LOWER PAXTON TWP. — Boiling Springs was coming off a surprising (to some) run in the PIAA Class 2A Wrestling Team Championships last weekend.
Fresh off that stretch, which followed a District 3 title the week before, the Bubblers returned to the mat for the District 3 Class 2A Section II Individual Wrestling Tournament and made a similar run Saturday at CD East High School.
The Bubblers placed 10 finalists, and three other Bubblers made their way into the consolation finals, in an effort to earn top three spots in the District 3 championships in Hershey next weekend.
Austin Mahoney, at 106, was the only Bubbler who dropped a consolation final, meaning 12 wrestlers advanced to the next round of the individual postseason. He fell by major decision to Matthew Inman of Annville-Cleona.
“Everything went the way we expected in the morning; the guys who won did so and a couple of guys lost some tough matches,” Bubblers head coach Rodney Wright said. “We have a couple of tough matches in the finals, but we should be able to win some of them.”
Northern Lebanon took three of the five head-to-head championship matches against the Bubblers, but Boiling Springs still won the team title with 220.5 points, 14.5 more than the Vikings. It largely stemmed from the Bubblers’ success against non-Vikings wrestlers.
Andrew Stafford got a late takedown and near fall points, and had to ride Northern Lebanon’s Kyler Anspach out over the final 30 seconds to win a wild match 16-14 in his 113 finals.
“I just needed to go into the match with a different mindset and not worry about what name is on the top,” said Stafford, a sophomore. “I tried to be a bit more proactive and wrestle offensively and need to continue to do that next week.”
Junior Damon James picked up the 285 title with a fall at 3:17. He was a second seed and planted top-seed Kyle Sonnen at 3:17. James was the last of six Bubblers to win an individual title on the day.
In the 126 championship, Collin Nester dropped a 9-5 decision to NL’s Collin Leonard. Nester trailed 6-5 and allowed Leonard up, but Leonard was able to avoid the attempted Nester takedown to end the match.
The Vikings’ Stevie Herb won a hotly contested title fight 11-7 against Kaiden Karper at 152. Both wrestlers had opportunities, and both coaches were pleading for more points throughout the bout.
And at 182, Colby Tennyson lost an 8-2 decision to NL’s Luis.
The rest of Boiling Springs’ success came against teams not named Northern Lebanon.
Jack Coulston attacked from the start to win his 132 title match 6-0 over Annville-Cleona’s Hayden Funck. He earned two takedowns and had a nice reversal in period No. 2 for the victory.
Bubbler Lucas Shoop manhandled his opponent and picked up near fall points near the final buzzer to take a 23-8 technical fall over Middletown’s Jacob Spear.
Kollin Myers picked up the Bubblers’ fourth title at the time at 145 with a solid 9-4 victory over Blue Raiders middleweight Devin Martin.
Camp Hill finished first as a team with 137 points at the District 3 Class 2A Section III In…
“I am happy with how our team wrestled today, but I only got two matches due to the bracket,” Myers said. “I got a bit sloppy in the finals and wasn’t happy with my effort, but it is win-and-move-on at this point. Practice can be tough with the group of middle-weights we have, but we are able to help each other all of the time.”
Austin Taylor came out and out-worked Middletown’s Quincy Rennagel at 220, finishing off a 15-0 tech. fall with three seconds left in the first period.
“I felt good today and was real happy to see 10 wrestlers in the finals and three more in the consolation bracket,” Taylor said. ““We moved 12 of 13 wrestlers to next week, so that is a positive. As a veteran, I try to be active and positive in practice and help whoever we can with whatever they need at practice.”
The Bubblers’ only other title loss came at 170.
Nick Kostyak drew a tough assignment, facing reigning PIAA champion Edmond Ruth of Susquehanna Twp. He avoided the fatal fall, but a combination of near fall points and takedowns enabled Ruth to roll to a 23-8 tech. fall. Kostyak battled, extending the match into the third period.
Zach Martin picked up a fall at 2:41 to claim third place at 160 over Middletown’s Zach Souders. He was leading 9-0 at the time.
Sam Geiling picked up a fall at 2:49 in the 195 third-place bout after leading 7-0 in the second period. Geiling hasn’t wrestled much due to a combination of matchups and his dedicated weight. He sits at 3-5 on the season.