Chambersburg wrestlers earn 2 District 3 gold medals

SPRING GROVE — The same match strategy that worked for Karl Shindledecker at 120 pounds worked for Tate Nichter at 172.

The result was a pair of titles for Chambersburg at the District 3 Class 3A Wrestling Championships at Spring Grove H.S. on Saturday.

Karl Shindledecker

Shindledecker used a pair of takedowns to get by Dover’s Mason Leiphart, 4-2, in a matchup of unbeatens, while Nichter scored three takedowns to one for Daniel Boone freshman Tucker Hogan to pick up a 6-5 victory.

Both of the Trojans, plus Shippensburg’s Dominic Frontino (3rd place at 138), now advance to the Super Regional at Altoona next Saturday. The event includes the top three finishers from District 3 and District 7 and the top two from the Northwest Regional. The top four from the Super Regional qualify for the PIAA Championships.

Nichter, who was a district champion as a sophomore, had a rough go at this tournament last year, but went 3-0 Saturday to put those feelings behind him. He beat Johnny Miller of Exeter 10-7 in the quarterfinals and Nathan Ridgley of Gettysburg 8-1 in the semifinals. For the day, he had 10 takedowns and was taken down only twice.

“It feels good,” Nichter said. “I was confident coming in, but I put no pressure on myself. I wasn’t nervous — just the usual amount of butterflies.”

In the final, Nichter (21-2) took Hogan down twice in the first period to lead 4-1. Hogan escaped and notched a late takedown in the second to tie it up. Nichter chose neutral for the third and scored his match-winning takedown in just 10 seconds. Hogan quickly escaped, but Nichter prevented any more scoring.

Tate Nichter

“I think I had experience on my side,” Nichter said. “I got stuffed at first on that last takedown shot, but went right back in and got a body lock. I lost a little focus when he took me down in the second, but at the end I was totally focused and he wasn’t going to get in on my legs. I used the mat well and stayed in the middle.”

Chambersburg coach Matt Mentzer said, “The kid he wrestled (Hogan) beat (Spring Grove’s Thomas) Dressler in the semis and rode him for two minutes. So we thought we’d have to win the takedown battles and Tate did, three to one.”

Shindledecker, a junior, struck for a takedown midway through the first to take the lead on Leiphart, a district runner-up last year. An escape made it 2-1 after one, then Leiphart rode Shindledecker for the entire second period.

Mentzer said, “We knew Mason was a terror on top, so we didn’t want that to be an option, if possible. That’s why that first takedown was so big.”

In the third, Shindledecker (19-0) chose neutral and scored a takedown with 0:59 left to take a 4-1 lead. Leiphart’s escape with 7 seconds left completed the scoring.

“The match was very much in jeopardy  before that last takedown,” Mentzer said. “Karl got in on two good shots and had clean finishes.”

Earlier, Shindledecker had won 7-0 over Gavin Richard of Daniel Boone and 10-2 over Josh Hillard of Manheim Township.

Shippensburg’s Frontino (17-3), a defending district champion, had a day filled with one-point decisions. Two came against Daniel Boone’s J.T. Hogan, both 1-0 wins for Frontino. One came in the quarterfinals and one in the match for third place. In both bouts, Frontino escaped midway through the second period for the only points. The only difference was Hogan chose down for the third period in the first match and neutral in the second.

In the semifinals, the Greyhound sophomore lost a heartbreaker to Caden Dobbins of Dallastown, 3-2. Frontino broke in front with a first-period takedown, but Dobbins tied it with an escape. In the third period, on bottom, Frontino was nailed for stalling to tie the match with 1:20 left.

In overtime, Dobbins escaped with 13 seconds left in the first tiebreaker and rode Frontino out in the second to take the win.

Chambersburg, which finished eighth in the team standings, had two other wrestlers in the tournament. Senior Anthony Colangelo forced two stalling points to win 2-1 over Aiden Swann of Cocalico, but fell 5-0 to Josh Miller of Central Dauphin in the semis, and then 5-2 to J.T. Hogan of Daniel Boone in consolations.

Sophomore Luke Mentzer was defeated 5-2 by Stephen Spitko of Daniel Boone, and then 6-1 by Dover’s Wyatt Dillon.

Waynesboro junior Bodi Rouzer lost 12-3 to CD’s Josh Miller, defeated Swann of Cocalico 2-0 on a first-period takedown, and then fell 7-0 to Frontino of Ship in the consy semifinals.