Harrisburg’s Neamiah Diggs Ups the Intensity, Earns Semifinal Spot at Districts

HERSHEY, Pa.: Harrisburg’s Neamiah Diggs had to take a different approach entering this year’s District 3 Championships.

His coaches drove the point home throughout the week. It was even brought up on a podcast previewing this week’s tournament. Diggs, himself, knew it after his performance in last week’s sectional tournament.

Not against a stacked District 3 field.

Diggs needed to jumpstart his attack and take shots. That was the only way he was going to advance in the Class 3A 182-pound bracket, which is one of the best weight classes of the two-day event.

The Cougars ace did just that. He went on the attack in his first-round match against Manheim Central’s Keegan McCord and won a tactical defensive match against Dallastown’s Jarrett Feeney in the closing seconds of his quarterfinal bout to advance to Saturday semifinals at the Hersheypark Arena.

“Off my sectional finals appearance, I wasn’t happy with that,” Diggs said. “Coming in here, my game plan was to work offense and get off shots.

“In my first match, I shot 10-plus times. I kept going. In my semifinal match, I was looking to get in shots, but he has good defense, and it’s hard to get in those shots. The opportunity came, and I capitalized off what he did.”

Diggs set the tone for the day in his opening match against McCord, a worthy opponent who entered the bout with a stout 33-8 mark.

But Diggs never gave McCord a chance to settle into the match. He shot and scored on a takedown in the first seven seconds and never took his foot off the accelerator in an impressive 7-4 decision.

The quarterfinal match had a different feel. Diggs was more cautious, while Feeney, who entered the match ranked No. 8 in the state by PA Power Wrestling, almost scored in the first period on a single.

But, Diggs, ranked No. 13, fought off the charge and another in the second period. Feeney led 1-0 entering the third period before Diggs escaped to even the match with 1:01 left on the scoring pylon.

Feeney shot with 10 seconds left. Diggs re-shot and scored the deciding takedown on a go-behind and took the 3-1 decision.

“I wish I could’ve got more takedowns off and worked my offense more, but I feel like I was going to snap and go behind,” Diggs said. “I thought I was quicker than him, more athletic, so I thought I could go behind more quickly.

“I was waiting for him. I was about to just shoot and fire off some attacks, but he shot off. So, I was like, ‘I got to get this now.’ I didn’t want to go to overtime, I didn’t want to waste energy.”

Continued Diggs, “I just wanted to get off the mat as quick as I could. So, once he shot, I capitalized off that.”

The victory propelled Diggs into the semifinals against Penn Manor’s Nick Baker, who is 28-4 on the season. A win, and the Cougars senior punches his ticket to states and maybe earns another shot at Lucas.

“I feel good,” Diggs said. “I mean, I feel like I should’ve been the No. 1 seed. I knew I could beat [Feeney]. He’s a good wrestler, but I felt like I was going to beat him. Before the match, I just kept telling myself, ‘I can beat this guy.’

“I’m looking forward to my semifinal match, so I will go home, get some rest, and come back tomorrow and just be prepared. I worked all season, worked all year, for this, and I will be prepared.”

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