Line Mountain's Lansberry earns PIAA silver
HERSHEY - Different tournament, different venue, same result.
For the third straight week, Line Mountain senior Seth Lansberry lost to his former teammate, Benton's Zain Retherford, in the championship final of a tournament, only this time it was the biggest tournament they could find, the PIAA Class AA State Championships.
Retherford took a 5-0 win for his second state title, matching the one he won as a freshman at Line Mountain, to finish his season 47-0 and his high school career 130-3.
But the result was not a downer for either Lansberry or his coach, Mike Martz, who coached Retherford to his 2010 title. Lansberry finished the season with a 38-5 record, with three of the five losses coming to Retherford, and was 137-37 for his career.
"This was a big tournament to take second in," said Lansberry. "This was states, and I jumped from seventh last year. I'm happy."
"Realistically, for Seth to win he would have had to have a certain situation, like a tie late in the match, where Zain maybe would have made a mistake" Martz said. "Zain is a very good wrestler. But Seth has closed the gap on him the last two years."
The two probably won't face each other in the near future, since Retherford will be wrestling at Penn State and Lansberry is headed to Division III Lycoming College.
Lansberry and Retherford have been through quite a journey, one that hasn't been a happy once since Retherford transferred to Benton after his sophomore season. Retherford was declared ineligible by the PIAA for his junior year after Line Mountain contested the move and the resulting district and PIAA hearings left bad blood between the former friends, their families and programs.
"He (Lansberry) is the one who got me to come out for wrestling, in second grade," Retherford said. "We were teammates all the way up until last season."
Now, they don't talk to each other at all, and barely acknowledge each other except for pre- and post-match handshakes.
But on the mat, they know each other very well. A testament to Retherford's ability is the
fact that Lansberry, a two-time state medalist, has yet to score a point on him in three matches.
This bout was almost a complete replay of the District 4 final, which Retherford also won 5-0. Retherford got a takedown off a counter late in the first period, added an escape and takedown in the second and was content to ride Lansberry out for the third.
"The first two points were big," Retherford said. "I'd like to pin everybody but If you keep the other guy from scoring, you can win 1-0."
"That's all part of the game," Lansberry said. "Everyone has their own style. His is to grab your hand and take what he can get. I'd rather be a little more out in the open but he's got to do what he's got to do. This was the state championship."