District 3 Class 3A wrestling

Kaedyn Williams, of Manheim Township controls Austin Reitmeyer, of Elizabethtown in a 106 pound quarter final match in the District 3 Class 3A sectional wrestling tournament at Hempfield High School Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021.

One of the oft-quoted adages in the lexicon of sport is, "It's hard to defeat an opponent three times in one season."

Manheim Township's Kaedyn Williams and Kamdyn Williams, and Penn Manor's Colt Barley, might disagree.

Not so Solanco's Jackson Houghton.

Winning titles at the PIAA District Three Class 3A Section Two tournament Saturday, Barley and the Williamses each notched their third wins of the season over their finals opponents.

After a pair of earlier losses this season, Houghton flipped the script on Lampeter-Strasburg's Arik Harnish to claim the crown at 132 pounds.

"We've wrestled so many times," Houghton said. "I came into this match thinking, 'Nobody can beat me.'"

Harnish had beaten Houghton 5-3 in an ultimate tiebreak in their dual meet, and 2-0 for third place at the L-L League Tournament. He opened a quick 5-0 lead, taking Houghton down to his back in the first minute of the match.

"I kind of got caught," Houghton said. "I knew I could stay with him. I just kept pushing."

Houghton began climbing back into contention with a pair of second-period take-downs, closing to 6-4, then took advantage of a series of mental mistakes by Harnish in the third period, scoring five points on penalties before closing out a 12-6 victory with an escape and take-down.

"I knew he was 'broken' coming into the third period," Houghton said. "I was just mentally ready for this match."

In a tournament once again dominated by Mid-Penn giant Central Dauphin, local wrestlers held their own, title-wise. In addition to the Williamses, Houghton and Barley, McCaskey's Andrew Vogelbacher and Jose Garcia, Manheim Township's Josh Hillard and Kevin Olivarria, Hempfield's Dylan Bard and L-S's Zac Shelley brought home gold.

Kaedyn Williams, who had twice defeated Solanco's Dominic Flatt, 9-2 and 5-1, won a tighter-still match at 106, breaking a 2-2 tie in the third period with an escape, then icing the win with a take-down at the buzzer.

Kamdyn Williams pinned Hempfield's Gio Luciano in 1:38 at 113 to complete a three-peat after an earlier 15-3 major decision and a fall in 59 seconds. Ultimately, his total time on the mat Saturday came in at just over one period as he also scored falls in 27 and seven seconds, respectively.

With 5-2 and 9-0 wins over Township's Cade Clancy under his belt, Barley used three take-downs to top Clancy, 8-1. Down 6-1 in the third, Clancy missed an opportunity to climb back in the match when Barley stopped his Jonesy try.

For the second time this season, Hillard got the better of Hempfield's Shamus Mack, 9-4, at 120. A huge improvement for Mack, who lost by technical fall in the first meeting.

Olivarria had a roller-coaster match, taking an early 4-1 lead on CD's returning champion, Bryce Buckman, then falling behind 5-4 after two periods. Buckman appeared on his way to victory riding out the third period when, with nine seconds left, Olivarria reversed into a three-point near-fall and a 9-5 victory.

At the beginning of the week, in the District Team championships, Bard stopped CD's Wade McClune 4-1. If his victory over McClune at 160 was a little closer this time, 3-2, it marked a more technically sound victory, as Bard got the opening take-down, added an escape and allowed just a pair of escapes.

"I just wanted to go out and score points, instead of worrying about winning or losing," Bard said. "My coach told me not to force things, when they're there, they're there."

Shelley rolled up Hempfield's Caleb Mussmon in 1:22 to take the title at 285.

Winning at 172 and 215, respectively, Vogelbacher and Garcia became the first McCaskey wrestlers to give the Red Tornado multiple titlists since 1992, when John Garcia (103), Jose Colon (119) and Herman Luciano (125) did so.

For Garcia, it was sweet turnaround from leagues, where Donegal's Garrett Blake denied Garcia's potentially match-winning reversal at the end of a 4-3 win.

One week later, tied at 4-4, and with overtime looming, Garcia escaped with 11 seconds to go, then iced the win with a take-down — his third of the match — with three seconds left.

"I just busted it the whole match," Garcia said, when asked what lesson he carried over from the L-L League loss.

It also marked the first time a McCaskey father-and-son duo won section titles as Garcia's father, Jose Garcia II, pinned his way to the 215-pound crown in 2004.

"He's always bragging, saying he's a section champ, and I'm not," Garcia said. "Now I can brag bigger."

Vogelbacher won his second career title, methodically neutralizing CD's Ethan Pae, 8-2.

With three champions, and moving seven wrestlers on to Saturday's District Three tournament at Spring Grove, Central Dauphin finished with 188 points. Hempfield was second with 139.5, Township third with 130.5, and Solanco (90) and L-S (73) rounding out the top five.

CD claimed titles from Matt Repos (126), Josh Miller (138) and Ryan Garvick (145), with Repos and Miller repeating as champions. In a head-to-head of returning champs, Repos ground out a 3-0 win over Township's Aliazer Alicea.

What to Read Next