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Middletown wrestlers bounced from district team tournament

Posted 2/6/19

After a big win in the preliminary District 3 AA team tournament against ELCO on Jan. 28, the Blue Raider wrestlers dropped two tough matches on Wednesday, Jan. 30, and fell from the …

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Middletown wrestlers bounced from district team tournament

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After a big win in the preliminary District 3 AA team tournament against ELCO on Jan. 28, the Blue Raider wrestlers dropped two tough matches on Wednesday, Jan. 30, and fell from the tournament.

Middletown started the evening with a match-up against the No. 1 seed in AA, Northern Lebanon. Middletown fell behind early and, despite several positive swings in momentum, the Raiders lost 44-26.

The Blue Raiders then were eliminated by No. 5 seed Upper Dauphin Area, 47-25. 

“One of our team goals was to make it to the postseason as a team, and we were able to accomplish that,” said coach Dan Riggs. “I knew it was going to be tough after the preliminary round, but was hoping to win a few toss-up matches to make the final score closer. I told the guys that they had nothing to be ashamed of and that their season isn’t over yet, that we still have a shot at winning the conference next week when we face Susquehanna Township.”

The Raiders will make up that regular season match at Susquehanna Township at 7 p.m. Thursday. Then the Raiders will turn their attention to the individual postseason, beginning with the District 3 AA Section 1 tournament Feb. 15-16 at CD East High School. The Section 1 tournament features 17 teams in District 3. The top 6 wrestlers in each weight class will advance to the District 3 Championship at Hershey Arena on Feb 22-23.

Riggs said he’s “excited to see the guys compete at their normal weights. All season long I bumped them up to a different weight class to help with the team’s success. Us coaches appreciate their willingness to move around to different weight classes knowing that it would benefit the team. After the final dual, next Thursday, they can focus on their own individual goals.”

Northern Lebanon 44, Middletown 25

Middletown’s Joey Spear (138) got the Raiders off to a positive start, pinning Cooper Gill in 3 minutes, 10 seconds to take an early 6-0 lead. The Vikings responded by rattling off 6 straight wins at 145- through the 195-pound weight classes, however.

Quincy Reinnagel tried to bring some momentum back to the Raider bench with a first-period pin over Benjamin Bomberger at 220 pounds. Northern Lebanon stalled the Raider momentum with two more pins at 285 and 106 pounds, which brought the score to 38-12. 

Although it would not be enough, Middletown rallied to win three of the last four matches. Luke Fegley locked up a double arm and a pin over Kayden Clark at 113 pounds.

Nate Brady (120) had his first of two great performances of the evening, knocking off Brandon Breidegan by a score of 5-2. Middletown’s Zach Malay took one for the team, jumping up two weight classes to try to hold off Northern Lebanon standout Colin Leonard at 126.

Ryan Berstler (132) was able to give the Raiders something to celebrate in the final match, racking up a 16-1 technical fall over Seth Fischer, bringing the final team score to 44-25 in favor of the Vikings.

Upper Dauphin Area 47, Middletown 25

Early action at 145 and 152 pounds gave the Raiders reason to have hope, as Middletown seniors Kenny Britcher and Sterling Gray held Tyler Wright and Darien Wiest to major decisions.

With an 8-0 lead, the Trojans opted to surrender the forfeit to Middletown’s Chris Joseph at 160 pounds.

The Trojan upperweights were just too much for Middletown, however, locking up pins at 170, 182, 195 and 220, giving the Trojans a 32-6 lead.

Quincy Reinnagel showed his stamina, bumping up to 285, and wearing down Chase Witmer to score a pin in just more than 5 minutes of action.

The Trojans got 6 points back with a pin at 106 pounds. Luke Fegley (113) faced off against former Middletown teammate Maxx Trexler and secured an 11-1 major decision. Middletown senior Nate Brady (120) had another quality win, defeating Ethan Paul by a 7-4 decision.

At 126 pounds, Middletown’s Ryan Berstler squared off against Upper Dauphin standout Bronson Garber. Berstler could not find a way to penetrate Garber’s defense and fell by a score of 5-1.

The Trojans picked up a forfeit at 132, before Joey Spear closed out the action at 138.  Spear picked up his 15th pin of the season at the expense of Upper Dauphin’s Kade Matter in just more than 1 minute.