WARRENSBURG - The Warrensburg High School Varsity wrestlers served up a solid early-season showing Saturday by placing sixth in the Saranac Early-Bird Tournament.
This respectable showing was overshadowed by another aspect of their performance - every wrestler in the Burgher lineup competing won at least one match in the tourney. This feat is the first-ever for the Warrensburg squad in recent history, WCS wrestling coach Mark Trapasso said Monday.
The Burghers' individual accomplishments Saturday were headlined by Jon Vaisey who took first place in his 103-pound weight class.
Vaisey's championship was backed up by Lucas Nelson taking second in the 160-pound weight class, and Beecher Baker tallying fourth at 112 pounds.
Vaisey, a junior, beat top-seeded Nate Marshall of Franklin Academy in Malone, Trapasso said.
"It was a big upset," he said. "Marshall was all over Jon very early, but Jon countered every move Marshall did, and then Jon hit him with a headlock and pinned him in a minute and 5 seconds."
Trapasso said Marshall is an exceptional wrestler - he's competed in state tournaments twice - but Jon happened to derail him in this matchup.
"Saturday was Jon's day to win," he said.
Vaisey's ability to counter every move may have been sharpened by competing during the off-season this year in the Empire State Games, assistant wrestling Coach Scott McKenna said, noting that Vaisey has in the past been noted for his muscle mass rather than savvy moves.
"Jon is muscular and intimidating - he's a good brawler," McKenna said. "But this past spring and summer, he picked up a lot of wrestling technique."
Monday, Vaisey was recognized by school officials, who allowed him to wear his Saranac championship T-shirt through the school day.
With a smile,Vaisey said he enjoyed both the attention and the victory.
"It was the first tournament I ever won," he said. "It was an exciting new thing."
Vaisey's teammate Lucas Nelson, a junior, won his qualifying matches during the Saranac tourney, but was beaten 1-0 in the finals, Trapasso said.
"Nelson wrestled well, but he happened to let this match get away," the coach said. "This match provides an early-season lesson."
Beecher Baker, a sophomore, wrestled in the tough 112-pound class and did well under the circumstances, Trapasso said.
Other Burghers also tallied some accomplishments at the tournament.
Max Roach, an 8th grader, placed 5th at 96 pounds. Zach Baer, a junior, placed 5th at 152 pounds. Jeremy Barber, a junior was 5th at 171 pounds. The team's heavyweight, Tony Auricchio, a senior, placed 5th at 285 pounds.
Seven of their teammates placed 7th: Nick Nedelcu, a freshman, at 119 pounds, Masyn Morey, a senior, at 125 pounds, Will Yarmowich, a freshman, at 130 pounds, Denver Berry, a freshman, at 135 pounds, Chris Robinson, a sophomore, at 140 pounds, Andrew Fish, a junior, at 145 pounds, and Desmon Allen, a sophomore, at 189 pounds.
Trapasso said he was happy for the results.
"It was a good team effort," he said. "The squad is young and inexperienced, but they're working hard and they're listening to instruction - it's a great group of kids."