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Raider wrestlers have great week, burn midnight oil at New Oxford tournament

Posted 1/23/19

The Middletown wrestling team went 2-0 last week, including success at a marathon-style New Oxford tournament that lasted well past midnight on Friday.

That put the Raiders’ dual meet record …

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Raider wrestlers have great week, burn midnight oil at New Oxford tournament

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The Middletown wrestling team went 2-0 last week, including success at a marathon-style New Oxford tournament that lasted well past midnight on Friday.

That put the Raiders’ dual meet record at 9-5 on the season, good for No. 9 in the AA power rankings. The top 12 qualify for the postseason, which kicks off Jan. 28.

The week began with a dominating 57-21 performance over the Bishop McDevitt Crusaders on Jan. 14. On Thursday, the Raiders put on an equally impressive show for their home crowd, defeating Palmyra 50-21.

Ten Raiders earned medals at the New Oxford event, which was changed up because of the impending storm Saturday.

The Blue Raiders will play host to East Pennsboro for Senior Night at 7 p.m. Thursday. Middletown is offering free admission to students and faculty who bring three nonperishable food items, which will be donated to the Middletown Interfaith Food Pantry. All spectators are welcome and encouraged to bring donations as well.

Middletown 57, Bishop McDevitt 21

The Blue Raiders started fast against the Crusaders and never looked back.

Luke Fegley (113 pounds) and Zach Malay (120) each scored pins in the opening bouts to give the Raiders a 12-0 lead. Nathan Brady (126) dropped a close 3-0 decision to Crusader standout Nate Smith.

Ryan Berstler and Joey Spear extended the Raider lead to 24-3 with two more pins at 132 and 138 pounds.

The Crusaders picked up 6 points at 145 pounds before Chris Joseph scrapped his way to a 5-3 decision at 152 pounds.

The depleted Crusader squad was able to pick-up wins at 182 and 285, but surrendered forfeits to the Blue Raiders in five of the last seven matches, closing the match with a 57-21 score in favor of the Blue Raiders.

Vinny Corradi (160), Ayden Miller (170), Matthew Mitchell (195), Ivan Henderson (220) and Krea Scheaffer (106) each won by forfeit.

Middletown 50, Palmyra 21

Junior Zach Malay got the Raiders on the board first against the visiting Cougars with a win by forfeit at 113 pounds.

Luke Fegley (120) and Nathan Brady (126) each earned critical wins over quality opponents to stretch Middletown’s lead to 12-0.

Middletown’s Ryan Berstler, who was recognized at the start of the match for hitting the 100 win mark, needed only 48 seconds to lock up the pin at 132 pounds.

After suffering a few tough losses early, the Cougars opted to surrender the forfeit to Joey Spear at 138 pounds. Diante “Sterling” Grey jumped back into the Raider lineup and earned the pin at 145, bringing the Raider lead to 30-0.

Palmyra picked up their first team points with a decision at 152, but Middletown’s Chris Joseph responded with a 17-2 win by technical fall at 160.

The Cougars looked like they might make a run through the upper weights, securing pins at 170 and 182, but Middletown sophomore Matthew Mitchell put the brakes on the Cougars. Mitchell rallied to secure a 7-6 come-from-behind victory at 195 pounds, and guaranteed the Raider victory.

Middletown’s Jeremy Wells won by forfeit at 220, and Quincy Reinnagel (285) flattened Palmyra’s Brian Devonshire for the pin in 1 minute, 38 seconds to close out the evening.

Midnight marathon in New Oxford

With the winter storm looming, the New Oxford tournament officials made the call to restructure the format to complete the two-day, 26-team, tournament in one marathon evening of Friday night action.

The Blue Raiders showcased their endurance throughout the event, concluding with six Raiders placing in the varsity tournament and four Raiders placing in the JV tournament.

Luke Fegley led the Blue Raider squad with a championship performance at 113. Fegley went 4-0 on the evening, pinning his way through the competition and into the finals. Fegley earned the championship with a 3-2 decision over Ethan Ketner of Hershey. Fegley is now 26-1 on the season.

Ryan Berstler had another stellar outing, winning three straight matches for an opportunity at the 126-pound title. Berstler won his first three matches with a pin, a major decision, and a hard-fought 3-2 decision over Noah Rice of York Suburban.

Berstler dropped a close 6-4 decision in the finals to earn second place. Berstler is 24-5 on the season.

Joey Spear had only one setback in route to a third-place finish at 138 pounds. Spear pinned both McKinley Dell, Littlestown, in the opening round and Malcolm Gerlach, Hanover, in the quarterfinals. Spear dropped a tough semifinal match to New Oxford standout Jared Bair, before earning a 6-0 decision, and third place, with a win over Esteban Moran of Harry S. Truman. Spear is now 23-3 on the season.

Quincy Reinnagel looked impressive in the opening rounds, and en route to a fourth-place finish. Reinnagel earned pins over Jeremy Gebhart, Littlestown, and Justin Scott, Line Mountain, but dropped his semifinal and final match.

Another Raider standout, Nate Brady, fell victim to a stacked 120-pound bracket (and the unusual tournament format) and had to settle for seventh place. Brady won his opener by 17-2 technical fall, but fell to PIAA state place winner, Blake Showers. Brady responded by pinning Dylan Culver in the consolation round, but slipped again to Bobby Zelinski of Scranton in a 5-1 decision. Brady was awarded seventh place by “no contest” because they had already reached the five-match daily maximum according to PIAA rules.

Chris Joseph also reached his daily match limit in a seventh-place finish at 152 pounds. After dropping a high scoring 15-13 decision in the opening contest against Adam Wertz of Waynesboro, Joseph responded by winning three straight matches. Joseph’s wins came by way of two pins and another high scoring 16-15 decision. His three straight wins earned him a rematch, which also went in Wertz’s favor. Like his teammate, Joseph was awarded seventh place by no contest because of the five-match daily maximum.

Kenny Britcher, Vinny Corradi and Matt Mitchell each competed, and each earned wins in the varsity tournament, but came up short of reaching the podium.

Zach Malay earned the championship in the JV 113 pound bracket. Malay defeated Trenton Fitz, New Oxford, by 15-0 technical fall and Colin Phipps, Hershey, for first place.

Sterling Grey also earned first in the JV 145-pound bracket. Gray earned pins in each of his first two bouts before securing a 4-2 decision, and the championship, in his final match.

Troy Stein also had a good showing with a second-place finish in the JV 182-pound bracket. Stein won by pin in his opening match, followed by a win by forfeit in the semifinal round, but dropped a 9-7 decision in the finals.

Sophomore Jeremy Wells earned a respectable fourth-place finish in the JV 195-pound bracket, highlighted by a first-period pin over Antoni Esquivias of Biglerville.

Krea Schaeffer (106) and Ayden Miller (160) also competed in the JV tournament for the Blue Raiders.