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7 Blue Raider wrestlers advance to districts

Posted 2/21/18

The Blue Raider wrestlers competed in the District 3 AA Section 2 Tournament at CD East High School on Feb. 17 putting up a solid performance with seven Middletown wrestlers placing in the top three …

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7 Blue Raider wrestlers advance to districts


The Blue Raider wrestlers competed in the District 3 AA Section 2 Tournament at CD East High School on Feb. 17 putting up a solid performance with seven Middletown wrestlers placing in the top three and advancing to districts.

Five wrestlers were in the finals and four in the consolation finals.

District championships will be held at the Giant Center in Hershey on Feb 23-24. Wrestling begins at 10 a.m. Friday, Feb 23.

Junior Ryan Berstler led the Raiders with a championship performance at 120. Berstler pinned Dustin Varvel of Northern Lebanon in 3:25 to win his semifinal match. In the championship match, Berstler faced off against well-known rival from Susquehanna Township, Kody Evans. Trailing 1-0 coming into the second period, Berstler hustled to score a takedown and an escape to take a 3-1 lead, which earned him the top stop on the podium.

At 106, sophomore Luke Fegley made it to the championship match with a semifinal pin over Austin Mahoney of Boiling Springs. Fegley settled for second, dropping an 8-4 decision to Brandon Breidegan of Northern Lebanon.

Sophomore Zach Malay recovered from a first-round loss to punch his ticket to districts with a third-place finish at 113. Malay looked strong battling through the consolation bracket, scoring a 31-second pin over Ethan Jones of Lancaster Catholic and a second-period pin over Gavin Knox of Annville-Cleona.

Junior Nathan Brady faced some tough competitors in the 126-pound bracket. After a close 4-3 loss in the semifinal round, Brady responded by pinning Evan Hart of Lancaster Catholic. Brady would go on to capture a 9-2 decision over Noah Safford, Annville-Cleona, to place third and earn a spot in the district tournament.

Sophomore Joey Spear also punched his ticket to the districts with a second-place finish at 138. Spear earned a hard-fought 8-7 decision over Northern Lebanon’s Nick Winters in the semifinals, but Lucas Shoop of Boiling Springs proved too much for him in the championship match.

At 145 pounds, Raider senior Devin Martin looked for redemption in a semifinal match-up with Zach Renninger of Annville-Cleona. Renninger had defeated Martin soundly back in January, but Martin came on the attack in this sectional match and would earn a bruising 8-4 decision. In the end, Martin was also forced to settle for a second-place finish after suffering an 11-4 loss to Boiling Springs’ standout Kollin Myers.

At 220 pounds sophomore Quincy Reinnagel would be the last of the seven Middletown wrestlers to advance to Districts. Reinnagel scored his 12th pin of the season, dispatching Northern Lebanon's Cole Messimer in 3:13 to advance to the championship finals match. Reinnagel also earned a runner-up finish after meeting up with Boiling Springs senior Austin Taylor in the finals.

Although falling just short of district qualification, senior Zach Souders ended his wrestling career at Middletown on a high note, earning a fourth-place finish at 160. In the opening round, Souders dominated Lancaster Catholic's Ryan Kemmerly, gaining a 9-2 advantage before securing the pin in 5:50. In the consolation semifinal match, Souders battled back from an early 4-2 deficit to win an impressive 6-4 overtime victory.

The young Raider upperweights showed glimmers of promise for the 2018-19 season. Sophomore Damion Williams earned a fourth-place finish at 195, and sophomore Arthur Dash put up a respectable performance in a stacked 170-pound bracket. Middletown junior Kenny Britcher enjoyed a 6-2 victory in the 132-pound consolation bracket, but also fell short of district qualification.

Chris Joseph, who battled for a roster spot all season through the stout RaideVr middleweights, bumped up two weight classes to compete at 152 pounds.

Marcus Williams rounded out the Raider competitors at 182 pounds.