At a break during the consolation semifinals of the Neil Turner Holiday Classic, one opposing coach noted that Central Dauphin “could stop wrestling now and still win this thing.”
With the Rams up by 70 points over second-place Central York at the time, the observation wasn’t exactly going out on a limb, but rather recognition of CD’s complete domination.
Needless to say, Central Dauphin did not stop wrestling. The Rams went on to nearly lap the field at Conestoga Valley on Thursday night, accumulating 241 points to Central York’s distant 162. Shikellamy (139), Delaware Military Academy (137.5) and Montgomery Area (126) rounded out the top five.
CD crowned four champions — Thunder Beard at 107, Gavin Reynolds at 139, Matt Repos at 145 and Ryan Garvick at 160 — and medaled with nine wrestlers overall, leaving head coach Jeff Sweigard pleased.
“Our kids wrestled well,” he said, “it was great competition this weekend. We had a couple of nice matches in the semis that put us in the finals and our (heavier) guys, they didn’t place for us, but they scored some points for us.”
Beard demolished Radnor’s Akahi Heywood, scoring 11 points of a 16-2 major decision off tilts. Reynolds broke up a scoreless match with Littlestown’s Cameron Mingee with an escape, takedown and late backpoints for a 5-0 victory.
The Rams’ Repos and Garvick, both returning PIAA runners-up, were in control. Repos, a returning Classic champion from 138, scored the early takedown on Pittston’s Julian Everitt — who took third at 132 in 2021 — and added an escape in the third period. That period got chippy in the final 45 seconds. Repos (twice) and Everitt (once) were both penalized for unsportsmanlike conduct before Repos locked down a 5-1 victory.
Garvick scored a pair of takedowns, a 3-point tilt and picked up two stalling points in a 9-0 major over LaSalle College’s Cormac Morrissey.
“Tough kids. They have one goal in mind,” Sweigard said, “that’s to win the state title.”
In a match of returning Classic champions, the Rams’ Liam Flanagan, a winner at 106, faced Jersey Shore’s Brock Weiss, champion at 120 and a 2022 PIAA Class 2A runner-up at 120. Weiss scored four takedowns in a 9-2 victory.
Locally, Penn Manor’s Gavin Boland won the title at 114, Travis Clawson was second at 121 — his second consecutive silver medal at the Classic — Teagan Rogers was third at 189 and Riley Evans took seventh at 107.
The host Buckskins medaled with Abdul Akala, fifth at 172; Luke Morley, sixth at 127; and Teagan Ruble ,seventh at 139.
In a fiery and physical match, Boland outlasted Shikelammy’s Alex Reed, 14-10. He scored the initial takedown, but traded reversals back and forth with Reed, finishing the opening two minutes tied at 4-4.
A Boland reversal at the second-period horn gave the Comet junior an 8-6 advantage. An advantage he widened to 11-6, turning Reed at the start of the third period. “It was just a hazard tilt,” Boland said. “I lined up on the left and chopped straight into the tilt.”
Issues with his contact lenses caused Boland to abandon them and his lack of visual acuity — plus Reed constantly attempting to thumb his eye — kept him from seeing the scoreboard. Reed reversed out of the tilt and let Boland up, looking for a takedown.
He got two points — on penalties as Boland twice reacted to the thumbing — but Boland got the takedown, out of a scramble, with four seconds left to ice the win.
Montgomery freshman Brandt Harer opened his tournament with a two-minute tech fall and pinned his way to the finals at 121 with falls in 16 and 37 seconds. Scoring the opening takedown on Clawson, he worked a tilt to a half and secured his third fall of the tournament in 1:54.
Harer’s older brother Conner, a junior who won a PIAA Class 2A championship at 145 in 2022, was also a scoring machine with a tech, two falls and a major in the 152-pound finals and was voted the Allen Uyeda Outstanding Wrestler of the tournament.
Pinned by eventual champion James Miller of Salesianum in the semifinals, Rogers rallied to pin Jakub Gloc of Salisbury Township in the consolation semis and blanked Hershey’s Tristan Bingeman, 5-0 for the bronze medal. Evans pinned Rusty Lloyd of St. George’s Tech in 3:33 for seventh.
Teched by Central York’s Macon Myers — who had posted two falls and two techs on the way to winning the 172-pound title — Akala dropped a one-point decision to Littlestown’s Tanner Rock in the consolation semis, then came back to defeat Avery Aurand of Mifflin County 4-3 for fifth.
Majored by eventual bronze medalist Tyler Adams of York Suburban in the consolation semis, Morley trailed Cameron Davis of Salesianum 2-1 after two periods in the fifth-place match. Davis’ escape and takedown in the third put the match out of reach.
Ruble gave CD’s Reynolds his toughest match of the tournament, a 3-2 decision in the quarterfinals, before splitting his next two wrestleback matches. Down 2-0 to Mifflin County’s Lucas Sheetz, Ruble got a 2-point nearfall at the start of the second period, surrendered an escape, then took Sheetz down to his back, and the fall in 2:59.
Penn Manor finished 10th in the team race with 102.5, in the mix with sixth-place Salesianum (124), Mifflin County (111), Jersey Shore (109) and LaSalle College (107). CV placed 14th with 73 points.