T.C. Warner, Bo Spiller, and More From District 3

DSC05955Cumberland Valley’s T.C. Warner is good, but thinks he can be better as a team leader

By Jeremy Elliott, jelliott@pennlive.com
on November 26, 2013 8:32 p.m.

There is nothing shy about Cumberland Valley’s T.C. Warner as a person or the way he goes about his business on the mat.

Warner is technically sound. He is physically fit, determined and puts in his time in the room. He can also be brutally honest.

The Eagles senior is one of the best wrestlers in the state. He has a career record of 104-16 and a pair of state runner-up finishes to Penn State freshman Garett Hammond the last two seasons.

But that’s not enough. Warner admitted Tuesday that he needed to add to his list of attributes to be a complete wrestler.

Warner has to be a leader.

There isn’t much more Warner could do to help the Eagles from a point perspective. He was just short of a guaranteed six for his team every time he took the mat.

It’s his contribution to his teammates that needed work. And Warner has done the right things in the offseason to embrace a new role and make Cumberland Valley one of the preseason favorites to win the district team title.

“Before, I don’t think I was a leader,” said Warner, who will continue his wrestling career at Old Dominion. “I should have been, but I didn’t push these guys to work harder, making them believe how good they were.

“I sat back, kind of passive. But I realize how tough our team is, and we have a chance to win states, at the least win districts.”

Continued Warner, “So, I’m pushing these guys to realize how good they are. I think it shows with how these guys believe in themselves and how hard these guys are working. They know they can do well.”

The Eagles have been a perennial team power in District 3 since the inception of the team championships.

That changed the last couple years. The Eagles have been decent, but Dave Heckard’s team has lost in the district quarterfinals and fell short of making states.

Don’t expect the same this year. Warner won’t except mediocrity and is focused on the task of getting CV back to the top of the District 3 heap.

“I just kind of thought about this being that it is my senior year,” Warner said. “Coach Heckard has been talking about it, saying ‘we’re going to win this,’ for the last four years.

“We haven’t gotten it done, and I feel I owe him for what he has done for me. I know how good this team could be, and the least I can do is take these kids under my wing, lead them in the right direction and make them tough.

“Coach Heckard believes in us, and we always fall short and he is upset at the end of the year. I think it really could be our year, so I’m taking on this role.”

Warner has a full plate.

The Eagles have four freshman that will contribute in the lineup, and mentoring them and this team through a grueling high school season won’t be easy. There is also the matter of chasing that elusive individual gold medal.

Warner hasn’t forgotten his two championship setbacks to Hammond, and anything short of standing atop the podium at Giant Center this season will be a disappointment.

“There is always pressure,” Warner said. “I usually put a lot of pressure on myself and expect a lot of myself, but I’ve learned that it’s just a sport and to go out there and have fun.

“I’ve just been excited to wrestle, and whatever happens, happens. I want that state title. Come March, I’m going to make it my goal to do everything in my power to get that.”

But Warner isn’t concerned about individual accolades at this point. That will come in late February leading up to sectionals.

Right now, it’s team first.

“Coach Heckard told me that these guys look up to me,” Warner said. “Whether I’m doing poor things or the right thing, they do the same thing.

“I realized that. If I acted like I didn’t care, they did the same. So, I sucked that up and have been more mature about it.

“I’m wrestling real hard in the room, telling guys that we can do this. I think that’s spread to them, and they believe it. I think we are pretty solid.”


Solanco’s Bo Spiller making the move from heavyweight to 220 for the 2013-2014 season

By Jeremy Elliott, jelliott@pennlive.com
on November 25, 2013 2:46 p.m.

Watch The Interview Here

Thomas Haines’ move to heavyweight for his senior season at Solanco has caused quite a stir in the division, both in District 3 and across the state.

Wrestlers ooze pride and determination. So there are quite a few competitors that are willing, or have no choice, but to try their luck on the mat with Haines, an Ohio State recruit.

Others have taken a different approach. Guys like Hempfield’s Joey Goodhart, who works out with Haines, decided to shed pounds in order to compete in the 220-pound weight class and take a crack at a state title.

Solanco’s Bo Spiller didn’t have a choice.

He wrestled above Haines in the Mules’ lineup last season and fared quite well. The sophomore was a runner-up at districts to Goodhart and qualify for states. He went 1-2 at Giant Center and finished the season a respectable 30-9.

But Spiller can’t beat Haines — he only has five losses in his high school career — which means he is forced to shed pounds to compete at 220 or ride the pine, leaving a big hole in the Mules lineup.

Spiller talked about the move to the 220-pound weight class and the upcoming season recently with pennlive.com.


Jeremy Elliott’s wrestling camp tour:

* Nov. 26: Cumberland Valley’s T.C. Warner is good, but thinks he can be better as a team leader

* Nov. 25: Solanco’s Bo Spiller making the move from heavyweight to 220 for the upcoming season

* Nov. 22: District 3-AA Returning Place-winners

* Nov. 22: District 3-AAA Returning Place-winners

* Nov. 21: Q&A: Hempfield District 3 champion Joey Goodhart talks about his move to the 220-pound weight class

* Nov. 20: Ohio State bound Thomas Haines prepares for college with senior season move to heavyweight

* Nov. 19: Middletown wrestling coach Mike Nauman focused on winning numbers game and matches

* Nov. 19: Middletown’s Zach Ulerick talks about the disappointment of last season and bouncing back this year

* Nov. 18: Central Dauphin’s Garrett Peppelman should return from compressed fracture by the start of the season

* Nov. 18: Photos from Middletown’s first wrestling practice


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