showing. His Warriors (3-2 Section One, 8-6 overall) gained some momentum last weekend, going 4-1 at the Red Raider Rumble in Bellefonte.

“I just hope the kids wrestle well,” Bushong said. “To be honest with you, team-wise, I expect to finish somewhere in the upper third. We could finish as high as fourth or maybe as low as eighth. I would expect to be in that area, but it’s hard to say.”

In addition to Schnupp, the Warriors bring back three others who placed at the L-L’s in 2014. Senior Austin Maguire won the bronze medal at 285, junior Brock Lieberman was fourth at 106 and senior David Brubaker took fifth at 220.

Lancaster Catholic’s Joe Lobeck, a fourth-place State Double-A medalist at 106 in 2014, and Conestoga Valley’s Jose Morales figure to be the biggest obstacles standing between Schnupp (22-1) repeating as the 113-pound champ.

Manheim Central 160-pounder Isaiah Mejias takes the upper hand on an opponent during action this season. (Photo by Dick Wanner)

Manheim Central 160-pounder Isaiah Mejias takes the upper hand on an opponent during action this season. (Photo by Dick Wanner)

“The three of them are tough,” Bushong said. “You might have three of the toughest 113-pounders in the District between them. They’re right up there. They’re all capable of qualifying for States.”

At 285, Maguire (22-3) will be looking to advance to the finals in a weight class where Solanco’s Bo Spiller will be a heavy favorite.

“When you’re undefeated and a returning State place-winner, you’re a No. 1 seed,” Bushong said of Spiller. “Maguire should be the No. 2 seed.”

Others who will be looking to make some noise at Garden Spot include the likes of Brubaker (19-5), senior Avery Quinn (18-9), junior Brock Lieberman (16-7), junior Ben Hershey (15-7) and freshman Logan Boring (7-6).

“I’d like to come out of it with six place-winners,” Bushong said. “That would be nice … and then have some other kids win matches in there.”

The Barons, meanwhile, have been hit with several injuries this season, but coach Troy Sunderland believes his team could get four or five medalists.

“It’s a different year. Obviously we have Jared Siegrist after winning it last year,” Sunderland said, “then we have some younger kids. I think Connor Pavlik is someone that we’re looking to do well at Leagues and then we’ve got a lot of youth. It’s important for our kids to get some wins under their belt and start building a little bit for the post-season and for Sectionals and things like that. Our guys have got some injuries like everyone else, I think, but it’s that time of the year when we’ve just got to suck it up and continue to battle and wrestle each match and give 100 percent.”

Siegrist, who won L-L gold at 160 last year before going on to qualify for States in March, should be the favorite to bring home the title in the 170-pound weight class this Saturday night.

“I think he’s been wrestling well and his training is going well, so I would be shocked if he didn’t win another League title,” Sunderland remarked.

Siegrist is at the head of the class of four returning MC wrestlers who medaled at Leagues last year. The others are junior Caleb Enck (7th at 113), junior Brock Fittery (7th at 195) and Joseph Giffin (8th at 285). Fittery is out, though, with an injury and the Barons will not have wrestlers at 113, 138, 182 and 195 for this weekend’s L-L League Tournament at Garden Spot.

In all, the Barons had nine medalists a year ago, including Ben Metzler (gold at 145), Tyler Rhoads (2nd at 170), Kyler West (4th at 120), David Fantom (4th at 152) and J.J. Sanchez (5th at 182).

“I think four or five probably (could place),” Sunderland said. “I think Zack Zeamer, Connor Pavlik (are in the mix), I think Joseph Giffin could probably sneak in there maybe if he has a good tournament and wrestles well and I think some other guys are capable of it. They’ve just got to wrestle smart matches and not give up foolish points.”

Warwick’s wrestlers and their current records are as follows:

 

113 – Devin Schnupp 22-1

120 – Brock Lieberman 16-7

126 – Logan Boring 7-6

132 – Ben Hershey 15-7

138 – Marcus Tout 7-12

145 – Jake Kempinski 9-12

152 – Eric Esbenshade 4-17

160 – Jason Coonan 3-16

170 – Josh Miller 7-11

182 – Eric Garner 6-6

195 – Avery Quinn 18-9

220 – David Brubaker 19-5

285 – Austin Maguire 22-3

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