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Wrestlers take 8th at tournament; Fegley, Brady are winners

Posted 1/3/19

The Middletown wrestlers competed in the Governor Mifflin Holiday Tournament, which featured 24 teams from across Pennsylvania, on Friday and Saturday.

“I was very pleased with the …

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Wrestlers take 8th at tournament; Fegley, Brady are winners

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The Middletown wrestlers competed in the Governor Mifflin Holiday Tournament, which featured 24 teams from across Pennsylvania, on Friday and Saturday.

“I was very pleased with the team’s performance,” coach Dan Riggs said. “Placing eighth out of 24 teams is definitely something we can build on.”

The Blue Raiders took advantage of the post-Christmas 2-pound weight allowance to shift their lineup.

Three of the Blue Raider standouts made the drop in weight classes. Junior Luke Fegley dropped from 120 to 113 pounds. Senior Nate Brady dropped from 126 to 120 pounds. Senior Ryan Berstler dropped from 132 to 126 pounds. 

Riggs acknowledged that he was “a little nervous about the three guys dropping down a weight class,” but he was pleased with their performance.

“They looked strong and ready to compete. I am excited to see how they perform at those weights during the rest of the season and postseason.”

Fegley came into the tournament as the No. 1 seed at 113 pounds, and finished accordingly. In the opening round, Fegley pinned Mike Bolli of Neshaminy in 1 minute and 12 seconds. In the quarterfinals, Fegley shut out Palmerton’s Gabe Ramos for a 10-0 major decision. Fegley also made quick work of Malvern Prep’s Bobby Beckett, locking up a cradle and the pin in 1:03.

In the championship finals match, Fegley faced off against Jude Swisher of State College. Fegley scored an early takedown and controlled Swisher for a 4-2 decision and a first-place finish.

Brady finished atop the podium at 120 pounds after coming in as the No. 2 seed. Brady started the tournament by pinning Anthony Leone of Oley Valley in 2:35. In the quarterfinals, Brady grappled to a 14-5 major decision over Chance Babb of Boyertown. Brady earned another quality win in the semifinal round, defeating State College’s Clayton Leidy, 5-3.

In the championship finals match, Brady squared off against the No. 1 seed from Conestoga, Mitch Baker. Brady jumped out to an early lead and dominated the action to earn a 6-2 decision and a first-place finish.

Junior Joey Spear was the third Blue Raider wrestler to advance to the finals and earn a title shot. Spear started the tournament by pinning Evan Detwiler of Boyertown in 1:34. In the quarterfinals, Spear battled his way to a 6-5 decision over Pine Grove’s Ayden Ney. Spear overpowered another stout opponent in the semifinals, jumping out to a 4-0 lead before forcing Manheim Central’s Connor Zeamer to injury default out of the match.

Spear would have to settle for second place after surrendering a late third-period takedown, and a 6-5 decision, to State College’s Evan Courts.

Junior Quincy Reinnagel had a superb start to the tournament. Reinnagel blazed through the early rounds in the 220-pound bracket, starting with a 1 minute and 11 second pin over Matt Busby of Octorara. Reinnagel followed that up with a second-period pin of Neshaminy’s Zach Magdelinskas. Day 2 of the tournament was not as kind to Reinnagel, as he hit the mat hard in his semifinal match and dropped a 12-3 decision to Conestoga’s Paul Pelham. Reinnagel would drop two more matches in the later rounds to land in sixth place.

Middletown’s Ryan Berstler found himself in a stacked 126-pound bracket. In the opening round, Berstler racked up points, earning a 16-1 technical fall over Mike Miklowich of Upper Perkiomen. In the quarterfinals, Berstler suffered the first of two heart-breaking losses.

Wyomissing standout Anthony Gust caught Berstler in a headlock and jumped out to a 5-0 lead. However, Berstler battled his way back to tie the score at 9 but fell in overtime, 11-9.

In wrestle-backs, Berstler pinned Governor Mifflin’s Devin Simpson in 3:47, but dropped a tough 1-0 loss to Owen Woolcott of State College. Berstler redeemed himself with a 10-2 major decision over Hempfield’s Clay Gainer to earn seventh place.

Another notable performance came from Middletown sophomore Matt Mitchell, who defeated his first varsity opponent, pinning Devon Datres of Hollidaysburg in 2:58. Junior Damion Williams continued to progress in only his second year of wrestling. He earned a 6-1 win over Wyomissing’s Mike Imbesi, but came up short of advancing to the medal rounds. 

Other Middletown wrestlers who competed in the holiday tournament included Krea Schaeffer, Damien Leach, Kenny Britcher, Chris Joseph, Vinny Corradi, Case Woodley and Ivan Henderson.

The Blue Raiders wrestlers will be in action again at Lower Dauphin at 7 p.m. Jan. 2 and at home against Trinity at 7 p.m. Jan. 8.