Sophomore lightweight Austin Reiff delivered the Section Two championship to Lampeter-Strasburg with a fall in the final bout of a 39-35 victory over Manheim Central, last January.
The race to the title this season will be just as tight, as the Pioneers and Barons will be challenged by a game Garden Spot squad and a resurgent Donegal team.
Recognizing the importance of their meeting, the Pioneers and Barons agreed to move it from its scheduled December 10 date in Manheim to, once again, late January.
But between now and then, to make that match meaningful, L-S must turn back Donegal, in Mount Joy, on Jan. 2, and Garden Spot, in New Holland, on Jan. 9. Manheim travels to Spot on Jan. 15 and hosts Donegal two days after the L-S match, on Jan. 22. Meanwhile, Donegal hosts Garden Spot on Jan. 8.
Below are capsule looks at each team in Section Two. Teams are listed alphabetically, not in order of predicted finish.
COACH — Chris Voshell, 3rd year
LAST YEAR — 3-4 Section Two, 5-13 overall
KEY LOSSES — Nick Stout, Austin Bohr, Derrick Via
KEY RETURNING WRESTLERS — Sr. TJ Moore (37-10), Sr. Ryan Scicchitano (24-12), Sr. Marcus Jennings (2-7), Sr. Aaron Dudash (6-18), Sr. Owen Kreider (1-2), Jr. Taylor Gehman (23-14), Jr. Bailey Pennypacker (5-18), Jr. Taylor Gehman (23-14), Jr. Dylan Styver (12-18), Jr. Sam Smith (6-22), Jr. Brett Walsh (7-10).
NOTABLE NEWCOMERS — So. Bryce Houser (17-7 JH), So. Manuel vasquez, So. Trayvon Zerbe, Fr. Lucas Del Hoyo, Fr. Jeshua Nino.
OUTLOOK — The Falcons are moving up the section ranks. Incrementally, yes. But moving nonetheless.
COACH — Nick Evans, 1st year
LAST YEAR — 4-3, 8-5
KEY LOSSES — Dylan Bowers, Elliot Burnette, Dale Kauffman, Cael Rapp
KEY RETURNING WRESTLERS — Sr. Joe Fox (26-11), Sr. Nick Grady , Sr. Will Small (28-11), Jr. Jansen Flohr (12-15), Sr. Jeremy Algoe (4-12), Jr. Ethan Herr (26-11), Jr. Taj Younger (11-16), Jr. Mason Ober (22-13), Jr. Garrett Blake (22-12), Jr. Joel Grillo (14-14), Jr. Jeff Flores (2-12), So. Cody Clark (1-0).
NOTABLE NEWCOMERS — So. Silas Mumper (16-9 JH), So. Wendall Jonas (20-5 JH), Andrew Small (16-4 JH).
OUTLOOK — Evans, a former Solanco grappler who most recently was a junior high coach at Eastern York, takes over a veteran group. The Indians are a section top-four cinch. Can they go higher?
COACH — Mike Sernoffsky 35th year
LAST YEAR — 1-6, 5-16
KEY LOSSES — Cam Olson, Javan Thomas, Zach Frank, Elijah Stackhouse, Tyler Lanza
KEY RETURNING WRESTLERS — Sr. Cole Rice (23-12), Sr. Kaiden Heaps (3-10), Sr. Ray Perez, Jr. Bobby Walters (14-20), So. Wyatt Mummau (22-13),
NOTABLE NEWCOMERS — Jr. Kyler Heaps, So. Jake Rudy (19-3 JH), Fr. Aiden Robinson (16-3 JH), Fr. Cade Capello (10-6 JH).
OUTLOOK — The Bears' numbers are rising, both in Pennsylvania — in terms of actual Bears — and in E-town's program. Need a few more to get back to where they once belonged.
COACH — Sean Lees, 3rd year
LAST YEAR — 0-7, 0-16
KEY LOSSES — none
KEY RETURNING WRESTLERS — Sr. Allen Swofford (4-6), Sr. Kayde Althouse (24-7), Sr. Owen Stull (11-11 in 2017-18), Jr. Blake Jones (13-12), So. Austin Brass (23-11), So. Jim Ellis (16-12).
NOTABLE NEWCOMERS — Jr. Bryan Stewart, So. Deric Hoover, So. Frank Riggs, So. Jadon Santiago, So. Tristan Mellinger (18-7 JH), Fr. Tanner McCracken (19-5 JH).
OUTLOOK — Not escaping the cellar this season, but it will be fun to watch the progress of Brass, Mellinger, McCracken and company, and the finishing kick of Althouse.
COACH — Adam Bunting, 5th year
LAST YEAR — 5-2, 9-6
KEY LOSSES — Jacob Zook, Jacob Warner, Nyvani Molina
KEY RETURNING WRESTLERS — Sr. Gunner Gehr (32-10 in 2017-18, missed season with football injury), Sr. Josh Groff (31-12), Sr. Drew Finkey (11-10), Sr. Corey Leaman (5-16), Sr. Alan Perez (20-17). Sr. Charles Martin (17-13), Sr. Ethan Eberly (8-20), Jr. Aaron Martin (10-20), Jr. Mason Casey (20-11), Jr. Dustin Swanson (32-6), Jr. Luke Shirk (1-3), So. Jeremy Schilling (19-17), So. Garrett Gehr (32-9),
NOTABLE NEWCOMERS — So. Adam Hahn (10-7 JH), Fr. Brice Brady (15-6 JH), Fr. Mason Musser (12-12 JH).
OUTLOOK — Solid challenger for the section title. Staying healthy will be key.
COACH — Brad Heeter, 14th year
LAST YEAR — 7-0 section champion, 12-4 overall
KEY LOSSES — Johnny Franklin, Connor Penry, Tyler Phenegar. Sr. Andrew Bliss out with season-ending injury
KEY RETURNING WRESTLERS — Sr. Bryan McKim (injured, 10-10 in 2017-18), Sr. Nick Salgado (0-5), Sr. Logan Davidson (31-15), Sr. Riley Eckman (11-16), Sr. Hector Colon (12-19), Jr. Arik Harnish (20-14), Jr. Austin Reiff (15-18), Jr. Zac Shelley (29-14), Jr. Parker Owens (1-7), Jr. Bradey Cunningham (22-7), Jr. Logan Erb (3-4), Jr. Colin McDonald (2-4).
NOTABLE NEWCOMERS — So. Owen Witmer (14-2 JH), So. Conner Morris (15-8 JH), So. Liam Feister (14-4 JH), So. Ashton Campbell (15-7 JH), Fr. Conner Erb (14-6 JH), Fr. Riley Bonholtzer (10-3 JH).
OUTLOOK — “If it wasn’t for bad luck, I wouldn’t have no luck at all ...”
Senior Andrew Bliss may not have been born under a bad sign, but he’s had no luck. Finally, after two seasons cut short by injury, Bliss put together a full and successful junior campaign.
His last, as it turns out, as surgery recovery has ended his senior season. Meanwhile, the Pioneers will forge on with the defense of their section title, expecting a solid challenge from Manheim Central, Garden Spot and Donegal.
COACH — Vaughn Black, 7th year
LAST YEAR — 2-5, 4-12
KEY LOSSES — Dallin Ocasio, Carlos Cruz; Jr. Brian Santiago (16-14) not out
KEY RETURNING WRESTLERS — Sr. Jenner Beckley (8-20), Jr. Allen Fake (4-14), Jr. Franklin Liriano-Sena, So. Pedro DeArce (2-10).
NOTABLE NEWCOMERS — So. Thomas Hershey (16-7 JH), So. Cesar A. Liriano (13-8 JH), So. Cesar F. Liriano (10-10 JH), So. Angel Martinez (8-8 JH), Fr. Griffin Gonzalez (22-0 JH, E-town champion).
OUTLOOK — The Cedars are building a program, not an easy task in this basketball-crazy town.
COACH — Bill Chamberlain, 3rd year
LAST YEAR — 6-1, 10-4
KEY LOSSES — Keegan McCord, Cade Zeamer, Logan Hess, Austin Sauder, Tyler Dougherty, Josiah Lutz; Sr. Clay Bedi.
KEY RETURNING WRESTLERS — Sr. Will Betancourt (40-5), Sr. Conner Zeamer (29-16), Sr. Bryce Dombach (1-0), Sr. Brandon Kheuangthirath (8-11), Jr. Juan Perez (3-9), So. Dakoda Thomas (7-9), So. Uriah Warner (9-15).
NOTABLE NEWCOMERS — So. Ryland Fittery (21-2 JH, E-town champion), So. Ethan Stoltzfus (15-11 JH), Fr. Jacob Hess (18-6 JH), Rocco Daugherty (11-11 JH), Fr. Brett Barbush (21-0 JH, E-town champion), Fr. Connor Beck (24-2 JH, E-town champion), Fr. Braxton Keiffer (20-5 JH).
OUTLOOK — The Barons are an interesting mix of veterans — Betancourt, Zeamer — and youth. Whooie! Look at those freshmen! Is it the right mix to wrest the title from the Pioneers?