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Wrestling stacks the leaderboards in first open

by Carson Werner - Sports Editor
Fri, Nov 9th 2018 01:00 pm
Brockport junior, Corey Farrell, gets into the top position against Jamestown Community College sophomore, Caleb Palmatier. Farrell claimed the top spot in the 157 weight class.
Brockport junior, Corey Farrell, gets into the top position against Jamestown Community College sophomore, Caleb Palmatier. Farrell claimed the top spot in the 157 weight class.
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Since head coach Don Murray has been in charge, The College at Brockport wrestling has been one of the college’s most successful programs in its history. Beginning in 1971, Murray has led the green and gold to 47 straight winning seasons and five NCAA championships. 

Considering the reputation Murray and his staff have built for the Brockport wrestling squad, it’s no wonder the team is strong year after year. In regards to if the squad will be comparable to last season, Brockport let its placements do the talking Saturday, Nov. 3 at the Brockport Open. 

On the day, there were 13 top three finishes and five more that placed within the top six. Brockport had top finishers in every weight class, with some having two or three Golden Eagle wrestlers. The hosting school did so well that when it came to the final stages, there were five matches featuring inter-squad competition. 

Of the five, four of them were to settle who gets the first and second spots, while the other was between two freshmen, Jake Hunter and Joseph Yanis, for third and fourth in the 197 weight class. In the 141 weight class, Zack Baker and Donny McCoy met in the finals and saw Baker claiming the first spot in a 7-1 decision. 

The 149 weight class had Brockport’s Zack Brown claiming the top spot, followed by teammates Austin Reed and Mark Hitchcock who made up the second and third places. Junior Corey Farrell defeated freshman Ryan Snow for first and second place in the 157 weight class. Kayes also captured the fifth spot in the class. 

The last Brockport battle for first and second was between Christopher Eames and Daniel Emblidge in the 174 weight class. Eames earned the top spot by decision, 6-4.

Sophomore, Wesley Woodworth, has been on the team for one complete year now. Like last year and the years before, it is common for the team to be facing one another in competition and not just in practice.

“You have to treat it like any other match and go out and compete,” Woodworth wrote. “When the match is over you shake hands and you’re friends again. I don’t really see it as beneficial because you get a chance to roll with them every day in the room, so you want to get someone else when you actually go to compete.”

Junior, Jordan Kayes, is entering his third year on the squad and has been a part of the success Brockport wrestling has had in recent years. This season, there are 17 freshmen that will be throwing on a Brockport singlet in hopes to reach the college’s high expectations.

“I have stopped into the freshman wrestling class a few times prior to the season to check it all out,” Kayes said. “The talent I’ve seen from some of these guys is tremendous and they all are hard workers. The biggest thing coming in is the transition from the high school to college level, but these guys have the potential to produce success for our team.”

Luckily, the freshmen have one of the most knowledgeable wrestling coaches in the nation overseeing them. Murray was named the longest active coach in Division III and has an incredible record to show for the 48 years he’s been coaching Brockport wrestling. No matter what talent level the freshmen possess, Murray and staff will only make the additions better as time progresses.

“When Coach Murray began recruiting me, I already knew about him and his time here at Brockport, which is why I wanted to wrestle for him and the other coaching staff with Coach Jacatout,” Kayes said. “Murray is all about his athletes and would do absolutely anything for them. He keeps in contact with all the professors to check on us and how we are doing and provides us hours to go to the library and weight room during the week to keep up on our shape and school work. He may seem a little rough around the edges, but he cares more for this program and his athletes more than I believe any coach in the NCAA does.” 

Murray and team will travel to the Mount Union Raiders on Saturday, Nov. 10 to participate in their first invitational of the year. Last year, Brockport finished fifth out of 35 teams in the Mount Union tournament.