There is a saying, "eight is great." This saying also applies to the 2002-03 Garden Spot High School wrestling team. That number of Spartan grapplers who won awards at the Lancaster-Lebanon League wrestling banquet recently.
Headlining the list of recipients was senior Ryan Bunting, named a L-L Section Two first team all-star in the 135-pound weight class. His resume in tournament competition includes making the finals of the Ephrata, Penn Manor, Governor Mifflin, and L-L League Wrestling Championships, and winning the Mounts' tournament title. Bunting also had a very strong showing in the District 3 Section III Class AAA tournament Feb. 14-15, as he made the finals and qualified for the District 3-AAA championships. He reached the fourth round consolations of the district tourney held Feb. 20-22 at the Hersheypark Arena. On March 11, Bunting wrestled in the L-L versus Berks Senior All-Star Meet and concluded his senior year with an impressive 29-8 mark.
Wrestling might be in Bunting's plan, as it is in his blood. In a family wrestling tradition, Bunting's older brother, Adam, competed as sophomore grappler at Millersville University (Division I) this past winter.
Another Spartan who enjoyed a fine senior season was Eric Hackenburg, who was a L-L Section Two second team selection in the 160-pound weight class. His accomplishments include placing as runner-up in the Penn Manor and Governor Mifflin tournaments. Hackenburg also reached the consolation finals of the District 3 Sectional III Class AAA wrestling tournament. After those impressive mat performances, he earned a trip to the District 3-AAA championships, and wrestled in three bouts. He finished his last scholastic season with a 23-11 ledger.
Named as L-L League honorable mention all-stars were junior Ryan Yunginger at 119 pounds, sophomore Justin Cassel at 145 pounds, and sophomore Jon Newswanger at 215 pounds.
Earning accolades as Academic All-Stars for maintaining a 3.0 GPA or better were senior Daniel Bich and juniors Juan Carvajal, Ryan Jones and Yunginger.
The Spartans, under first-year head coach Steve Borja, Sr., finished the season with a 1-5 record in L-L League Section Two.