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Blue Raider wrestlers roll over Shamrocks after falling to Falcons

Posted 1/10/18

The Blue Raider wrestling team moved to 6-2 on the season after falling to local AAA rival Lower Dauphin, and then earning an important come-from-behind win over league opponent …

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Blue Raider wrestlers roll over Shamrocks after falling to Falcons

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The Blue Raider wrestling team moved to 6-2 on the season after falling to local AAA rival Lower Dauphin, and then earning an important come-from-behind win over league opponent Trinity.

“The win over Trinity was huge,” said coach Dan Riggs. “If we would have lost we would be out of the race for a conference title and probably not have any chance of making the postseason as a team. We definitely needed that win.” 

The Blue Raiders will be in action next at Palmyra on Jan. 11, followed by a trip to Annville-Cleona on Jan. 13 for the Dutchman Duals.

Lower Dauphin 39, Middletown 24

The Falcons jumped out to an early lead on Wednesday evening, Jan. 3, and never looked back.

Action started at 132 where Middletown’s Nathan Brady faced LD senior Tyler Walters. Brady, who was feeling under the weather, was visibly not at full speed as he dropped a 4-0 decision to Walters. Spectators were treated to an exciting match-up at 138 as the Raiders’ Joey Spear locked up with the Falcons’ TT Elhajj. These two dynamic sophomore grapplers battled to a nail-biting 8-6 decision, with Elhajj ultimately landing on top. 

The Raiders would continue to come up short through the next six weight classes as they faced a gauntlet of Falcon standouts.

Falcon senior Joey Stoak outlasted Middletown’s Devin Martin at 145 and earned a 5-1 decision. Middletown’s Sterling Gray took an early lead at 152, but couldn’t keep pace with the Falcons’ Buck Diacont, who earned the 8-5 decision. Middletown senior Zach Dailey faced PIAA state place winner Clayton Ulrey, who earned a first-period pin at 160.

The Raiders were down 18-0 when Ben Snyder caught Middletown’s Arthur Dash in a headlock and squeezed out a 12-8 decision for the Falcons. The Williams brothers faced similar fates at 182 and 195, with LD’s Gannon Ulrey earning a pin over Marcus Williams and Brendan Shaffer securing a pin over Damion Williams. 

With the Falcons out in front 33-0, the Raiders showed perseverance through the last six weight classes. Middletown sophomore Quincy Reinnagel gave the Raiders some life with a first-period pin over Luis Arments at 220. The Falcons’ Kyler Wuestner won by forfeit at 285.

Riggs made some savvy line-up adjustments in the lightweights to earn wins in the last four matches. The coach sent out Antonio Pittman to earn his first varsity win by forfeit at 106. Middletown sophomore Zach Malay wasted no time with the Falcons’ Matthew Rodriguez at 113, securing a pin in 1:37. Luke Fegley bumped up to 120 to earn the Raiders an 11-7 decision over Sean Donnelly, and Ryan Berstler bumped up to 126 to close out the match with a 12-5 decision over LD’s Richard Skidmore.

Middletown 42, Trinity 34

After falling to Lower Dauphin, the Blue Raiders looked to bounce back with a win over Mid-Penn Conference Capital Division rival Trinity on Thursday.

The Shamrocks took an early lead at 138 with Colton Zimmerman battling to a 9-2 decision over Middletown sophomore Chris Joseph.

Middletown’s Joey Spear put on another entertaining performance, trading 27 points with Daniel Kosinski before securing the Raiders a pin with 2 seconds left in the match. 

“Every time Joey steps on the mat, we know we are going to see him battle and go 100 percent,” Riggs said afterward.

The Shamrocks surrendered a forfeit to Middletown’s Devin Martin at 152 giving the Raiders a 12-3 lead. The Shamrocks regained the lead with a 3-point decision at 160 and a pin at 170. 

Middletown’s Arthur Dash locked up an arm bar and secured an important 6 team points for the Raiders at 182. With only one year of experience, Riggs said he is excited about Dash’s potential.

“He is very competitive and very coachable ….  We feel with more mat time and experience, Arthur is just going to keep getting better and do great.”

The Raiders held a fragile 18-13 lead before the Shamrocks’ Colby Rigg earned a pin at 195 and Maximus McMurray overpowered Quincy Reinnagel for a 9-5 decision at 220.

Chris Haser increased the Shamrock lead to 28-18 with a win by forfeit at 285.

The Shamrocks truly had nothing to offer the Raiders solid lightweight lineup. Middletown’s Luke Fegley polished off Charlie Aber with a double arm-bar in 1:32. Zach Malay, Ryan Berstler and Nate Brady each earned wins by forfeit to secure the Raiders 42-34 win.

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