Warrensburg High School athlete Lane Oehler (at top) won the championship title at 132 pounds in the Division II Class 3 Sectional wrestling tournament held Saturday Feb. 2 in Warrensburg. His win and the strong showing of Warrensburg’s 12 other wrestlers in the competition propelled Warrensburg to capture third among 13 schools in the tourney.
Warrensburg High School wrestler Lane Oehler’s spectacular come-from-behind victory and a strong showing by his teammates powered the Burghers to a third place showing among 13 schools in the Division II Class 3 Wrestling Tournament Saturday Feb. 2.
“Lane Oehler’s win was stunning, but it also was a great day overall — every kid on our team scored points,” Warrensburg coach Mark Trapasso said. “We wrestled well —placing third out of 13 schools is outstanding.”
To earn the small-school regional championship title at 132 pounds, Oehler showed his determination under stress. The sophomore fought his way back from critical situations in both the semi-final and the final match.
In the earlier matchup, Oehler beat Austin Lown of Duanesburg after Lown had him on his back for a minute and a half, but Oehler put all his energy into resisting the fall, then went on to win 10-3, Trapasso said.
“Oehler just refused to get pinned,” he said, noting that the young athlete summoned up considerable energy in the comeback effort.
In the finals, Oehler pulled off another dramatic comeback.
In the last period of the matchup, he was losing 7-0 to number-one seed Sam DeLarge of Albany Academy, when Oehler executed a reverse and put DeLarge on his back for the fall at 3:05.
“Lane reversed, locked up a cradle, pinned him, and the whole place went nuts,” Trapasso said, noting that DeLarge had beaten Oehler earlier in the year. "The cradle is deadly.”
Trapasso said Oehler proved he has a bright future in wrestling.
“This is a big win for a young kid,” he said. “This should set the tone for him over the next couple of years.”
Trapasso said Oehler is a formidable, determined competitor.
“Lane is miserable, bony and tough,” the coach said. “Even his grandfather says he’s gnarly.”
Blake Vaisey, another sophomore, wrestled his way to the finals in the 285-pound class, but lost his concluding match to Ahil Dawoodani of Albany Academy. Vaisey ended up placing second.
Vaisey pinned two competitors, one from Rensselaer and another from Berne-Knox in the process of getting to the finals.
“This is a good showing for Blake,” Trapasso continued.
Blake and Oehler go forward into the Section II championships this weekend at the Glens Falls Civic Center. The top four placing in each weight class at the Class 3 tournament earn a berth.
Four other Warrensburg wrestlers secured an appearance at the Civic Center: Dan Monthony, a 7th grader who placed fourth at 99 pounds; freshman Aidan LaPoint who placed fourth at 106 pounds; Nick Nedelcu a junior who placed third at 120 pounds, and Will Yarmowich, a junior who placed fourth at 138 pounds.
Trapasso said he was pleased with Warrensburg's showing at the tournament.
“We entered 13 kids, and every single wrestler scored points,” he said, noting the WCS athletes wrestled three to five matches each in the tournament.
Four other WCS wrestlers fared well in Saturday’s action. Winning three matches to place fifth were Jon Russell, a senior at 160 pounds and Rogers McLaughlin, a sophomore at 170 pounds. Also securing fifth place were sophomore Austin West at 113 pounds and 8th grader Damian Prosser at 195 pounds. Trapasso noted he was particularly pleased with Prosser’s accomplishment.
“195 pounds is a tough weight class for an eighth grader,” he said.
Volunteers at tourney praised
The athletes weren’t the only local people putting in a lot of effort Saturday Feb. 2.
Dozens of volunteers from the community worked at the Class 3 tournament from shortly after dawn through the day and well into the night, Trapasso said.
WCS teachers Chris Angell and Marc Abbatisti served as announcers.
“Chris and Marc kept the crowd informed, entertained and involved,” Trapasso said, adding that new WCS Athletic Director Scott Smith’s day-long service at the tourney ranged from taking tickets at 7 a.m. to sweeping the gym floor at 8 p.m.
A large kitchen staff, including parents of local wrestlers plus WCS alumni wrestlers served up savory food far beyond the standard hot-dog-and-hamburger routine. Their offerings included pulled-pork sandwiches, chili, pasta creations and breakfast sandwiches, Trapasso said.
“Nicole Winchell took charge of the volunteer kitchen staff — there’s too many people to name — and they served people food all day and night,” the coach said. “So many people raved about the food and the workers — We had unbelievable support from the community.”
Besides 150 wrestlers plus managers and coaching staff from 13 schools, there were more than 400 general admission spectators, Trapasso said.
“It was a great event for the school and town,” he said. “It was a super day.”