Mason Leiphart admitted it was weird.

The moment he had been waiting for was here… and it ended with a simple arm lift.

The Dover senior has finally won a Class 3A District 3 title after finishing runners-up for the past three seasons. He kept his undefeated season alive.

But he came on medical discharge after Kamdyn Williams of Manheim Township sat out the 120-pound final at Spring Grove High School on Saturday. Dover head coach Josh Murray said officials at Spring Grove told them Williams “didn’t feel well” ahead of the championship round.

A sophomore and defending District 3 Class 3A champion at 113 pounds, Williams did not attend the medal ceremony on the podium.

“I kept warming up and it was really awkward knowing that I’m going to go out there and just raise my hand,” Leiphart said. “Especially in a tournament like this.

“It’s a bit (bittersweet) but I’m just happy to have it after three silver medals.”

Williams will be required to produce a doctor’s note clearing him to participate in the state tournament.

As for Leiphart, the senior will now focus on trying to win a ‘bigger and better’ goal – as Murray put it.

“Mason is looking for that gold medal in the United States and to stand on top of that podium in March,” Murray said. “I know Mason was looking forward to a district championship. We talked about it earlier this year. Sadly, it was meant to end like this, but it’s something they can’t take away from him.

It has already been a historic season and career for the Dover and Franklin and Marshall senior. He set Dover’s career record for wins earlier this winter and now has a career record of 127-11. He is 34-0 this season.

He became Dover’s first District 3 champion since Mark Eckenrode in 1989.

A third-place state medalist at 120 pounds last year, Leiphart said he hasn’t changed much in his approach since going 26-3 last season.

“I think I fight a little smarter in neutral, but other than that I’m the same as any other year,” Leiphart said. “My ultimate goal is to win, but everyone is good, so you have to take it one game at a time. You can’t be overzealous and skip to the final.

Dallastown wins defensive battle for first title

Dallastown's Caden Dobbins, top, controls Spring Grove's Luke Smyser seconds before getting a pin in the 152-pound bout during a YAIAA Division I wrestling match at Spring Grove Area High School on Thursday, Jan. 20, 2022, in Jackson Township.  The fall, at 1:42, gave the Wildcats a 33-27 victory and the division title.

Caden Dobbins says Dallastown coach Dave Gable is trying to get him to show his emotions a little more.

Still, Gable admitted he might not be the best messenger – since the longtime coach is usually stoic himself.

Dobbins continued his stellar senior season by beating Dominic Frontino of Shippensburg, 1-0, for the gold medal at 152 pounds. Dobbins escaped to start the second period, then controlled Frontino for the entire third period to claim the victory.

The elder barely smiled afterwards – although the thought of a celebratory steak dinner earned him a brief smile.

“He’s such a humble competitor and a team player for us,” Gable said of Dobbins. “To see him be a senior district champion and avenge a few losses, I’m very happy for him.

Learn more about Dobbins:YAIAA wrestler continues stellar season with decisive title win

Dobbins won what was considered one of the toughest weight classes in the District 3 Class 3A tournament. Three of the four quarter-final games were decided by three points or less. Dobbins won three of his four fights over the weekend by three points or less.

He is now 37-2 this season.

And he got Frontino back after losing to him twice in the playoffs – 3-2 in the districts and 6-5, in last year’s “Super Regional” tournament. Dobbins said he didn’t expect this year’s game to go so low, but it did benefit him after he entered the third.

He tried to go for a cradle early in the third period but then stuck to his defense.

“You just have to be smart and not do anything stupid to give the opponent another point,” Dobbins said. “You’re still looking for a crib but I was still happy with the (1-0 win).”

Dobbins is now a three-time state qualifier, but will go for his first state medal.

Dobbins and Leiphart were the two York County wrestlers to win the District 3 Class 3A titles. Spring Grove’s Ivan Vega made the 132-pound final but lost 16-0 to Central Dauphin’s Matt Repos.

Gettysburg continues incredible season with two individual titles

Samuel Rodriguez of Gettysburg, left, locks arms with Owen Champ of Donegal in a 215-pound first-round bout during day one of the PIAA District 3 Class 3A Wrestling Championships at Spring Grove Area High School on Friday, February 25, 2022, in Jackson Township.  Rodriguez won by pinfall at 2:20.

Gettysburg head coach Chris Haines said his wrestlers are driven by their desire to see themselves succeed.

This has been key to an incredible streak of three consecutive District 3 tag team title appearances and two championships over the past three years.

Haines was therefore unsurprised when senior heavyweight Trevor Gallagher earned a hard-fought 3-2 win over Central Dauphin’s Ben Stewart moments after his close friend Sam Rodriguez won the 215-pound title, 11-3 , against Travis Armstrong of Central Dauphin East.

“We’re a very tight group and this team this season has been outstanding,” Haines said. “When someone works hard, it hurts everyone. With Sam winning, it just created the platform for Trevor to come out and exude the confidence to do something he’s never done before.

Trevor Gallagher of Gettysburg, right, wrestles Caleb Mussmon of Hempfield in a 285-pound quarterfinal bout at the District 3 SC Class 3A PIAA Area Wrestling Championships at Spring Grove Area High School on Saturday, February 27 2021. Gallagher won in the fall at 4:22.

Both titles continued an incredible season for Gettysburg, which went undefeated and beat Central Dauphin for the District 3 tag team title earlier this season. Haines was also named District 3 Coach of the Year by fellow coaches on Saturday. And Gettysburg had four individual qualifiers for the state tournament on Saturday.

It was the first individual district title for Rodriguez and Gallagher.

For Gallagher, it was a redeeming moment. He’s lost to Stewart in the tag team final for the past two seasons – having been pinned last year and losing 6-0 this year. The elder scored his three points in the third with an early breakout followed by a takedown.

“The last two times, I was caught by the same thing. It feels good to recover,” said Gallagher, who is now 39-5 this season. “I wouldn’t be where I am without Sam. He pushes me so much in the wrestling room.

Rodriguez’s season was even more telling. He has never placed in the districts before this year. He is now 35-2 this season.

The 215-pound senior said his improvement this season has been completely “mental”. Haines agreed and said the pair had many “sit-down, heart-to-heart, noise-to-noise” conversations in the past.

“I always dreamed of being here, but every year I took it for granted and I took my coaches for granted,” Rodriguez said. “This year, I took full advantage of my teammates and my coaches. Thanks to them I have my success. It’s a different mindset. I appreciate things more now that I’m a senior.

Chambersburg wrestler hopes to claim state title after earning 100th victory

Chambersburg's Karl Shindledecker, top, holds off York's Elias Lon in a 126-pound first-round bout on day one of the PIAA District 3 Class 3A Wrestling Championships at Spring Grove Area High School on Friday, February 25, 2022, in Jackson Township.  Shindledecker won by major decision, 8-0.

Karl Shindledecker said his two District 3 titles were “pretty dumb”.

But he said he was probably a little more “hyped” this year than last season after claiming his 100th career victory in the final on Saturday. He beat Manheim Township’s Josh Hillard, 6-0, in the 126-pound final.

He said he wasn’t sure he would get his 100th win this season after missing time this year due to illness. He is now 21-1 this season.

His teammate, Aiden Hight, reached the 189-pound final, but mostly against Exeter’s Johnny Miller, 9-1.

After taking second place in the state tournament at 126 pounds last year, Shindledecker said he was more focused on winning state gold than his district crowns.

“It gives me a bit more confidence and a better mindset,” he said. “I held this position last year and I expect to be back in the same position. Try to get gold, not silver.

GameTimePA coverage area PIAA qualifications

Here are wrestlers from York, Adams, Lebanon and Franklin counties to finish in the top four at their respective weights at the District 3 Class 3A tournament to qualify for the PIAA Wrestling Championships in two weeks.

The state championships will be held March 10-12 at Hershey’s Giant Center.

120: Mason Leiphart, Dover, sr. (first); Gabe Pecaitis, Gettysburg, so. (Fourth)

126: Karl Shindledecker, Chambersburg, sr. (first); Zach Luckenbaugh, Dallastown, sr. (Fourth)

132: Ivan Vega, Spring Gove, sr. (second)

138: Carter Davis, Central York, so. (the third); Wyatt Dillon, Dover, so (fourth)

152: Caden Dobbins, Dallastown, sr. (first); Dominic Frontino, Shippensburg, Jr. (second); Griffin Gonzalez, Lebanon, jr. (Fourth)

160: Macon Myers, Central York, Jr. ; Jacob Cherry, Gettysburg, sr. (the third)

189: Aiden Hight, Chambersburg, so. (second); Diesel Koser, Shippensburg, Jr. (Fourth)

215: Sam Rodriguez, Gettysburg, Sr. (first)

285: Trevor Gallagher, Gettysburg, Sr. (first)

Matt Allibone is a sports reporter for GameTimePA. He can be reached at 717-881-8221, [email protected] or on Twitter at @bad2theallibone.