The 2012-13 Warrensburg High School Wrestling team includes (front, left to right): Tanner McKenna, Aidan LaPoint, Dan Monthony, team manager Hunter McKenna, (row 2): Rogers McLaughlin, Steve Brown, Colby Russo, Denver Berry, Nick Nedelcu, Austin West, Wesley Bessaw, Damian Prosser, (row 3): Dakota Kimball, Blake Vaisey, Trevor Baker, Connor Scott, Jerico Converse, Wil Yarmowich, Lane Oehler and Jon Russell. (Not pictured): Dan Ackley.
With an infusion of tough football players joining veteran athletes, the Warrensburg High School wrestling team will likely be experiencing a victorious year in 2012-13.
There’s a robust roster of experienced wrestlers returning, joined by football players who are experienced in smash-up physical contact. These recruits may lack the finesse that some of the experienced wrestlers have developed, but they know how to push other guys around.WCS wrestling coach Mark Trapasso used the word “tough“ a dozen times or more this week when describing his team, which last year amassed a 20-8 record.
All but two of the wrestlers are underclassmen, but they make up the age difference with guts and brawn.
Here’s the lineup:
In the 99- and 106-pound weight class are Freshman Aiden LaPoint and 7th grader Dan Monthony, who will be competing for the 99-pound spot — with the runner-up in wrestle-offs taking on the 106-pound slot.
At 113 pounds, is 10th grader Austin West, a veteran who had a great year in 2011-12, and is certain to repeat, Trapasso said.
“I expect Austin to win a lot of matches,” Trapasso said. “He looks fantastic.”
At 120 pounds is freshman Wesley Bessaw, a rookie on Varsity, but has experience on the Modified squad, and shows promise.
At 126 pounds are two experienced WCS wrestlers: Denver Berry and Nick Nedelcu, both Juniors. Nedelcu has unorthodox moves, but knows how to use his muscle to defeat opponents, Trapasso said.
“Nick’s in fantastic shape, works hard, and finds his own way to win a lot of matches,” the coach said.
Junior Denver Berry is an experienced wrestler who’s also familiar to area sports fans. Trapasso said he’s a solid athlete who will be a formidable competitor in either the 126-pound or 132-pound weight class.
“Denver’s a tough, hard-nosed kid,” the coach said. “He’s strong and powerful — and he wins a lot.”
Competing in the 132- and 138-pound classes is Lane Oehler, a Sophomore veteran with an impressive win-loss record who Trapasso described as “gnarly.”
“Wrestling Lane is like grabbing hold of barbed wire,” Trapasso said. “He’s just tough — he always gives guys a real battle.”
At 138 pounds is Freshman Colby Russo, new to the Varsity squad, who has strong potential, particularly because he works hard, Trapasso said.
At 138 and 145 pounds is Junior Wil Yarmowich, an athlete who has proven his talent with many years of wrestling, improving annually.
“We expect Wil to turn a lot of heads this year,” Trapasso said, noting Yarmowich’s endurance, which he proved as a standout on WCS’s new Cross-Country team.
At 145 pounds is Freshman Cody Ewald, who’s gained experience on the Modified team. Trapasso said he will be competitive. “Cody will be pushing the other guys to wrestle their best,” he said.
At 152 pounds is Junior Connor Scott, one of the football players new to wrestling who isn’t shy about physical contact.
“Connor’s tough and athletic, and I’m optimistic he can help us out a lot — he’s catching on quick,” the coach said.
Also at 152 pounds is veteran Senior Jerico Converse, who Trapasso said will be taking his wrestling career to a new level.
At 160 pounds is Senior Jon Russell, who is tough and talented, Trapasso said.
“I look for Jon and Jerico to win matches and provide leadership,” the coach said.
At 170 pounds is Junior veteran Trevor Baker, who last year proved his talent against far-larger wrestlers in the 182- and 195- pound weight classes.
“Trevor is tough — he gives us all he’s got, and he’s going to win a lot of matches,” Trapasso said.
At 170 pounds is Sophomore Rogers McLaughlin, who also is experienced and physical, Trapasso said.
“He’s a McLaughlin — he’s tough!” Trapasso said.
At 182 pounds is Junior Dan Ackley, new to wrestling, who the coach said is extremely strong and athletic.
“We’re gonna teach him a little wrestling, and he’ll be dangerous,” Trapasso said. “He’s explosive, and he’ll be shocking his opponents.”
At 195 pounds is 8th grader Damian Prosser, who wrestled all spring on the New York State Greco and Freestyle wrestling team, touring the eastern U.S.. Trapasso predicted Prosser will be competitive against wrestlers far older.
“Damian will be a major force — he’s got talent,” the coach said. “He’s gonna sneak up on his opponents — embarrass and shock them.”
At 195 pounds is another WCS football player, Sophomore Steven Brown, who is gaining experience to complement his athleticism.
At 220 pounds is Freshman Jon Simmes, who is big, strong, and showed promise last year on the Modified team.
At 285 pounds is Sophomore Blake Vaisey who gained experience last year on Varsity, Trapasso said.
“Vaisey is a smart kid — he’ll figure out ways to win matches.”
Also at 285 is 11th grader Dakota Kimball who also has experience, and shows a lot of promise, Trapasso said.
“The team is working hard this year, and the chemistry in the wrestling room is fantastic,m” he said. “We’re optimistic we can represent Warrensburg well and be quite competitive in the league.”