By Lynn Saternow
Herald Sports Editor
HERSHEY, Pa. — Reynolds High wrestling coach Casey Taylor believes the premise: If you don’t learn from history you are doomed to repeat it. So he drummed it into his team this week that you can’t take the opening match lightly at the PIAA State Class AA Dual Meet Championships.
The Raiders obviously were paying attention.
Reynolds rolled over Saucon Valley, 44-16, Thursday in their opening bout at Hershey Giant Center, a huge difference from last year when the Raiders barely escaped with a 35-29 victory over SV in a nail-biter.
“The guys did a good job of wrestling a complete match,” said a happy Coach Taylor, in a much better mood than after last season’s squeaker. “It’s probably even better than expected. Our guys came through in some close matches.”
The Raiders will take on Huntingdon Area, a 43-15 winner over South Fayette, at noon today in the tourney quarterfinals. A win there would move Reynolds to the 8 p.m. semifinals, where they will probably face Boiling Springs in a rematch of last year’s semis.
“Huntingdon is strong, but I think we can win,” said Taylor, who figures to see a rematch with the Boiling Spings Bubblers, coached by former Lakeview High three-time state champ Rod Wright.
Thursday’s match opened at 120 and Saucon Valley jumped out to a quick lead as veteran Ty Drunkenmiller notched an 11-3 decision over Raider freshman Chaise Hauck. That was the only Panther lead of the day as Raider junior 126-pounder Mike Bartolo dominated Bret Svites for a technical fall, 25-8, and put Reynolds on top, 5-4.
“I was really impressed with Bartolo,” said Taylor. “He scored 16 points in the first period on his way to that tech fall. The team needed that energy.”
And that carried over to close wins in the next two bouts as Reynolds freshman Joel Leise followed with a hardfought, 4-2 decision over Dylan Yonney at 132 and senior Alex DiGregorio worked a controlled 3-0 victory over Nick Scheider at 138.
A pair of seniors then scored big for Reynolds as Levi Stoyer copped a tech fall at 145 and Mason McCollum a pin at 152. That vaulted Reynolds into a commanding 22-4 front.
Panther Devin Fontenez halted the Raider run at 160 with a 3-1 victory over Kegan Miller, but Raider veteran Mike Millero came up with a big 6-5 triumph over Jason Lynch at 170. Lynch had beaten Millero, 10-1, in last year’s meeting.
“Mike fell behind but scored two takedowns in the third period,” said Taylor. “I think that win will really get him going the rest of the tournament.”
At 182, Raider senior Austin Moffett notched a first-period pin to widen the Reynolds margin.
SV made a slight comeback, picking up a forfeit at 195 and an 8-2 decision at 220 as Tyler Kehs beat freshman Cole Rickert, 8-2.
However, Raider sophomore heavyweight Gene Ringer locked up the victory with a 2-1 decision over Matthew Ehrirtz.
That turned the match back to the young, but talented Raider lightweights. Gage Bayless (106) and Seth Hogue (113) and they didn’t disappoint as both won handily to close out the match. Bayless had a major decision and Hogue a first-period pin.
In other AA first round matches, defending champ Bethlehem Catholic crushed Lower Moreland, 73-0; District 10 runner-up Fort LeBoeuf whipped Towanda Area, 44-19; Hamburg Area nipped Burrell, 35-33; Brookville thumped Western Wayne, 54-12; Boiling Springs pounded Redbank Valley, 53-15; and Chestnut Ridge downed Montoursville, 37-22.
REYNOLDS 44, SAUCON VALLEY 16
120 — Ty Drukenmiller (SV) maj. dec. Chaise Hauck, 11-3; 126 — Mike Bartolo (R) tech fall Bret Svites, 25-8, 6:00; 132 — Joel Leise (R) dec. Dylan Yonney, 4-2; 138 — Alex DiGregorio (R) dec. Nick Schneider, 3-0; 145 — Levi Stoyer (R) tech fall Nathan Harka, 17-1, 5:58; 152 — Mason McCollum (R) pinned Blayne Hirshbeck, 1:31; 160 — Devin Fontenez (SV) dec. Kegan Miller, 3-1; 170 — Mike Millero (R) dec. Jason Lynch, 6-5; 182 — Austin Moffett (R) pinned Brandon Blobe (SV), 1:18; 195 — Justin Blobe (SV) forfeit; 220 — Tyler Kehs (SV) dec. Cole Rickert, 8-2; 285 — Gene Ringer (R) dec. Matthew Ehrirtz, 2-1; 106 — Gage Bayless maj. dec. Jack Hill, 11-1; 113 — Seth Hogue (R) pinned Jared Kyra, :31.