Meadville Tribune

Sports

January 31, 2013

H.S. WRESTLING: Area teams begin quest for D-10 gold

MEADVILLE — It’s hard to ask for a better season than the General McLane wrestling team is having this year.

The Lancers have dominated nearly every event they’ve entered this season, be it the 12 regular-season dual matches they’ve won by an average of 37.4 points each, of their first-place titles at Meadville’s Tool City Tournament and Grove City’s Fred Bell Tournament.

So, it’s hard to ask for more. But it’s not impossible.

Now the Lancers have their sights set on some major hardware. First on the shopping list is the District 10 Class AAA team duals, which starts today at 5 p.m. at Central Tech High School in Erie.

“Being in this tournament and having a chance to compete for a title was one of the team’s goals at the beginning of the season,” said Lancers head coach Ryan Cook. “There are certain competitions that, at the beginning of season, you have earmarked. This was one of them.”

McLane, the No. 1 seed at the event, faces No. 4 seed Warren (9-4) in the semifinals. At the same time, second-ranked McDowell (10-1), the two-time defending D-10 champ and last year’s state runner-up, takes on third-seed Titusville (9-4).

The two semifinal winners will square off in the championship match, which is slated for 7 p.m.

The semifinals will mark the second head-to-head meeting for McLane and Warren. The two teams squared off on Jan. 16. McLane won in a blowout, 68-3.

Tonight’s McDowell-Titusville clash will also be a rematch. On Dec. 18, the Trojans defeated the Rockets 62-9.

If everything goes according to plan, it should be McDowell and McLane in the final, again. At last year’s team duals, McDowell beat GM 44-16 for the D-10 crown. The Trojans later went on to finish second at the PIAA team championships, losing the title match to Canon-McMillan, 35-20.

Last year’s run by McDowell is serving as a template that GM hopes to follow this season.

“McDowell set a precedent for our district at the state duals last year,” said Cook. “For a program in our situation, that’s something we can strive to match. They set the goals for us. And we’re looking to attain what they had and more.”

This season, the Lancers got a little bit of revenge over the Trojans, defeating them 34-23 in an exciting regular season dual back on Dec. 20.

They’ll need another victory like that to keep moving on as a team. The winner of the Class AAA duals will advance to the PIAA Team Championship, which will be held Feb. 7 through 9 at The Giant Center in Hershey.

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