Wrestlers geared up for Lancaster-Lebanon League Meet

By on January 27, 2016

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After a week of rest, thanks to Mother Nature, wrestlers should be raring to go this weekend as they convene on Garden Spot High School for the annual Lancaster-Lebanon League Meet.

First-round action gets started Friday afternoon at 4 p.m. and will continue until approximately 10:30 p.m. Action will start up again Saturday at 11 a.m. with semifinals and consolations, while the finals are slated to begin around 4 p.m.

Cocalico, which is vying for the Section Two title, is expected to be one of the favorites in not only the race for the team championship this weekend but also should be among a handful of teams that should claim its share of individual medals as well.

Undisclosed injuries and illness could effect that but, with a full line-up, the Eagles definitely look like a team to be reckoned with this weekend.

“This is one of those tournaments where I look at it as a big step for us to prepare for the post-season,” Cocalico Coach Matt Fittery said. “Our goal is to go out there and wrestle hard and see where we fall, but I really believe we have a lot of guys who can place and possibly even win the tournament.”

“We are probably going to have a few guys missing, so in regards to the team finish it’s hard to say where we are going to fall,” he continued. “But I definitely think we can have a lot of success individually. and team-wise as well. If we had everyone in our lineup I would think we’d have a chance to win the tournament, or at least finish in the top few teams. But I’m not even sure how many guys we might be missing this weekend. We’ll have to wait and see.”

Fittery said his line-up will mostly remain as it has been, so if all healthy, it should look something like this: Trevor Hale (5-8 at 106); Josiah Gehr (17-1 at 113); Adam Miller (11-2 at 120); Nate Fritz (8-4 at 1126); Mason Patterson (5-7 at 132); Devon Fichthorn (11-8 at 138); Wyatt Gehman (6-12 at 145); Trevor Fichthorn (19-3 at 152); Maxwell Martin (12-8 at 160); Devon Sensenig (7-5 at 170); Abdul Saad (14-7 at 182); Joseph Bearinger (4-5 at 195); Ben Fromm (11-3 at 220); and Brady Maxwell (17-4 at 285).

A year ago, five made it to the medal stand with Fromm earning a bronze at 195 to lead the way. Other returning medalists include: Saad (5th); and Gehr, Fritz and Trevor Fichtorn (all 7th place).

Even with some wrestlers not being able to go, Fittery expects that number to increase this weekend.

“Definitely,” he said, “even with some guys out I would expect us to have more medalists and hopefully get some guys in the finals and some winning championships as well.”

While Ephrata is enduring a tough regular season, mostly due to forfeits, the Mounts should send eight wrestlers to the League Tournament.

They include: Austin Jones (15-4 at 106); Cameron Terry (17-7 at 113); Tyler Hart (0-13 at 120); Tristin Pfeiffer (1-10 at 138); Tyler Mentzer (13-8 at 145); Jordan Zahm (0-3 at 152); Dakota Rohrbaugh (8-8 at 160); and Andrew Wagner (0-13 at 220).

While this week’s weather has had an impact on practice and preparation, Ephrata Coach Josh Clair said he is looking for maximum effort from his team come this weekend.

“The biggest thing as always is to look at things one match at a time,” he said. “Obviously, just like everyone else, this weather has made things crazy and gotten us out of our routine. Once we can get back to the room and workout again we can start focusing at the task at hand. We just want everyone to go out and leave everything on the mat and treat every match as if it were their last.”

A year ago, Jones was the Mounts’ top finisher has he claimed a fourth-place medal at 106. Terry also won a medal, finishing seventh at 113.

Clair is hopeful to see a few more of his guys visit the medal stand come Saturday evening.

“I think Jones and Terry will lead the way, but both Mentzer and Rohrbaugh were close last year and there is no reason they don’t medal this year,” Clair said. “Dakota has missed some time lately due to injury, but is back and ready to go. Mentzer has been wrestling at a high level as of late and if he can maintain that he has a good shot as well. Jones and Terry just keep rolling. You always know what you are going to get from the two of them so hopefully good things happen from those four as well as the rest of the team.”

In addition to leagues, both Ephrata and Cocalico are hopeful to get some of this week’s postponed matches rescheduled. Both Ephrata and Cocalico were slated to participate in the Denver Duals on Wednesday but that tournament was postponed and is yet to be rescheduled.

Cocalico has matches to make up with Lampeter-Strasburg (Wednesday, 7 p.m.) and Elizabethtown (as of presstime no new make-up date was announced). The Eagles (5-0 Section Two, 10-2 overall), who currently lead second place Manheim Central (5-1), can clinch the Section Two title with wins in those final two matches.

As far as the District Team Duals are concerned, as of this writing, Cocalico would be in. The Eagles currently sit 14th in the AAA power ratings. The top 16 qualify for the tourney, which gets underway Tuesday, February 2.

Ephrata (0-6, 1-11), meanwhile is slated to host Lebanon Wednesday in a make-up from Tuesday.

This past Thursday, the Mounts did get in their dual meet vs. CV as the host Bucks went on to capture a 60-20 victory.

Jones (106) and Mentzer (152) both collected pins to pace the Mounts. Terry (113) added a technical fall while Rohrbaugh (170) won an 8-4 decision.

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