By Lynn Saternow
Herald Sports Editor
HERSHEY, Pa. — If familiarity truly breeds contempt as the saying goes, then the Reynolds and Boiling Springs wrestling teams certainly have no great love for one another.
It seems that almost every year the two clubs meet sometime during the PIAA State Class AA Dual Meet Championships. It was a rematch of last year’s semifinals Friday night at Hershey Giant Center and for a second straight year Reynolds prevailed, this time by a 31-26 score.
In last year’s semis, the Raiders won 31-20, avenging losses the previous two years to the Bubblers who are coached by former Lakeview High 3-time state champ Rod Wright.
And for a second straight year, the Raiders will face powerful Bethlehem Catholic in the championship match at 1 p.m. today. Last year the 3-time defending state champ Golden Hawks defeated Reynolds, 43-16.
How strong is Beth-Catholic this year? The Golden Hawks ripped District 10 runner-up Fort LeBoeuf, 73-0, early Friday before pounding Hamburg Area, 59-3, in the semis. LeBoeuf was later eliminated in the consys by Saucon Valley.
“We’ll have to wrestle a perfect match to win,” said Reynolds coach Casey Taylor regarding Beth-Catholic, “And have a few breaks go our way. But we’re down here to win so we’ll give it everything we have. We’re going out there to shut them out and wrestle hard and show them what Reynolds wrestling is all about.”
The match with Boiling Springs came down to the final bout at 220, with Reynolds holding a precarious 28-28 lead. But Raider freshman Cole Rickert came through with a heart-stopping 4-2 ultimate tie-breaker victory over senior Kyle Taylor to clinch the team triumph. Rickert scored a reveral for the win.
“That was the second best match I’ve ever been involved in,” said a thrilled Taylor in a phone conversation from a noisy bus. “That kid Cole wrestled was ranked No. 3 at 195. I can’t say enough about Cole. That’s one very big and big-hearted freshman who wanted it more for his team than himself. He put his team and community on his back.”
Reynolds, which defeated Huntingdon Area, 40-15, earlier Friday, opened against Boiling Springs by jumping out to an early lead in a match that began at heavyweight.
Gene Ringer (285) and Gage Bayless (106) both grabbed decisions, followed by Seth Hogue who recorded a fall at 113. But that 12-0 front didn’t last long.
At 120, Bubbler Korbin Myers picked up a tech fall over Chaise Myers. At 126, his teammate Grant Bond, a state qualifier last year, followed with a pin at 126 over Alec Reiter.
Raider Mike Bartolo, who was moved up to 132 from his normal 126 slot, dropped a tough 9-8 decision to A.J. Kostyak.
At 138, Bubbler Kyle Shoop, third in the state at 126 last year, pinned Alex DiGregorio to put Boiling Springs on top 20-12.
Reynolds state place-winner Levi Stoyer stopped the bleeding at 145 with a 9-2 decision over Tyler Kauffman, and at 152, Raider Mason McCollum came up with a second-period fall.
Bubbler Travis Wickard topped Kegan Miller, 8-3, at 160, but Raider Mike Millero pulled out a tough 5-3 verdict over Connor Murphy at 170 and Austin Moffett dominated Dylan McCoy for a 15-5 major at 182.
However, Boiling Springs’ Nathan Gouhin copped a 3-2 decision over Denton Zeronas at 195 and cut the Reynolds lead to 28-26 heading into the final bout and setting up the thrilling finish by Raider frosh Rickert.
ä Reynolds 40, Huntingdon Area 15 — At Hershey, the Raiders jumped out to a 21-0 lead before Huntingdon could get on the board and the rout was on.
Cole Rickert (220) and Gage Bayless (106) recorded falls to spark the great start, while Denton Zeronas (195) copped a decision and Gene Ringer (285) picked up a forfeit.
Mike Bartolo (126) had a major decision for the Raiders, while Joel Leise (132), Levi Stoyer (145), Mason McCollum (152) and Mike Millero (170) grabbed decisions.
Reynolds 31, Boiling Springs 26
285 - Gene Ringer (R) dec. Noah Davis, 3-2; 106 - Gage Bayless (R) dec. Jonathan Day, 7-3; 113 - Seth Hogue (R) pinned Devin Crum, :18; 120 - Korbin Myers (BS) tech fall Chaise Hauck, 25-10, 5:04; 126 - Grant Bond (BS) pinned Alec Reiter, :30; 132 - A.J. Kostyak (BS) dec. Mike Bartolo, 9-8; 138 - Kyle Shoop (BS) pinned Alex DiGregorio, 3:30; 145 - Levi Stoyer (R) dec. Tyler Kauffman, 9-2; 152 - Mason McCollum (R) pinned John Vaughn, 2:58; 160 - Travis Wickard (BS) dec. Kegan Miller, 8-3; 170 - Mike Millero (R) dec. Connor Murphy, 5-3; 182 - Austin Moffett (R) maj. dec. Dylan McCoy, 15-5; 195 - Nathan Gouhin (BS) dec. Denton Zeronas, 3-2; 220 - Cole Rickert (R) dec. Kyle Taylor, 4-2 UTB.
Reynolds 40; Huntingdon Area 15
195 - Denton Zeronas (R) dec Mitchell Lauer, 3-1; 220 - Cole Rickert (R) pinned Tyler Morningstar, 1:51; 285 - Gene Ringer (R) forfeit; 106 - Gage Bayless (R) pinned John Kline, 0:37; 113 - Collin Glorioso (H) dec. Seth Hogue, 2-0; 120 - Tyler Scott (H) dec. Chaise Hauck, 5-3; 126 - Mike Bartolo (R) major dec. Matt Wilson, 18-6; 132 - Joel Leise (R) dec Devon Green, 6-5; 138 - Nathan Russell (H) pinned Alex DiGregorio, 5:20; 145 - Levi Stoyer (R) dec Jacob Oliver, 8-5; 152 - Mason McCollum (R) dec. Jon Wagner, 2-1 (UTB); 160 - Kegan Miller (R) dec. Eric Lynn, 4-0; 170 - Mike Millero (R) dec. Logan Fisher, 6-1; 182 - Matt Norris (H) dec. Austin Moffett, 9-6.