The month of January is going to be a busy one for Lampeter-Strasburg's wrestling team, what with six Section Two dual meets and an out-of-town weekend tournament shoehorned in before the league championships at the end of the month.
Not a good time for your upper-weight hammer to be under the weather.
But that’s the situation Pioneers' heavyweight Zac Shelley faced over the weekend as he competed in the Conestoga Valley Holiday Wrestling Classic.
Shelley, the No. 3 seed, gutted his way through a 5-3 victory over second-seeded Zach Aceto of Downingtown East in Sunday’s semifinals, scoring the winning points on a take-down with one second showing.
There was little left in the tank though as he faced Exeter’s top-seeded Robert Unruh in the finals.
“I haven’t been feeling well all week,” Shelley said. “I just didn’t have any energy.”
Both wrestlers came in with seventh-place finishes in the 2018 Classic — Unruh at 220, Shelley at 285 — and Unruh took control with a first-period ankle pick.
He quickly turned Shelley with an arm bar-and-wrist pinning combination, securing the fall in 1:18.
“I wish I could’ve had that one back,” Shelley said. “There’s a lot I could’ve improved on there, (but) I’m not too disappointed with this one.”
Shelley was one of three Pioneers' wrestlers to medal in the 19th edition of CV's Classic, joined by Logan Davidson (182) and Hunter Erb (120).
Davidson joined Shelley in the semifinals, where he was pinned by eventual champion Ethan Rossman of Bellefonte, and forfeited out to sixth place after dropping a 6-4 decision to CV’s Conrad Dillman in the consolation semifinals.
Erb battled back from a Round-of-16 loss Saturday to earn a spot on the podium, but back-to-back losses Sunday dropped him to an eighth-place finish.
Dillman was one of seven to medal for the host Buckskins, and was the highest place finisher, taking fourth.
Trenton Ruble placed fifth at 106. Tyler Jordan was sixth at 138. Cameron Kistler (132) and Leo Marente (285) placed seventh, while Tayler Sheaffer (152) and Josue Marente (220) took eighth.
Octorara’s two most experienced wrestlers advanced to Sunday’s semifinals, with mixed results.
Braedon Amole cruised into the finals at 132, where he met Central York’s Mason Myers. Amole was, hard-to-believe, too fast against Myers, who capitalized on his opportunities to post a 9-2 win.
“I came out with a lot of adrenaline,” said Amole. “I really wanted to get this.”
Myers avoided getting nailed with a 5-pointer from the jump as Amole over-rotated a pancake throw.
“I felt him pushing hard, a lot of pressure,” Amole said. “I just kind of went to see if I could get the fall, or a quick five.”
Instead, Myers built on a 2-1 lead, scoring on a simple spin when Amole overshot a take-down try in the second period. A headlock slip gave Myers a 7-1 lead in the third and he closed out the win.
Eventual two-time champion Kibwe McNair of Methacton was too savvy from neutral, parrying several good shots from Octorara's Michael Trainor in the 145-pound semis, pacing an 11-5 win.
In the third-place match, Trainor got caught in a headlock and was pinned.
McNair was one of six reigning champions to defend titles, joined by Keanu Manuel from Downingtown East, at 113, Coatesville’s Nathan Lucier at 126, Antonio Petrucelli of Owen J. Roberts at 152, Northern’s Kyle Swartz at 195 and Adam Young of Shikelamy at 220.
Lucier was voted the event's Outstanding Wrestler after handling Central Dauphin’s returning runner-up Josh Miller in the finals, 9-3.
Miller had knocked out two-time champion Eamonn Logue of Father Judge in the semifinals, 12-3.