Wrestle Weekly: Rockets Remain On Top As Milestones Reached
What a week for YAIAA wrestling. On Tuesday, in Bermudian Springs' 73-3 romp of York Suburban, senior standout Tristan Sponseller broke the Eagles career win record with his 165th victory that came via forfeit. He broke Derek Schmelyun's record of 164, set in 2009.
Since Tuesday, the Lock Haven recruit ran his number to 167 with a pin Thursday against Eastern York's Lucas Barshinger in 1:20 and then a 10 second pin against Boiling Springs' Valentino Arena. More on that bout later.
In another match with division implications, Spring Grove's Dakota Laughman picked up his 100th career victory by pinning New Oxford's Kevin Moser in 1:53. The Pitt-Johnstown recruit and the rest of his Rockets' ability to pick up bonus points proved to be the difference against the Colonials.
The victory pushed the Rockets past the Colonials in the most recent batch of District 3 Class AAA power rankings. The Rockets jumped up one spot to number 2, just behind PIAA power Cumberland Valley. The Colonials meanwhile fell to number 4, one behind another Mid-Penn and PIAA power in Central Dauphin.
The Rockets and Colonials are the lone YAIAA teams currently in the field of 16 in Class AAA power rankings, but familiar foe South Western couldsneak into the field. The Mustangs are ranked seventh after Thursday's matches but Friday's victory over West York should help propel them into the field of 16.
In Class AA, Boiling Springs remained in first, but YAIAA power Bermudian Spring moved into the second spot with Hamburg and Northern Lebanon rounding out the top four. Fellow YAIAA foe Biglerville joined the top 8 this week, taking the final spot. One can only hope to see a rematch of the epic first encounter between Bermudian and Boiling Springs.
Now, onto our YAIAA power rankings and a look at this week's matches to watch:
1. Spring Grove (17-1, LW: 1): The Rockets remain No. 1 with their huge 37-31 win against New Oxford in which the Rockets' heavy hitters racked up the bonus points. Zack Clingan, Dakota Laughman and Mason Bentzel all racked up pins for the visiting Rockets while they held the Colonials' heavy hitters to a total of 10 points. The Rockets will have to rebound quickly as they host West York on Tuesday before hosting an ever-improving South Western squad Thursday in a match you can watch live on GameTimePA.com.
2. Bermudian Springs (19-5, LW: 2): The Eagles lost a tough one to Boiling Springs Saturday evening in the first of a potential trilogy of matches, if the powerhouses should meet in the district and state tournaments. Tristan Sponseller continues to roll, and Briton Shelton picked up a nice 4-2 win over Connor Murphy. The Eagles' week started off well with a trouncing of York Suburban and then a defeat of Eastern York.
3. New Oxford (13-1, LW: 3): Status quo remains in the power rankings. The Colonials dropped a tough one to Spring Grove, losing by just 6, but as that match shows, bonus points are crucial. In a match Saturday night against West York, the Colonials piled on the bonus points running off 42 straight points after they led just 13-12 after 7 matches.
4. South Western (11-6, LW: 5): The first movement in our ranks came from the Mustangs, who continued to push towards a District 3 playoff berth, sitting 17th right now. The Mustangs could boost their chances with a victory this week over Division I leader Spring Grove.
5. Biglerville (15-7, LW: 6): The Canners moved into the top 5 with a date with Bermudian Springs on Thursday. The Canners went 3-2 at the Juniata duals with loses to Freedom and Hamburg. Tough week ahead with the match against Bermudian as well as Tuesday against York Suburban.
Next 5: No. 6. Red Lion, No. 7 Dallastown, No. 8 West York, No. 9 Kennard-Dale, No. 10 Delone Catholic.
MATCHES TO WATCHTuesday, Jan. 21:
-- Division II, No. 5 Biglerville at York Suburban, 7 p.m.: Rough week for York Suburban, which entered last week unbeaten in Division II and left with a black eye after an Eagle pummeling and a lopsided loss to Delone Catholic. Can the Trojans rebound against the Canners?
Wednesday, Jan. 22:
-- Division I, No. 3 New Oxford at No. 9 Kennard-Dale, 7 p.m.: The Rams are coming off a 5-0 performance at the Gettysburg duals, including impressive victories over the host Warriors and Shippensburg (knocked off Boiling Springs early in season). The most impressive performer for the Rams? You guessed it, Chance Marsteller. Marsteller ripped off 5 pins in a total of 1:10 on Saturday (6, 7, 15, 17, 25 seconds). The Colonials, meanwhile, look to continue to bounce back after loss to Spring Grove. A Ram victory could potentially propel them into the Class AAA field of 16.
Thursday, Jan. 23:
-- Division I, No. 6 Red Lion at No. 7 Dallastown, 7 p.m.: A rivalry match, the Lions are red hot after a 5-0 day at the Denver duals on Saturday in Cocalico. Each team holds slim hopes of making the Class AAA field.
-- Division II, No. 5 Biglerville at No. 2 Bermudian Springs, 7:30 p.m.: This one is a close second in the match of the week competition. With each team undefeated in Division II action, this will determine the title. Even if it weren't for the title, could you pass up watching these rivals go at it?
-- Division I, No. 4 South Western at No. 1 Spring Grove, 7:30 p.m.: Without a doubt, this one is our match of the week, which also will be streamed live on GameTimePA.com. Don't forget to chime in on the chat too. Potential key bouts at 113 and 120. At 113 you could see Derek Wilson, South Western face off against Alec Zorbaugh, and at 120 a possible District final preview as South Western's Owen Wherley could face off with Spring Grove's Zack Clingan.
What matches are you looking forward to? Is Spring Grove the best YAIAA wrestling team? Or despite their loss to the Rockets do the Eagles rank at the top? Let us know in the comment section below or feel free to tweet me @ameaseYDR.