By Shawn Wood
For The Daily Item
Rayce Boyer knew that Line Mountain had all but wrapped up Wednesday’s Tri-Valley League dual meet when he stepped onto the mat to face Joe Becker from Upper Dauphin at the 195-pound weight class.
As the only senior on a freshman-laden team, Boyer had one goal in mind when the whistle blew; to win the match.
“I had never beaten Upper Dauphin in my varsity career and I wanted this match bad,” he said.
Boyer would pin Becker at the 2:46 mark, but not before Becker nearly got the pin on him.
Line Mountain defeated Upper Dauphin, 39-27, on Wednesday night.
Before the match, Boyer said that coach Mike Martz told him he was either going to wrestle Becker or standout football star Trey Campbell.
“I was thinking about working my underhooks and my overhooks going into the match,” Boyer said. “I was really trying to get underneath him. I knew that takedowns were going to win it. If I could work for the pin, I knew I was going to get it.”
Boyer, who jumped up after getting the pin and clapped his hands together noted that it was part jubilation for getting the win and part of letting go the frustration of a disappointing football season.
“It was a little bit of both,” he said. “We didn’t win a match before 2014 and we lost to Newport and Juniata and both matches were very winnable for us. The entire break we busted our butts.”
“We had a really young team in football and we have seven freshmen on the wrestling team and it really makes up for it,” Boyer continued.
Line Mountain is 4-5 overall and 2-2 in the TVL. They face Upper Dauphin again on Saturday at the Eagles duals.
The Trojans (8-6, 2-1 TVL) pulled to within three points of Line Mountain at the 138-pound match when Evan Hoffman, who was trailing 10-2 in second period, managed to escape from the hold of Blake Carl and then use a headlock to take him to the mat and get the pin at 4:37 to make the score 18-15 following back-to-back forfeits by each team.
“I was on the bottom the whole match and I was able to get the headlock, and I hit that here-and-there in matches,” Hoffman said. “I thought I might get in trouble and possibly get a technical fall, but I got the pin.”
“It took the wind out of my sail as a coach when the happened,” Eagles head coach Mike Martz said of the turn-of-events in the 138 match. “Fortunately, it didn’t take the wind out of our kids sails. Blake was wrestling hard and he got caught. You have to give their kid credit.”
Martz went on to say that Riley Shaffer who earned an overtime win over Cody Zerby was the heroes of the night for the Eagles while Gary Laudenslager moved up two weights and won his first match of the year.
“They kids wanted the win, the Upper Dauphins kids wanted it, it’s a rivalry, but our kids definitely wanted it and they went after it tonight,” Martz added.
Upper Dauphin coach Todd Rupp declined to comment after the match.
Campbell had the other pin for the Trojans in the final match of the night at the 220-weight against Austin Baumert, which came in the first period.