The regular season has come to a close for the Elizabethtown Area High School wrestling team. While the Bears have largely struggled this year, they still have the postseason to potentially turn things around. However, if the Lancaster-Lebanon League Championships were any indication, they’ll have their work cut out for them.
The team had its last section meet of the season at Garden Spot on Wednesday, Jan. 23, losing 57-24. On the plus side, Elizabethtown had its largest roster of wrestlers on the year, with all but two weight classes (the 126 and 195) being represented. That didn’t fully translate to success though; the Bears began by losing six straight matches.
Senior Cam Olson (120), senior Elijah Stackhouse (285), junior Ray Perez (195), sophomore Uriah Ginder (132) and freshman Skyler Nagel (113) all took first-round pinfall losses. Freshman Wyatt Mummau (106) managed to last his entire match but ended up losing in a 4-1 decision.
Thankfully, the Bears showed life down the stretch, winning four of the last six bouts. Competing in his first match of the season after being out due to injury, senior Tyler Lanza (182) picked up a pinfall victory over Tyler Martin. Senior Javan Thomas (170), junior Cole Rice (152) and sophomore Bobby Walters also got pinfall wins. Elsewhere, senior Zach Frank (145) and junior Kaidyn Heaps (160) both fell in the second round.
Elizabethtown returned to Garden Spot on Friday, Jan. 25, and Saturday, Jan. 26, for the L-L League Championships. Despite some success early on, the Bears ultimately faded during the middle parts of the tournament, finishing 21st out of 23 teams in the overall standings.
Olson was the lone Bear to medal, taking sixth place in the 120. He opened Friday with a 14-3 majority decision over Taj Younger of Donegal, followed by a narrow 8-7 loss in the quarterfinals to Jace Beegle of Pequea Valley. During the consolation rounds, Olson pinned Marshall Adams of Warwick and beat Rafael Rodriguez of Conestoga Valley 8-6 to reach the semifinals before taking a pinfall loss to Garrett Gehr of Garden Spot. He then lost 10-3 in a rematch against Beegle in the fifth-place match.
Thomas (170) was the only other Elizabethtown wrestler to reach the quarterfinals. He got there by beating Conard Dillman of Conestoga Valley in a 10-8 decision. However, Thomas was forced to pull out during the middle of his bout against David Hnasko of Warwick due to a shoulder injury, which also prevented him from competing in the consolation bracket.
Mummau (106) won his first round match against Liam McGinley of Pequea Valley 9-4 before losing 7-1 to Trenton Ruble of Conestoga Valley. He then pinned Sam Smith of Cedar Crest and Javier Zuck of ELCO to advance in the consolation round, finally losing via pinfall to Caleb Banzoff of Penn Manor.
Lanza (182) had a similar path, pinning Henry Gartley of Lancaster Catholic in the first round, then falling to Cael Rapp of Donegal. He got a pinfall victory against Steven Colledge of Annville-Cleona in the consolation before getting pinned by Trey Donmoyer of ELCO.
Heaps (160) was the only other Elizabethtown wrestler to gain a victory during the tournament; he pinned Maury Bedolla of Lebanon in the first round. Afterward, he fell to Andrew Vogelbacher of McCaskey, then lost 9-4 to Charles Leidig of Manheim Township.
The remaining Bears wrestlers each lost their only two bouts; they included Nagel (113), Ginder (132), Walters (138), Frank (145), Rice (152), Perez (195) and Stackhouse (285).
Elizabethtown (3-14) is scheduled to compete at the Eastern York Duals on Saturday, Feb. 2, alongside Eastern York, Harrisburg, Halifax and the York County School of Technology.