Eric Howe of Lancaster Catholic and Riley Robell of Bishop McDevitt earned individual District 3 titles in this year’s Class 2A wrestling tournament on Feb. 21 at Central Dauphin East High School. The two Crusaders topped the podium in the 120-pound and heavyweight brackets, respectively.
Although the District Championships saw a smaller field of entrants (from 12 to eight) in an effort to help keep participants socially distanced to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the competition proved to be tough. Participants wrestled all championship and/or consolation rounds in one day. In addition, the 2A District Finals were held one day after the Sectionals tournament to assemble the District field.
Eric Howe, a junior, outmatched Hamburg’s Parker Davidson, 11-7, leading the 120-pound match from start to finish. Howe is Lancaster Catholic’s 11th District wrestling champion.
In the heavyweight final, Bishop McDevitt’s Riley Robell edged Bermudian Springs’ Hogan Swenski, 3-1. Robell, a gold medalist last year at 182 lbs., became Bishop McDevitt’s 21st wrestling champion since 2013.
Trinity’s Makoa Neibel also wrestled his way into the finals, earning silver at 172-pounds after a third-period pin by his opponent, Hamburg’s Brant Mason.
The top four finalists in each weight class will move on to the Southeast Regional Tournament this weekend where the top wrestlers will qualify for a Super Regional Tournament for a shot at the PIAA state finals on March 6.
Diocesan high school wrestlers in the hunt are Howe, Robell and Neibel, along with McDevitt’s Jakob Gilfoil (138 lbs.), Andrew Christie (145 lbs.) and Kade Werner (189 lbs.), and Trinity’s Tucker Paytner (160 lbs.).
(Photos by Jen Reed, The Catholic Witness.)
By Jen Reed, The Catholic Witness