Rams to wrestle in state Final Four

The Rams wrestling and girls basketball teams each reached the state semifinals this year, the first time that has ever happened in Spring-Ford history.

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Photo courtesy of Spring-Ford Wrestling

Gus Carfagno scores a takedown in a district playoff win over Quakertown. Carfagno and the Rams will play in the PIAA Class AAA Semifinals this Saturday at Cumberland Valley High School.

Staff Report

While March Madness dominates the airwaves over the next few weeks, Spring-Ford will be focusing on not one, but TWO Final Fours.

The Spring-Ford wrestling team defeated Delaware Valley, 37-17, on Wednesday night in the PIAA Class AAA Quarterfinals, earning its spot among the Final Four teams in the state. Earlier this week, the Spring-Ford girls basketball team won their state semifinal game against Nazareth, clinching a spot in Friday’s championship with North Allegheny.

The Spring-Ford wrestling and girls basketball teams’ accomplishments marks the first time in school history that two teams reached the Final Four of the state tournament in the same calendar year, let alone the same season.

The wrestling team’s terrific night Wednesday adds to an already historic wrestling season for the Rams, as senior Joey Milano won the program’s first-ever individual tournament gold medal at states a few weeks back and teammate Jack McGill earned a silver medal.

“The team has responded very positively to the opportunity to wrestle as a team in the duals,” Spring-Ford coach Tim Seislove said. “This year not everyone was able to qualify for the individual postseason. Several wrestlers were not selected and they were disappointed that they did not have the chance to move on. This format has given these kids the opportunity to  end the year on a positive note.”

Milano (215), Cole Smith (106), Quinn Smith (126), Gus Carfagno (132), Ryan Lepore (138), Zach Needles (152), McGill (160) and Xavier Cushman (172) picked up victories in the match.

The Rams will face District Three’s Central Dauphin in the state semifinals at Cumberland Valley High School on Saturday (4 p.m.). Williamsport and Waynesburg Central will meet in the other match.

Due to schedule changes, the PIAA moved the team duals tournament after the individual tournament for the first time this year. For a sport in which most wrestlers’ seasons end individually, Spring-Ford wrestlers are enjoying the opportunity to compete together to end the season.

“As much as they enjoy and get excited about the duals, the individual tournament is always on their minds,” Seislove said. “This year, being after the individual tournament, our top kids seem more relaxed and having fun with the whole team. It also gives the entire team an opportunity to finish the year together.”

Clearly, the Rams are making the most out of that opportunity.