- The District 3 Class 3-A Wrestling Championships take place this weekend in Spring Grove.
- Mason Leiphart of Dover is a three-time district runner-up.
- Leiphart, in his senior season, is looking to win his first district championship.
- Leiphart, a four-time District 3 section champion, has a career record of 125-11.
Mason Leiphart hopes to finally take the plunge.
Since losing in the title match at last year’s Class 3-A District 3 Wrestling Championships and coming second for a third consecutive year at the event, the Dover standout High School has only one goal in mind – to finally clear the hurdle and win a neighborhood crown.
He will have one last opportunity to do so this weekend at Spring Grove High School in the 2022 District 3-A meet.
Leiphart has accomplished a lot for his team in his career, winning four consecutive District 3 Class 3-A Section titles and 125 games overall. In his senior year of high school, however, Leiphart looked like a man on a mission, dominating his opponents. The 120-pounder is the only undefeated wrestler remaining in the York-Adams League at 32-0. Still, the goal of winning a District 3 crown is one that ranks very high on Leiphart’s agenda.
“My first season, I was arrested. I was too shy and didn’t wrestle well. I’m thrilled to finally win one and break this streak. I want to move on to the state tournament,” Leiphart said.
There’s no foe the Dover senior is particularly interested in taking on, saying, “Wherever the cards fall, that’s who I’m going to fight.”
Leiphart broke record after record at Dover, notably compiling the most wins in school history. His career mark is 125-11.
At last year’s PIAA Class 3-A state meet, he finished third at 120. He has a legitimate shot at winning a gold medal at this year’s state meet at the mid-March in Hershey.
Competitive spirit: Nonetheless, Leiphart says it’s his competitive spirit that keeps him on the mat, rather than the awards he might win.
“I’ve been struggling for a long time,” he said. “I tried to improve in every way possible. I want to be well balanced and one of the best. I like sports in general and I like the competitive nature. I like the idea of two guys going out and one guy winning.
He already has his sights set on being an All-American at the college level. He will attend nearby NCAA Division III Franklin and Marshall Lancaster next fall.
His coach is impressed: Dover head wrestler Josh Murray has seen hard work from his star athlete over the years.
“He has motivation and he just wants to improve,” Murray said. “He sets the bar for wrestling. Get on the podium. He does extra training. In the gym and out of the weight room. Everything comes together. He is the product of all his hard work.
Leiphart has trained and improved in his craft over the years, developing his ability to wrestle low and high. Murray believes his hard work will eventually pay off at the district meet.
“One of the things he’s been working on is staying upright and staying neutral,” Murray said. “The big thing that remains is how he’s matured and how calm and composed he is. He’s always been that way. He excels in those areas and his athletic abilities are the best in the district. He has always had the best attitude.
Develop a strategy: Leiphart says he now takes his time to develop a strategy, compared to when he first started wrestling, when he was rushing into battle. This change may play a key role in his ability to win a District Championship. He knows that when he steps onto the mat in one of the last fights of his high school career, his accolades or records won’t matter to his opponent.
“Records don’t matter,” Leiphart said. “Anything can happen. Every week you start 0-0. To finally win there (the District 3 encounter), I have to fight to the best of my ability first. Stay neutral. Set some good shots and finish.
Contact Dante Green at [email protected] or on Twitter at @ydsports.