Coatesville’s Boykin is area’s last man standing at Hershey

HERSHEY — And then there was one.

Coatesville’s Mike Boykin (220 pounds) made quick work of Greater Latrobe’s Dylan Davis in the quarterfinals of the Class AAA PIAA tournament to reach the semifinals. The other four locals, well, they did not have such luck.

While Great Valley’s Shane Ruhnke (145), Downingtown West’s Gabe Hale (170), Avon Grove’s Caleb Edwards (182) and Downingtown East’s Sean Snodgrass (285) were denied a medal in the second round of consolations, Boykin is one win away for wrestling for a state title.

The semifinal round begins today at 9 a.m. at the Giant Center in Hershey, and the finals will begin at 7 p.m.

Boykin became the first Red Raider to clinch a second state medal, and would be the first grappler from Coatesville since Terry Williams in 1966 to reach the finals with a win this morning over Solanco’s Bo Spiller.

“It’s an honor, really,’ said Boykin of his spot in Coatesville history. “It shows all the hard work has paid off the last couple years.’

Boykin abused Davis, taking him down three times in the first period before finishing him off with 19 seconds left in the first period.

“That’s probably my first pin at states since I’ve been here,’ said Boykin, who was accurate with his statement. “I’m not usually a pinner.’

A year ago, Boykin was bumped from the championship bracket by Solanco’s eventual three-time state champion, Thomas Haines, in quarters. Spiller is in Boykin’s way this time, and while he’s not at the same level as Haines, Spiller is very skilled.

Boykin’s approach will parallel what has gotten him here — a dominating attack on his feet.

“I’m gonna go in there and take it to him like any other match,’ Boykin said.

On the other side of the 220-pound bracket, Boyertown’s Jordan Wood has eased his way to the semis, as well, setting up a potential regional final rematch.

Ruhnke was challenged with knocking off two-time fifth-place medalist, Josh Maruca of Franklin Regional, in the elimination round of consolations. Maruca proved too strong, using a 15-3 major decision over Ruhnke to knock out the Great Valley senior. Ruhnke finished his career with a record of 113-42, with two trips to the state tournament.

Hale had an impossible matchup with Kennard Dale’s three-time state champ, Chance Marsteller, losing by technical fall in the third period. In consis, Garden Spot’s Ben Swarr was better on his feet in the 9-3 decision to eliminate Hale. The West senior finished with 100 career wins and 52 losses.

Edwards trailed by three in the second period against Kyle Koser of Northern York, but rallied back to take a 4-3 lead early in the third. Koser was able to score two takedowns in the final minute to edge Edwards, 7-5. Edwards finished his career with a record of 105-38.

Snodgrass was inches away from a state medal against Erie McDowell’s Scott Augustine. Tied, 1-1, Snodgrass got in on a takedown attempt and appeared to have completed it, but as the two heavyweights landed out of bounds, the referee did not see it that way. After another near takedown on the edge, Snodgrass was taken down by Augustine in the overtime period and fell, 3-1. He was 91-39 as a Cougar.

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