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Wrestling team splits for average showings in two tournaments

by Shelby Toth - Copy Editor
Wed, Dec 6th 2017 12:00 pm
Junior 141 Ib weight class wrestler Ryan Snow (above) grips his opponent's arms with the hope of taking him down. Snow has had an excellent season thus far, earning top spots in a majority of his weight class.
Junior 141 Ib weight class wrestler Ryan Snow (above) grips his opponent's arms with the hope of taking him down. Snow has had an excellent season thus far, earning top spots in a majority of his weight class.

The men of the wrestling team split off on Saturday, Dec. 2, to compete at two different tournaments, The New Standard Corporation Invitational and the Thunderwolves Open.

While it might seem difficult deciding who to send to each tournament, Coach Donald Murray explained that it was actually quite simple.

“There are a lot of good Division I schools [at the New Standard Invitational],” Murray said. “We only can take 20 wrestlers in a couple weight classes, so we look at who are our best wrestlers at this time are.”

As for those competing in that tournament, a few players were able to advance to the semi-final round. Junior Triston Engle, who is ranked fourth in the country in his weight class of 197, kept a good pace in the beginning of the tournament, only to fall in the semi-final round to Tyler Vittal of North Central. This sent him to compete against Rocco Hladney of Elizabethtown for fifth place. Hladney won, sending Engle back to Brockport with a sixth place finish. 

Engle, while debatably not performing as well this past weekend, is still a big figure on the team. 

“Triston is more of a relaxed wrestler,” freshman Travis Race said. “He doesn’t put in countless hours on the mat but he’s always working hard while he’s on it. He’s a good person for freshman like me to learn from.”

Going back to the tournament, senior Dillon Stowell also did well in his weight class of 133, losing in the semi-final round but picking it up to defeat Charles Nash of Baldwin Wallace for a fifth place finish. Freshman Thaddus Jeffries also had a good showing at the New Standard Invitational. While he lost by fall to Jake Ashcraft of Ithaca in the second round of competition, he managed to dominate the consolation bracket, losing in the semifinals, but defeating Zeckary Lehman of Baldwin Wallace to claim a fifth place finish. Race also finished well, making it to the quarter finals of the tournament before losing by medical forfeit.

As for the Thunderwolves open, Murray described the benefits of sending wrestlers there as “killing two birds with one stone,” due to its location and competitors present.

“We have the second group [of wrestlers], which is good, but [the Thunderwolves Open] is closer to home, so we put them into this tournament,” Murray said. “I have two things I can accomplish out of this. Number one, I can see how they’re doing. And I also can see if there’s any good junior college kids competing, so I have five or six junior colleges there that I can look over.” 

While Murray himself travels to the New Standard Invitational, he feels confident in leaving the other half of his team to his assistant staff.

“I have a great assistant coach Salvador Cruz who will take the team,” Murray said.

As for competitors in the Thunderwolves Open, the Golden Eagles found two highlight wrestlers. Junior Jerrell White took home third place in the 184 weight class, falling in the semi-final round but remained strong afterward to gain two wins in the consolation bracket. Freshman Jonah Cavallo dominated the consolation bracket in the 149 weight class. After losing in the first round of the competition to the eventual champion, Cavallo climbed his way up to a fourth place finish.

Notably missing from either tournament was senior Jonathan Haas, who is ranked number one in the country in the 125 weight class.

As for the rest of the season, Murray is keeping a positive attitude.

“Hopefully it goes well,” Murray said. “Hopefully everybody comes back healthy and hopefully everybody is up to pace during the winter session and continues to work hard. We push them hard and then once we start getting close to regionals we’ll let them back, ease off and let them recover.”

The wrestling team has its last competition of the fall semester, a dual against the Rochester Institute of Technology, on December 7. After that, the team will come back in January to face two duals before heading into the Empire Conference Tournament on January 20.

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Taken by Vincent Croce:
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