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Two MAHS wrestlers take part in state tournament, fall short of podium

Posted 3/12/18

Middletown Area High School junior Ryan Berstler and sophomore Luke Fegley earned a spot to compete with the top 20 wrestlers in the state for the AA state title last weekend at the Giant Center in …

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Two MAHS wrestlers take part in state tournament, fall short of podium

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Middletown Area High School junior Ryan Berstler and sophomore Luke Fegley earned a spot to compete with the top 20 wrestlers in the state for the AA state title last weekend at the Giant Center in Hershey but did not place in the final standings.

Fegley started the tournament at 106 pounds with an impressive win over Bryent Johnson (22-3) from Smethport. Fegley accumulated a 10-3 lead before securing the fall in 5:50.

In the second round, Fegley faced the top seed, Sheldon Seymour (33-1) from Troy. Fegley kept the match close through two periods, scoring a reversal to bring the match within two points late in the second period.

Seymour was solid in the top position during the third period and pulled away to defeat Fegley, 12-3.

On Day 2 of the tournament, Fegley once again squared off against Bailey Gimbor of Brandywine Heights. This was the sixth meeting between these two grapplers in a nine-week span, with each of the previous five matches being decided by 3 points or less and two of the matches going into overtime.

This match was no different. Fegley and Gimbor battled deep into the third period until the first point was scored. Gimbor grabbed an escape and hung on for a 1-0 win, bringing Fegley’s state tournament and his season to a close.

Fegley earned 34 wins in his sophomore season, with 21 of those wins coming by fall.

Berstler’s tournament at 120 pounds began with a matchup against Forest Hills’ Bryon Daubert. Daubert jumped out to an early 5-0 lead, catching Berstler for a takedown and a nearfall.

Berstler kept the match close, scoring an escape in the second period to bring the match back within 4 points.

Daubert proved too much in the third period, pulling away to a 13-2 lead and handing Berstler his first loss of the tournament.

In the consolation round, Berstler faced off against Luke Gorg (30-7) of Hughesville. Gorg caught Berstler for a quick takedown and took a 2-0 lead in the first period.

In the second period, Berstler scored a quick takedown of his own, but still trailed 4-2 coming into the third period. Berstler could not find any points from the bottom position in the third period, as Gorg hung for a 4-2 win, bringing Berstler’s tournament to a close.

Berstler’s season ended with a team-high 35 wins.

The Blue Raiders’ wrestling season concluded with a 12-4 team record. The team had seven district qualifiers, five regional qualifiers, and two state qualifiers. With 12 of 14 starters returning for the 2018-19 season, coach Dan Riggs said he is “definitely looking forward to next season!”