Irwin: Duals experience will aid Ridge down the road

In case you missed it, and you probably did unless you were checking out the internet, Chestnut Ridge went 4-1 at the Dale Bock Duals on Saturday in Chambersburg.

The Lions’ only loss was a 31-30 nailbiter against Chambersburg. They beat Century, 65-9, Fairfield, 63-10, Bermudian Springs, 37-24, and State College, 42-29. To keep the Lions fresh, coach Greg Lazor inserted five new wrestlers into the lineup at various points. It pays to have a deep roster in a dual meet tournament.

While the Chambersburg loss will be one that will likely be talked about and analyzed within the Ridge wrestling community – both teams won seven bouts – it’s the win over Bermudian Springs that caught my attention.

Bermudian Springs is 7-2, with its other loss coming to Chambersburg, 33-29, in the Duals. Last year, Springs went 28-4 and made the PIAA Team Duals consolation semifinals before losing to Brookville.

Ridge won eight bouts against Springs, including five decisions. The key win was Bradie Bollman’s 6-5 decision over Jacob Slonaker at 170. Tyler Dibert suffered a 6-0 loss to Tristan Sponseller, who finished third in the PIAA Championships last season.

It’s a new year, but a win like that should give the Lions a little more confidence as they go through the rest of the season. Tough competition will sharpen them and get them ready for the District 5 Duals and possibly the PIAA Duals.

Bedford, of course, will have something to say about that. The Bisons, who are veterans of the PIAA Duals, losing to Fort LeBoeuf, 37-30, in the same round as Bermudian Springs, and will have that Dec. 18 loss to Ridge in the back of their minds.

Marsteller gets challenge

After states last season, I said the only way Kennard-Dale two-time state champion Chance Marsteller would be beaten in high school would be with a baseball bat.

Canon McMillan two-time state champion Cody Wiercioch nearly provided the bat.

The two met in the 170-pound finals of the Powerade Christmas Tournament, and Marsteller, a junior, won, 3-2, escaping 3 seconds into the ultimate tiebreaker. All the points were scored on escapes, but, according to the Observer-Reporter, the bout lived up to the hype.

It will be interesting to see if they’re at the same weight in Hershey.

Altons don’t make trip

Last week, I wondered how Penn State coach Cael Sanderson would handle the situation with Andrew and Dylan Alton. For the short, they’re not in the lineup. Neither wrestled in the Southern Scuffle.

The twins, who graduated from Central Mountain, were cited for disorderly conduct, public drunkenness and harassment in Lock Haven in December.

James Volrath, who backs up Dylan Alton at 157, made the most of his opportunity on the first day of the Scuffle, advancing to the finals.

Back to Tuesdays

After two straight Thursday appearances, the wrestling page returns to Tuesdays.

Todd Irwin can be reached at 946-7464 or at He can be followed on Twitter at ToddIrwin1.