Bishop McDevitt’s Chase Shields Joins Prestigious List of Four-Time District 3 Champions

HERSHEY, Pa.: There was a point this season when Bishop McDevitt’s Chase Shields was forced to shut it down for a bit.

Shields was dealing with a shoulder injury in the Beast of the East Tournament. It affected his performance on the mat, and it only made sense to take some time off during the dual-meet season.

It was the best thing for the Crusaders senior. Not only did he get healthy, he recharged the battery and prepared himself for another deep postseason run.

A major step in that direction was taken Saturday at the Hersheypark Arena. Shields polished off a 6-3 decision over Upper Dauphin’s Bronson Garber in the 126-pound final to earn his fourth District 3-AA title.

“It felt good,” said Shields, who is one of 14 four-time District 3 Champions. “I got to my offense this weekend and was able to execute my shots and finishes.

“Looking at some old photos with my family … It’s funny, I’ve grown so much, not only as a wrestler, but as a man. I have a good relationship with God, my family, friends.

“I like the person my parents have raised me to be, the way that I am throughout my community. I feel very proud of what they have done and what I’ve done to help be a leader at my school.”

Shields is a three-time state placer and two-time runner-up, and yet, he entered the bout ranked four spots behind Garber, who is also a three-time state placer.

But none of that mattered to Shields, the No. 7-ranked wrestler in the state. Garber’s No. 3 ranking was also of little consequence, as the Crusaders ace only cared about getting his hand raised.

“I don’t look at them,” Shields said of the rankings. “It’s just another person, another name, another singlet. I wrestle whoever is in front of me.

“I did notice yesterday that he was in front of me, which is the first time I checked. It doesn’t matter. It motivated me more, I guess, but I just wanted to wrestle six minutes the way I like to.”

For the most part, Shields did that. Even after a scoreless first period and Garber escape to start the second, Shields never got rattled.

Shields kept trying to work his offense. It paid off with 14 seconds left in the period, when he earned a takedown and two near-fall points for a 4-1 lead heading to the third period.

“It’s something I’ve been preaching to my teammates, which is just composure,” Shields said. “You get taken down early in the match or don’t like a call, you just try to brush it off and keep wrestling.

“It’s a six-minute match, and a lot can happen. I was down 1-0, I’m confident in my offense, got the takedown, and was able to score back points.”

Shields escaped to start the third and got in on a couple of shots. He didn’t finish, which kept the score at 5-1 and gave Garber a sliver of hope.

The Trojans senior didn’t mail it in. He hit a double-leg takedown with 11 seconds left but couldn’t add any more points, which gave Shields the decision.

“I got in on two shots and should’ve finished,” Shields said. “I was a little complacent. He got in a Jonesy situation … I like to dominate the match, but he got in on a double and took me down.

“I just didn’t want to go to my back and have it get to 5-5 and overtime. A win is a win, but I wasn’t as dominant as I wanted to be, so I need to work on that.”

Shields has one more step to take before getting a chance to improve on his state tournament performances.

Next week, he will take on the rest of a Southeast Regional field. Get through there unscathed, and he takes the GIANT Center floor one more time in search of that elusive gold medal and spot at the top of the state podium.

“I think my pace is good,” Shields said. “I felt a little bit of pressure to win the match and be a four timer. I just need to realize that’s not important at the end of the day.

“It’s just wrestling another kid, another singlet, another pair of shoes. Put someone in front of me, and I will wrestle them. That’s the mindset heading to states.”

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