Warrensburg wrestlers celebrate with their trophies following their victory Saturday Dec. 17 when they won the 16-team Granville tournament.
The Warrensburg Wrestling team continued its improbable and confounding campaign of 2011-12 by winning the 16-team Granville wrestling tournament Saturday Dec. 17.
The Burghers won first place in the Ken Harrison Memorial Granville Lions Wrestling Tournament by edging out perennial powerhouse South Glens Falls by 2 & 1/2 points.
The victory featured three first-place wins — by Lucas Nelson, Beecher Baker and Nick Nedelcu — as well as three second place wins and three others in the top four.
The win was accomplished despite a 2011-12 lineup that is thin this year, primarily due to several talented wrestlers not signing back up for 2011-12. This situation baffled the coaches, but apparently fired up the remaining veterans — and some talented newcomers — to light up the scoreboard this year.
Coach Mark Trapasso said he was perplexed but very pleased, after experiencing disappointment in the pre-season.
“It’s almost like an experiment,” he said. “I cannot explain how were having any success as a team, but it’s been wonderful so far — However, the wheels could fall off at any time.”
Not if the wrestlers keep up their energy and dedication, though.
So far this year, a number of the wrestlers in the new Burgher lineup have been outlasting their competitors — losing points early on, but rebounding when the opponents get winded and worn out.
Nick Nedelcu, a Sophomore, overcame an early-on point deficit — as he has in prior victories — to win the final match in the 126-pound weight class. He pinned Adam Mimms of Cambridge in the final 20 seconds of the match with a cradle.
“As Mimms got tired, Nick got stronger,” Trapasso said.
Also earning a first-place trophy was veteran Burgher Lucas Nelson, who decisioned Pat Pfenning of Rutland, who is ranked as one of the top five wrestlers in Vermont for his weight class.
When Nelson walked onto the mat, South Glens Falls was ahead, and to secure the first-place honors in the tournament, the Burghers needed Nelson to win.
Nelson, a WCS Senior, accomplished the task for his team with a 7-5 decision.
“The first-place victory was on Nelson’s shoulders, and he got it for us,” Trapasso said.
Also capturing a first-place win for the Burghers was Beecher Baker, who pinned Zack Morris of South Glens Falls in the finals with only 50 seconds remaining in the match.
“Beecher looked very sharp,” Trapasso said of the WCS Junior. “It was fantastic.”
Winning second place in the tourney was Senior Jon Vaisey, who is a dominant force in the Adirondack League for his 106-pound weight class. Vaisey was pinned in 1:39 by Dominic Riccio of Galway after winning all his other matches.
Following in Vaisey’s footsteps is Freshman Austin West, who’s proven to be a promising talent with some critical wins already this season. Austin won second place after being pinned in 5 minutes 14 seconds by Brandon Diaz of LaSalle.
Sophomore Trevor Baker also demonstrated his talent by winning all matches in the tourney but his last. He placed second after being pinned in 3:52 by Gabe Laberge of Middlebury at 195 pounds.
Placing third was WCS Freshman Lane Oehler, who won a 9-5 decision at 132 pounds against Pat Mumford of Mill River. This was Oehler’s second win in his two Varsity meets.
Jerico Converse continued his winning ways for the 2011-12 season, placing fourth at 145 pounds, along with Freshman Blake Vaisey at 220 pounds who also has been demonstrating his considerable ability.
Behind Warrensburg and South Glens Falls in the tournament was Granville in third place, followed by Galway, Middlebury, Mechanicville, Vergennes, Bellows Falls, LaSalle, Rutland, AuSable Valley, Mill River, Cambridge, Fort Ann, Otter Valley and Milton.
Trapasso said his team’s victory was a matter of not only those who won championships or placed in the tourney, but those who contributed points in the qualifying matches.
“We had the right wrestlers in the right weight classes,” he said. “Our kids have been working hard — they want to get better, so they listen and learn, and they’re willing to do what we ask them to do.”