HERSHEY — Cedar Cliff and Cumberland Valley came into the District 3 Class 3A Wrestling Team Championships at Milton Hershey School on Saturday with chips on their shoulders.
Last season, the playoffs weren’t so nice.
Cedar Cliff fell to Exeter Twp. in the 2017 final. Cumberland Valley fell to rival Central Dauphin in the third-place match.
For the Eagles and Colts, this district final was redemption. But there can only be one crown won.
And No. 4 Cedar Cliff (20-1) got its crown in a 32-31 win.
Much like one might come to expect from two high-caliber teams, the match was back-and-forth. After starting at the 220-pound bout, it took the Colts all the way until 170 to finally gain a sizable advantage.
And it was Isaiah Auman that handed them the edge.
His team up 28-22, Auman notched a big 15-4 major over Jake Hart to give the Colts a commanding 32-22 lead. It would take Jake Lucas at 182 pinning CC’s Elijah Ikeda to keep the No. 11 Eagles (19-5) in it.
Ikeda, however, wasn’t about to let Lucas put him on his back.
With Lucas leading 3-1 after two periods, Ikeda kept Lucas at bay, forcing him to readjust more than once and keeping him from getting the upper hand. Lucas’ 4-1 decision wasn’t enough to keep CV’s hopes alive; Cedar Cliff forfeited at 195 to set the final score.
“The kids just wrestled tremendous up and down the lineup,” Colts head coach Rob Rapsey said. “It’s just such a blue-nosed, blue-collar, hard-working type team. Yeah, we got kids that are superstars, but they’re hard-working guys. A lot of that all comes from hard work. It’s not just pedigree kids coming up on through.”
Cumberland Valley can claim the same level of work ethic. That’s what made the Class 3A title fight such a... well... fight. CV head coach Dave Heckard expected that.
“You win some, you lose some,” he said. “They out-wrestled us. They out-toughed us in other tossup matches and in bonus points. I can’t take anything away from them. I think in a few spots some of our guys out-wrestled them, but they wanted it more.”
A Donovon Ball pin (1:02) at 220 set the tone for the match.
CV’s Lukas Wandling (285) pinned Anthony Shires in 3:29 before Aiden Lewis got a pin for Cedar Cliff, putting the Colts up 12-6. They largely kept that lead, even as Russell Zimmerman’s 10-2 major over Marcus Vassar at 145 cut CV’s deficit to 25-16 later on.
Cole McCoy made it a three-point match with a pin in 0:21 over Alex Hatok at 152. But Matthew Barrick fell in sudden victory 3-1 to Daniel Sigue, who’s takedown is SV1 gave the Colts a 28-22 edge and set the stage for Auman’s major.
It was a valiant effort from Sigue, who struggled off the mat afterward. He has been fighting through a torn ACL for a month.
“I can’t go down on my knees because it hurts,” Sigue said about going through his match. “I tore it towards the beginning of January, and then I kind of just kept wrestling on it and got used to it. I had the brace on and the brace kept me from turning it the wrong way.”
This match was Sigue’s last for the season. He’ll get surgery Friday, the second day of the PIAA team championships at Hershey’s Giant Center, a place the Colts could very easily be, and will cheer on his teammates from the sidelines.
It’s a painful blow to him and his team.
“This year I thought it would be my year,” Sigue said. “I didn’t wrestle so well last year, and this year I just wanted to redeem myself.”
The Colts will charge on without Sigue, and Rapsey is confident in whoever take’s the middleweight’s place.
“We’ve been going through that all year,” he said. “We’re still here, we’re still doing it.”
Cumberland Valley and Cedar Cliff both earned byes into Thursday’s first round at Giant Center, skipping Monday’s preliminaries. The Eagles will face the District 2 champion Delaware Valley at 6 p.m., while the Colts take the mat at 8 p.m. against the District 1 runner-up Spring-Ford.