Warriors, Barons gear up for L-L League Tournament

By on January 23, 2014
Warwick’s Carson Snavely battles Penn Manor’s Jesse Kann in the 195-pound bout last Wednesday, Jan. 15. Snavely’s third-period takedown was the difference in a 2-1 win. Photo by Cathy Chapis

Warwick’s Carson Snavely battles Penn Manor’s Jesse Kann in the 195-pound bout last Wednesday, Jan. 15. Snavely’s third-period takedown was the difference in a 2-1 win. Photo by Cathy Chapis

The finish line is in sight for both the Warwick and Manheim Central wrestlers.

The Warriors have just three regular-season dual meets left, while the Barons have two.

The post-season is just around the bend and the L-L League Tournament, to be held this Friday and Saturday, Jan. 24-25 at Garden Spot, is circled on a lot of people’s calendars.

Wrestling gets underway on Friday at 4 p.m., then resumes on Saturday at 10 a.m.

“We’re going to be competing against a lot of these people in the Sectional Tournament,” MC skipper Troy Sunderland said, “so it’s important for a lot of reasons to do well at the League Tournament and set yourself up to have a good Sectional Tournament to place in the top three there to qualify for Districts. That’s a point of emphasis to start to focus on the post-season with the League Tournament.”

A year ago, Warwick placed fourth in the team standings with 155 points, as senior Tom Devenney and junior Josh Charles won their first L-L crowns and led a contingent of nine place-finishers. Devenney, though, was one of four who graduated, including Steve Woolley (3rd at 152), Ethan Quinn 8th at 132, Tyler Esbenshade 8th at 138), and the Warriors find themselves with a young team entering this year’s tournament.

“If we finish in the top 10, that would be good,” Warwick coach Ned Bushong said. “It depends how they are health-wise and everything else.”

Manheim Central, meanwhile, took fifth with 139 points on the strength of nine place-winners. All but one of those grapplers are back for the Barons (5-1 L-L 9-8 overall), who are currently tied for second place in the Section Two standings, and are hoping to lead their team to another top-five finish.

“I think it’s going to be pretty interesting,” Sunderland said. “A lot of the teams have some competent individuals that are favored to win the weight class, and I think the determining factor with a lot of the teams will be who gets their kids to come back and place high and how many can give that overall balanced performance to win the title.”

The tournament’s seeding meeting was held after deadline, but sophomore 106-pounder Devin Schnupp (14-1) will be among those hoping to have a big weekend for the Warriors.

A year ago, Schnupp advanced to the L-L finals, but came up just short against Solanco’s Connor Sheehan, suffering a 9-6 loss.

“(Devin) doesn’t forget about stuff like that,” Bushong said.

Asked what Schnupp’s chances were of getting the No. 1 seed at 106 and returning to the finals, Warwick’s coach said, “I think they’re pretty good. He’s wrestling well for us so far.”

Charles (14-6), too, has been wrestling well for the Warriors and figures to get a three or four seed at 120, according to Bushong.

Others who could challenge for a top-eight finish for the Warriors include Ben Hershey (1-2) at 126, Logan Stroh (13-7) at 132, Carson Snavely (13-8) at 195, David Brubaker (12-3) at 220 and Austin Maguire (11-5) at 285.

“I think (five or six place-finishers) is realistic,” Bushong said. “It’s hard to say.”

Rounding out Warwick’s wrestlers are Brock Lieberman (12-6), Jake Kempinski (3-6), Alex Tshudy (5-12), Peter Harris (6-10), Eric Esbenshade (4-3), Tyler Melhorn (4-8) and Avery Quinn (9-8).

For Manheim Central, senior 145-pounder Ben Metzler and sophomore 160-pounder Jared Siegrist are the Barons’ best bets to get top seeds for the tournament. Last year, both advanced to the semi-finals before taking third and fifth, respectively.

Metzler, who leads the Barons in wins with a 22-2 record, has two L-L bronze medals and a seventh-place finish in his career to this point. Siegrist (19-3) is tied for second on the team in wins with 182-pounder JJ Sanchez (19-5).

“Metzler and Siegrist would be two that I’d think would be highly favored,” Sunderland remarked. “I thought they both wrestled well against Spring Ford (in a non-league match last Saturday) and wrestled tough kids.”

Sanchez, who was 8th at 170 last year, should also be in the mix for another medal this weekend, while senior David Fantom (14-10, 4th at 132 last year), senior Kyler West (11-11, 5th at 113), sophomore Caleb Enck (10-12, 6th at 106), Tyler Rhoads (14-8, 7th at 160) and Brock Fittery (4-6) are others who are looking to improve on their finishes from a year ago.

“On a good day, I think Kyler West and Caleb Enck could place in the top six,” Sunderland remarked. “I think Fantom would be somebody that I’d figure on placing pretty highly for us. Tyler Rhoads, if he’s healthy, I think he could place pretty high for us. JJ Sanchez has been having a good year and is down a weight at 182, so he’d be somebody I would expect to be placing. And if he minimizes his mistakes, I think Brock Fittery is another one that could surprise some people.”

Completing Central’s list of wrestlers are Ryan Gandy (5-15), James Harless (1-11), Justice Prall (3-11), Connor Pavlik (5-7), Jordan Esbenshade (8-10), Rey Lasanta (17-5), Joseph Giffin (4-9), Ethan Lindsey (3-5) and Harrison Mayer (3-5).

About lititzrecord

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *