The expectations for the Gettysburg wrestling team were fairly clear on Tuesday.
The Warriors entered the District 3 Class 3A Team Championships as the No. 1 seed at 17-0. As the top seed, they earned the right to play host in each of the first two rounds and were expected to roll comfortably into the semifinals.
That’s exactly what Chris Haines’ team did.
Gettysburg began the night with a 57-16 destruction of 16th-seeded Solanco.
Max Gourley bumped up to 195 pounds to start the dual, earning a hard-earned 4-3 win over the Mules’ Nick Yannutz. Christian Conner followed that with a fall inside of 10 seconds at 220 and the Warriors were up and running.
The first of three forfeits made it 15-0 as they rounded the horn to 106.
Solanco got on the board with a major decision victory by Dominic Flatt and then pulled it to 15-7 when Weston Bare upended Montana DeLawder at 113.
A Jared Fulton 8-1 win over Jacob Fetrow at 120 pounds made things even tighter, at 15-10, but that was as close as Solanco would get.
Tyler Withers ran over a half nelson for a fall in 3:43 over Jackson Houghton at 126 to give the Warriors some breathing room and yet another forfeit at 132 extended the lead to 27-10.
Ronald Fulton’s first-period pin of Jacob Cherry closed it back to 27-16, but that was the last match the Mules would win.
Gettysburg closed the dual with five consecutive wins, including pins from Luke Sainato, Nathan Ridgley, Dylan Reinert and Sam Rodriguez to put Solanco away and advance to the quarterfinals.
On the other side of the gym, ninth-seeded Exeter Township dispatched defending champion Cedar Cliff, 37-28, to secure its spot opposite the Warriors.
Conner got Gettysburg off to a rousing start in the quarterfinals with a fall inside of a minute to bring the entire Warriors bench to its feet.
The Eagles tied it back up with a second-period pin from Robert Unruh at heavyweight, but then the Warriors got going.
First it was Miller, back in at 106 pounds, who pinned Exeter’s Chazere Woody in 1:20. Then Fetrow slotted in at 113 and ran over a double arm bar in 1:07 for a fall of his own. DeLawder capped the three-match streak with an 11-7 win, bumping up to 120 and taking out Exeter’s Cabraun Woody.
That ran the score to 21-6 in favor of the hosts.
The Eagles fought back in it with a major decision victory at 126 and win at 132 to cut the score to 21-13, but Jacob Cherry’s 37-second fall at 138 seized the momentum right back for Gettysburg and pushed the lead out to 27-13.
Exeter’s Jacob Lender’s 7-6 victory over Jacob Townsend at 145 kept the Eagles in it, and then Nick Nettleton notched an upset victory over Sainato at 152 to pull it back to 27-19.
“It’s between the ears,” Haines said of Sainato’s loss. “I didn’t think we wrestled as sharp as we need to wrestle.”
Ridgley stemmed the tide for the Warriors at 160 pounds. Ridgley took control early with a takedown of John Miller and controlled the rest of the match en route to a 9-3 victory.
Reinert then came out and secured a fall in 14 seconds over Oliver McQuade to give Gettysburg a 36-19 lead and secure the dual win.
Gourley added a major decision at 182 and Rodriguez a fall at 195 to close out a 46-19 victory.
“We moved some people around,” Haines said of his lineup. “That’s dual meet wrestling. It’s all matchup driven and we saw some things we liked.”
Despite the pair of victories, Haines said he feels that there are areas for improvement before Thursday’s semifinal against Cumberland Valley at Spring Grove High School.
“It was our better kids who didn’t wrestle real sharp,” he said. “It wasn’t our younger kids. It was our more experienced kids who come through for us that didn’t wrestle well tonight. But it’s Tuesday and they’re kids and Thursday could be different.”
Should the Warriors top Cumberland Valley, they would face the winner of Central Dauphin and Dallastown for the championship on Saturday at Milton Hershey School.
District 3 Class 3A
Gettysburg 57, Solanco 16
195-Max Gourley (G) dec, Nick Yannutz, 4-3; 220-Christian Conner (G) p. Jacob Frampton, :21; 285-Trevor Gallagher (G) fft.; 106-Dominic Flatt (S) MD. Reed Miller, 13-3); 113-Weston Bare (S) dec. Montana DeLawder, 5-2; 120-Jared Fulton (S) dec. Jacob Fetrow, 8-1; 126-Tyler Withers (G) p. Jackson Houghton, 3:43; 132-Ethan Dalton (G) fft.; 138-Ronald Fulton (S) p. Jacob Cherry, 1:41; 145-Jared Townsend (G) fft.; 152-Luke Sainato (G) p. Wade Adams, 2:49; 160-Nathan Ridgley (G) p. Logan Pittman, 0:27; 170-Dylan Reinert (G) p. Conner Charles, 1:02; 182-Samuel Rodriguez (G) p. Robert Castagna, 1:33.
Gettysburg 46, Exeter 19
220-Christian Conner (G) p. Allen Cisneros, 51; 280-Robert Unruh (E) p. Trevor Gallagher, 3:42; 106-Reed Miller p. Chazere Woody, 1:20; 113-Jacob Fetrow (G) p. Jacob Keller, 1:07; 120-Montana DeLawder (G) dec. Cabraun Woody, 11-6; 126-Patrick Borja (E) MD. Tyler Withers, 14-1; 132-Jevin Guldin (E) dec. Ethan Dalton, 7-4; 138-Jacob Cherry (G) p. Riley Tryanski, :37; 145-Connor Lender (E) dec. Jared Townsend, 7-6; 152-Nick Nettleton (E) dec. Luke Sainato, 8-6; 160-Nathan Ridgley (G) dec. John Miller, 9-3; 170-Dylan Reinert (G) p. Oliver McQuade, :14; 182-Max Gourley (G) MD. Sam Orzolek, 13-5; 195-Samuel Rodriguez (G) p. Ryan Peterson, 3:01.