District 3 wrestling championships: Here are 13 grapplers to watch this weekend

Matt Allibone
York Daily Record

Will any new champions emerge at the District 3 wrestling championships this weekend?

That's the question for competitors in the GameTimePA coverage area (York-Adams league, Franklin, Lebanon counties). All five of last season's Class 3A champs (Dover's Mason Leiphart, Dallastown's Caden Dobbins, Gettysburg's Sam Rodriguez and Trevor Gallagher and Chambersburg's Karl Shindledecker) have graduated. Only Northern Lebanon phenom Aaron Seidel returns in Class 2A.

But there are plenty of wrestlers from the area with a chance of winning gold or qualifying for states. The top four at each weight qualify for states in Class 3A. The top seven at each weight qualify for the regional tournament in Class 2A. The District 3 tournament also serves as the regional tournament in Class 3A.

The Class 3A tournament will take place Friday and Saturday at Spring Grove while the Class 2A tournament will be held at Central Dauphin East.

Here are the wrestlers to watch in the GameTimePA area.

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Aaron Seidel, Northern Lebanon, so., 107 pounds

Ashton Kriss (ELCO) tries his best to keep his back off the mat as Aaron Seidel (NL) takes control early. The two-day LL League wrestling championships concluded Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023 at Manheim Township.

The reigning state champ hasn't lost this season — or since January of his freshman year. He's earned bonus points in 36 of his 38 wins this season and is clearly the favorite to win his second District 3 Class 2A title. However, he could have an interesting bout in the finals if he makes it as expected. On the other side of the bracket, Trinity freshman Will Detar is 32-0 this season and has earned bonus points in 29 of those victories. A matchup between those two could be one of the highlights of the weekend. Don't be surprised if Seidel and Detar face each other a couple of times in March at regionals and states.

Hayden Yacoviello-Andrus, Bermudian Springs, fr., 127 pounds

Bermudian Springs' Hayden Yacoviello-Andrus was voted the GameTimePA YAIAA boys' Athlete of the Week for Jan. 16-21. The freshman moved to 27-3 after a tech fall during a dual match vs. Fairfield. He has recorded 16 wins by fall this season.

The Eagles freshman has been a revelation this season. He's 32-3 this season but hasn't lost since Jan. 7. Since then, he's 17-0 with 11 pins. He will be favored to reach the district finals in Class 3A, but don't be surprised if he faces off with Berks Catholic junior Marvin Armistead, who is 37-3 and took third at districts last season.

Elijah Hewitt, Northeastern, so., 121 pounds

Northeastern wrestlers Elijah Hewitt (left) and Constantino Kocoronis pose for a photo during YAIAA winter sports media day on Thursday, November 10, 2022, in York.

Now on to the area's Class 3A wrestlers. Hewitt is coming off his second sectional title but is looking for his first district medal and trip to states. The Bobcat sophomore went 28-4 this season with bonus points coming in 25 of those wins. He won't have an easy match in either of the first two rounds, and a trip to the semifinals could match him up with Warwick star junior Marco Tocci (31-4). Northeastern has only had two District 3 champions in program history — Blaine Yinger in 2016 and Scott White in 1978.

Luke Mentzer, Chambersburg, sr., 127 pounds

Chambersburg wrestling's Luke Mentzer poses for a photo at Mid-Penn Media Day on Thursday, November 10, 2022

Mentzer has never finished higher than fifth at districts but is a prime contender for a gold medal this weekend. The senior is 30-6 this season but is entering districts coming off a dominant performance at the sectional tournament last weekend. Still, he faces a tough bracket this weekend. He's split two matchups with Liam Flanagan (37-7) this season and could face the Central Dauphin junior in the semifinals. If Mentzer reaches the final, he could have a rematch with Hempfield junior Seamus Mack. A high-scoring match between the pair back in December ended in a Mentzer pin.

Tyler Adams, York Suburban, jr., 127 pounds

York Suburban's Tyler Adams, right, wrestles Central York's Elias Long in the 106 pound bout in Spring Garden Township on Tuesday, February 9, 2021. Adams won, 5-0.

The junior is looking for his first trip to the state tournament but will have to navigate that tough 127 bracket in Class 3A. Adams is 30-2 this season and has earned bonus points in 28 of his wins. He's coming off his first sectional title. But a first-round win will likely match him up with Liam Flanagan in the quarterfinals, and a win there could give him a shot at Luke Mentzer in the semifinals. It won't be easy to finish top four in this bracket.

Levi Snyder, Spring Grove, sr., 133 pounds

Levi Snyder of Spring Grove (top) pins Graham Turnbull of Dallastown (bottom) in the 106 pound bout during the YAIAA wrestling match between Dallastown and Spring Grove, January, 21, 2021. Spring Grove defeated Dallastown 27-26.

A year after he went through an injury-plagued season, Snyder is hoping to cap his impressive career with his first trip to states. The senior is 36-2 this season and dropped down to 133 after competing at 139 for most of the season. His last loss came by an 8-2 score to Cumberland Valley's Jake Mitchell, who is on the other side of the 133-pound bracket in Class 3A. But Snyder will have plenty of work to do before he can think about a potential rematch in the finals. Solanco's Jared Fulton (32-3) and Boiling Springs' Eli Bounds (31-4) are contenders on his side of the bracket. And Northern York's Rocco Fratelli (29-5) might be the favorite to win the title.

Elias Long, Central York, jr., 139 pounds

Central York's Elias Long has his hand raised after winning his 133-pound bout during a YAIAA Division I dual meet against Spring Grove at Central York High School on Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022, in Springettsbury Township. The Rockets won, 39-33.

The junior is coming off his first sectional title and is looking to improve on his sixth-place finish at districts last season. In a wide-open 139-pound bracket, he might have a shot at gold. Long is 33-8 with 19 pins this season.

Carter Davis, Central York, jr., 152 pounds

Central York's Carter Davis (left) wrestles Spring Grove's Luke Smyser in the 152-pound bout during a YAIAA Division I dual meet at Central York High School on Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022, in Springettsbury Township. The Rockets won, 39-33.

The junior will try to make it back to states and improve on his third-place finish at districts a year ago. Davis is 30-6 this season despite wrestling against a difficult slate of wrestlers from across the state. He's coming off his second straight sectional title. However, he now finds himself in perhaps the toughest bracket of the tournament. If he can reach the semifinals, Davis could face off with Cumberland Valley's Gabriel Belga (32-7). Belga has 124 career wins and is on a 18-match winning streak entering the tournament. As for the other side of the bracket ...

Griffin Gonzalez, Lebanon, sr., 152 pounds

Griffin Gonzalez (L) gets the win due to INJ at the 4:50 mark. The two-day LL League wrestling championships concluded Saturday, Jan. 28, 2023 at Manheim Township.

Gonzalez has been one of the best wrestlers in District 3 at any weight this season. He's 36-2 with those two defeats coming to out-of-state wrestlers at a tournament. The Lehigh commit has a 141-16 career record and a 2021 District 3 title, but also plenty of motivation after taking just fourth at districts last season. He's expected to improve on the seventh-place state medal he earned in 2022. However, he's also in the same bracket as Central Dauphin's Ryan Garvick, who is competing at 152 pounds this season after taking second in the state at 160 last year. The two will face off in the semifinals if they both get that far — though Garvick will have to get past Boiling Springs' Michael Duggan (33-3) in the quarterfinals. Gonzalez has already beaten Cumberland Valley's Gabriel Belga this season.

Dominic Frontino, Shippensburg, sr., 160 pounds

Shippensburg's Dominic Frontino, top, rolls Chartiers Valley's Dylan Evans during a 152-pound quarterfinal bout at the PIAA Class 3A Wrestling Championships at the Giant Center on Friday, March 11, 2022, in Derry Township. Evans won by decision, 10-3. Frontino finished the tournament in eighth place.

Frontino enters the District 3 tournament with 99 career wins and a 28-1 record this season. And while he had an impressive season last year — winning a sectional title, taking second at districts and eighth at states — he seems primed for an even bigger run this postseason. The Brown commit has picked up bonus points in 24 of his 28 wins and his lone loss came in sudden victory (overtime). Gettysburg's Jaxon Townsend (32-7) and Manheim Central's Brett Barbush (38-3) loom on the other side of the bracket, but Frontino might be the favorite for the district title.

Macon Myers, Central York, sr., 172 pounds

Central York's Macon Myers (right) wrestles Spring Grove's Logan Altland in the 172-pound bout during a YAIAA Division I dual meet at Central York High School on Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2022, in Springettsbury Township. The Rockets won, 39-33.

Myers came one win from a state medal last season, and he took his final defeat hard. He enters his senior postseason looking to improve on a third-place finish at districts at 160 pounds last year. He should have a good shot to do that with a 33-2 record that includes 22 pins. On the other side of the bracket, J.P. McCaskey's Kevin Olavarria looms with a 30-0 record.

Zach Evans, Chambersburg, sr., 215 pounds

Chambersburg wrestling's Zach Evans poses for a photo at Mid-Penn Media Day on Thursday, November 10, 2022

The senior is five wins away from 100 and looking to qualify for states for the first time. Coming off a sectional title with a 36-7 record this season, Evans is one of the top wrestlers in a tough 215-pound bracket. If he can reach the semifinals, Evans could face Wilson's Ryan McMillan (42-6), who he beat, 7-3, earlier this season. On the other side of the bracket, J.P. McCaskey's Jose Garcia is 32-0 and looking to improve on a fourth-place finish last season. Shippensburg's Diesel Koser (25-9) and Spring Grove's Teague Conover (31-5) will also look to finish top four and qualify for states.

Michael Hershey, Spring Grove, jr., heavyweight

Spring Grove junior Michael Hershey has his hand raised by referee Bryant Meckley after pinning New Oxford's Micah Smith in the 285-pound bout at Spring Grove Area High School on Thursday, January 12, 2023, in Jackson Township.

The Division I football recruit has had a breakout season on the wrestling mat. Hershey is 33-4 this season and coming off his first sectional title. That has come after going 23-14 and not placing at districts as a sophomore. The 6-foot-5, 255-pound heavyweight has the quickness to wrestle aggressively, and that aggression has resulted in 32 of his 37 bouts ending in pins this season. Carlisle's Layton Schmick (32-1), Twin Valley's Ean Winchester (34-3) and Donegal's Nicholai Brotzman (31-2) are other contenders in this bracket.

GameTimePA wrestlers competing at the District 3 tournament

The qualifiers are listed with where the finished at last week's sectional tournaments:

Class 2A

107: Aaron Seidel, Northern Lebanon (1st), Cole Schisler, Bermudian Springs (3rd), Kye Nelson, Biglerville (4th), Oliver Funck, Annville-Cleona (5th).

114: Sam Wolford, Northern Lebanon (2nd), Brody Gardner, Biglerville (4th), Isaac Garner, Eastern York (5th), Connor Laughman, Hanover (6th).

121: Julian Zaragoza, Northern Lebanon (2nd), Daniel Corbin, Hanover (4th), Austin Anderson, Bermudian Springs (5th)

127: Hayden Yacoviello-Andrus, Bermudian Springs (1st), Owen Lehman, Northern Lebanon (3rd), Camron Weidlich, Eastern York (5th), Kenneth Hernandez, Hanover (6th)

133: Caden Rankin, Littlestown (2nd), Reece Daniels, Bermudian Springs (3rd), Cael Harter, Annville-Cleona (4th), Brayden Lighty, Eastern York (6th).

139: Cameron Mingee, Littlestown (2nd), Devon Ponce, Biglerville (3rd), Clayton Neff, Kennard-Dale (4th), Jackson Keffer, Bermudian Springs (5th), Landon Hostetter, Annville-Cleona (6th).

145: Joey Ney, Biglerville (2nd), Oliver Carey, Annville-Cleona (4th), Bryce Harner, Bermudian Springs (6th).

152: Seth Lady, Biglerville (3rd), Conor Leonard, Northern Lebanon (3rd), Jahmar Gonzalez-Allie, Annville-Cleona (4th), Michael Schmit, Kennard-Dale (5th).

160: Phoenix Music, Annville-Cleona (3rd), Aizik Shoap, Hanover (4th), Jonathan Buitimea-Garcia, Biglerville (5th).

172: Tanner Rock, Littlestown (1st), Eli Ostermayer, Northern Lebanon (4th), Ethan Sgrignoli, Eastern York (4th), Landon Taylor, Biglerville (6th).

189: Cole Staker, Eastern York (1st), Clayton Erb, Northern Lebanon (2nd), Levi Roberts, Biglerville (4th).

215: Mason Keiper, Biglerville (3rd), Lincoln Kearchner, Fairfield (6th).

285: Jonathan Anders, Fairfield (3rd), Bryce Myers, Eastern York (5th), Hayden Adams, Northern Lebanon (6th), Mason Mentzer, Biglerville (6th).

Class 3A

107: Justin Adams, York Suburban (2nd), Ashton Kriss, Elco (2nd), Tyler Detwiler, Palmyra (2nd), Ben Hoover, Chambersburg (3rd), Harris Heares, Central York (3rd), Carter Hoffman, Dover (4th).

114: Eli Leiphart, Dover (2nd), Tanner Grim, Spring Grove (3rd), Zach Sherman, Chambersburg (3rd), Joshua Smith, Palmyra (4th), Cash Twigg, Central York (4th).

121: Elijah Hewitt, Northeastern (1st), Jackson Orrell, Red Lion (2nd), Rylan Carter, Chambersburg (2nd), Zane Trostle, Elco (3rd), Nathaniel Brown, West York (3rd), Aiden Karlie, Dallastown (4th).

127: Luke Mentzer, Chambersburg (1st), Steven Rosado, Elco (1st), Tyler Adams, York Suburban (1st), Jerry Dattoli, New Oxford (2nd), Damian Key, Dallastown (3rd), Mason Harvey, Red Lion (4th).

133: Levi Snyder, Spring Grove (1st), Jayden Rooney, Waynesboro (2nd), Gehret Gentzyel, York Suburban (3rd), Daniel Pierce, South Western (4th).

139: Elias Long, Central York (1st), Landen Brubaker, Elco (3rd), Wylan Damon, Red Lion (3rd), Jarod Baker, Spring Grove (4th).

145: Wyatt Dillon, Central York (1st), Tyler Frye, Chambersburg (2nd), Eddie Alcantara, Shippensburg (3rd), Brayden Gentzyel, York Suburban (3rd), Owen Smith, Red Lion (4th).

152: Griffin Gonzalez, Lebanon (1st), Carter Davis, Central York (1st), Garrett Lowans, Waynesboro (2nd), Frank Gulli, Red Lion (3rd), Mason Bucks, Palmyra (4th).

160: Dominic Frontino, Shippensburg (1st), Chase Amspacher, Spring Grove (2nd), Nathan Brake, James Buchanan (3rd), Rylan Maley, Northeastern (3rd), Lane Johnson, New Oxford (4th).

172: Macon Myers, Central York (1st), Isaiah Feeney, Dallastown (2nd), Titus Mong, Waynesboro (3rd), John Gleason, Shippensburg (3rd), Cole Jones, York Suburban (4th).

189: Aiden Hight, Chambersburg (2nd), Robbie Sterner, South Western (2nd), Aiden Grim, Dallastown (3rd), Caden Shockey, Waynesboro (4th).

215: Zach Evans, Chambersburg (1st), Teague Conover, Spring Grove (1st), Diesel Koser, Shippensburg (2nd), Tim Hall, Susquehannock (2nd), Kyle Miller, Elco (3rd), James Lopez, Red Lion (3rd), Benjamin Usow, Dallastown (4th).

285: Michael Hershey, Spring Grove (1st), Avery Kuhns, Chambersburg (2nd), Ian Scully, Central York (2nd), Ethan Nelson, Red Lion (3rd), Micah Smith, New Oxford (4th).

Matt Allibone is a sports reporter for GameTimePA. He can be reached at 717-881-8221, mallibone@ydr.com or on Twitter at @bad2theallibone.