District 1 High School Wrestling

Lucier, DiBernardo win titles, WC East edges past Oxford

by Nate Heckenberger, Daily Local

Posted on December 8, 2018

Article originally appeared here:

QUARRYVILLE >> Coatesville's Nate Lucier had to put in a heck of a work week just to get where he wanted to be, entering the Mule Classic at Solanco.

Earlier in the week, Lucier beat out teammate and returning state qualifier, Brennan McBride, for the 113-pound spot, and Saturday his hard work was rewarded with a climb to the top of the podium.

Lucier was later joined there by West Chester East's Andrew DiBernardo (182 pounds), while Oxford's Cannon Hershey (106) and Sam Blevins (285) bookended the finals with second-place finishes.

"It was kind of like all that work I have been putting in paid off a little bit," Lucier said.

The Red Raiders' sophomore started the day by knocking off the top seed from Salesianum, Zach Spence, 7-3, and then got an early 2-0 lead against Central Dauphin's Josh Miller. But Miller struck back with three-point move from the top position in the second. Lucier escaped just before the buzzer in the second to tie it, and that point proved pivotal after Lucier scored the only takedown in the third and held on for a 5-4 win.

"I wanted to put the pressure on (Miller) and get him to start working," Lucier said. "It was pretty rough getting out, but when I finally got to my feet, I knew I could score from there."

DiBernardo scored from all positions against Dallastown's Jarrett Feeney. The Vikings' senior scored a takedown in the first and added a pair of back points, and then after riding Feeney out in the second, DiBernardo picked up a reversal and another takedown for an 8-1 win.

After reaching states but not placing as a junior, DiBernardo started off his senior campaign with some extra motivation.

"I don't think I got as far as I would have liked last year," DiBernardo said. "I wanted to send the message that I should've gone farther, and that I definitely can."

DiBernardo's win, paired with a pin by Hugh Lemmon-Kishi (285) in his consolation final, bumped the Vikings into fourth place over Oxford by 1.5 points.

The Hornets had six place in the top four, with Hershey and Blevins leading the way.

Hershey had a strong showing in his high school debut, knocking off the top seed, Ethan Herr of Donegal, and then pinning Salesianum's Connor Girard, to reach the finals. There he met Solanco's Dominic Flatt, who used a lateral drop to win by fall in the first period.

"It was fun," Hershey said. "I thought coming in it would be a tough tournament and I figured I'd try my best and I guess it really paid off."

Brandon Sheffield (145) and Will Johnson (170) took third for the Hornets, while Kevin Quin (120) and Cooper Johnson (126) placed fourth.

Blevins' strong tournament ended with a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Dallastown's Raymond Christas, who's ranked No. 9 in Class AAA by

"I think it was a good tournament," Blevins said. "Obviously it didn't end the way I wished, but that was a state-level match."

Avon Grove didn't have a finalist, but returning state qualifier Nick Barnhart (152) bounced back from a loss in the semifinals with two dominant wins to finish third.

"It was definitely important to wrestle back," Barnhart said. "This is my senior year and I want to make every match count."

Caesar Rodriguez (seventh at 182) was Barnhart's only teammate to find his way to the medal stand.

Coatesville had three medalists, with Eli Lavalais taking seventh at 106 and Caleb Henson finishing eighth at 170.

Andrew Luke (seventh, 120), Corey Celenza (third, 132), Jamison Eadie (fifth, 145), Syncere Cooper (seventh, 220) and Lemmon-Kishi (third, 285) brought home hardware for the Vikings.

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