New to the varsity lineup?
The Bermudian Springs High wrestling team welcomed four newcomers into the lineup Tuesday night at Littlestown High School, and they didn't miss a beat.
Neither did the Eagles, who as a team beat the Thunderbolts, 55-9.
Ted Marines, Austin Jackson, Jared Spahr and Tristan Sponseller all made their high school debuts for the Eagles. While Marines won by forfeit, the other three looked solid in their first varsity matches and drew praise from head coach Dave McCollum.
"They performed real well," McCollum said of his freshmen.
After the Bolts forfeited the 119- and 125-pound matches to Colby Starner and Tanner Coyle, respectively, Jackson took to the mat at 130 and wasted little time. He took Ryan Rickell down in the opening minute and quickly turned him to his back for six near-fall points.
Rickell, a sophomore, fended off Jackson's pinning attempts but couldn't score against Jackson, who won by major decision, 12-0.
"I felt like we had the kid pinned in the cradle," McCollum said. "But I'm sort of glad he didn't pin him, because these guys got to get used to wrestling six minutes. That's (Jackson's) first six-minute match ever."
The Eagles then sent their second rookie, Spahr, to the mat to face Littlestown junior Phil Guilday at 135. The two felt each other out through the first period before Spahr reversed Guilday from the bottom position to score the match's first points in the second period. Guilday scored a reversal of his own and then choose down to begin the third period.
In that period, Spahr rode Guilday for a bit before turning him for two near-fall points, but Guilday's reversal and tilt provided the Littlestown wrestler with the points necessary for a 7-4 decision.
"He wrestled a great match until the last 25 seconds, when he got high and then got reversed over to his back there," McCollum said of Spahr's match. "That'll come with more mat time and more experience. He
Guilday's win would be the last for Littlestown until heavyweight Allen Chrismer fell on top of Jonatan Jimenez for a pin just 32 seconds into the night's final bout.
"Chrismer, he'll always make something happen," Littlestown head coach Kerry Ferguson said. "He's not going to go out there and just dance around, lock up with somebody and see how long it takes somebody to get a takedown. Something's going to happen when he steps on the mat."
Between Littlestown's two wins, the Eagles strung together seven victories. including another impressive performance by a freshman.
After Ryan Starner, Damon Becker and Noah Blasone won their respective bouts at 140, 145 and 152, freshman Tristan Sponseller faced off with Littlestown senior Tanner Mitz at 160.
It was all Sponseller, who notched three takedowns, an escape and five back points in a 12-0 major decision win.
"Tristan, oh he looked real good, tough, solid. Mitz is definitely a tough wrestler," McCollum said. "Coming in, I figured that would tell me a lot where Sponseller is. Now I know."
Tyler Fitzkee, Jacob Slonaker and Matt Wolf added the other wins for Bermudian.
Wolf pinned Littlestown senior Luke Frymyer in 1:16 into the 215-pound bout.
McCollum admitted a few of his wrestlers have been struggling to cut weight, while the Bolts have struggled early this season to put enough wrestlers on the mats. Littlestown will not have wrestlers at 103 or 112 pounds this season.
"I've got two guys that could be 119 and 125, but they're ineligible for grades right now," Ferguson said. "So four forfeits at the beginning of the lineup definitely doesn't help us team-wise.
"I thought we wrestled pretty tough. Every match went six minutes except for one."