Wrestlers gear up for L-Ls
By: TODD RUTH Review Sports Editor email@example.com, Staff Writer
This weekend could go down as one of the more special ones in the life of Ephrata senior wrestler Todd Dumas.
Not only is Dumas seeking his third-straight medal at the Lancaster-Lebanon League Tournament, which will be held Friday (4 p.m.) and Saturday (10 a.m.) at Conestoga Valley, but he could become the seventh wrestler in the Mounts’ storied history to reach the 100-career win plateau.
Dumas (22-3 on the season), who was a runner-up as a junior at 120 pounds and placed sixth during his sophomore year, is sitting on 95 now and could have 96 by the time Friday rolls around.
And while the competition should be fierce as usual (brackets won’t be released until Thursday), Ephrata Coach Josh Clair believes his senior is up for the challenge.
"Todd definitely has what it takes," Clair said Tuesday. "He just recently dropped to 120 and will be big for his weight, which is a definite advantage. Having been on the doorstep, he is ready to take the next step. He also has a great chance to hit his 100th career win this weekend. He is focused on the task at hand and has a great mindset. That is the first challenge, being in the right spot mentally for success."
A year ago, Ephrata had eight place winners at the tournament to finish fifth overall in the team standings.
Clair said he believes his squad can earn another top 10 team finish.
""Our first goal is to go out and wrestle to the best of our ability and leave everything on the mat," Clair said. "We do not want to leave with that ‘what if’ feeling. We definitely want to be a top 10 team this year and that is achievable."
In addition to Dumas, three others who medaled are back looking for more as Riley Eidemiller (fifth at 126), Ethan Sipe at 145 (eighth at 132) and Cameron Eisenhauer (eighth at 195) are seeking to better their places from a year ago.
Others who could challenge include: Joey Sarmento at 113, and Bobby Nye at 182.
"We have several guys who will have a chance to place in the top eight," Clair confirmed. "How high they place all depends on who else drops weight classes for leagues. Riley Eidemiller will have a great shot to contend as well, especially since he just recently dropped to 126. That puts both Todd and Riley back at their weight classes from last year.
"Joey Sarmento just dropped to 113 and has been wrestling really well as of late after tweaking some things. Ethan Sipe and Cam Eisenhauer both should improve on last year’s finish. All of those guys have the potential to be at least top three if they wrestle well. Our biggest sleeper could be Bobby Nye. Bobby has moments where he has showed tremendous potential. If he continues to improve and is on the top of his game he could surprise some people and sneak in there."
While Cocalico graduated its lone place winner from a year ago in Teddy Wolf (second place), the Eagles do have some young firepower who could contend.
While Cocalico Coach Matt Fittery could not be reached Tuesday for this story, certainly Hilton Martin (16-6) is one who has a shot at 145. Others include: Adam Miller (14-6) at 106, Trevor Fichtorn (11-9) at 126, and sophomore John Fry (10-10) at 285, to name a few.
The L-L League wrestling championships will be held Friday and Saturday at CV. There will be five rounds of wrestling in Session One on Friday, beginning at 4 p.m. and continuing through to 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 semifinals and the fourth round of consolations to follow at 11:30 a.m., followed immediately by the consolation quarterfinals. The consolation semifinals 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 3rd and 5th place medal matches, will be held concurrently, beginning at 4:30 p.m.
This past week in dual meet action, both Ephrata and Cocalico were on the losing end in a pair of Section Two matches last Thursday.
The Mounts suffered a 55-18 home loss to section leader Conestoga Valley as they earned just four victories on the night.
Dumas earned a pin at 126 to lead the way while Sarmento scored a technical fall at 113. Sipe added a 13-5 major decision victory at 145 while Eisenhauer captured a hard-fought 4-1 win at 195 over Chris Orantes.
Cocalico, meanwhile, dropped a 46-30 decision to Elizabethtown as Fry earned the only Eagle win on the mat with a pin at 285. Both teams forfeited four weight classes each.
Ephrata also was in action Saturday at home, facing Hempfield in a non-league tilt.
While the Mounts earned four forfeit wins, Eidemiller was the only one to win on the mat, capturing a 12-4 major decision victory at 126. More WRESTLERS, page B-2