By Coach Mike DeBellis
Last Saturday, the Greeley grapplers laid it on the line at the Greeley Duals. In addition to Greeley, the field consisted of teams from Carmel, Cornwall, Yorktown, Pawling, Byram Hills, Salesion Catholic, John S. Burke, and John Jay Cross River. Greeley had unlikely first year wrestlers seal the deal in key matches. It was a very big step for the Horace Greeley wrestling program as the team had taken second place in this tournament in the past couple of years. To beat out eight top teams from around the area says a lot about the character of the wrestlers and the direction of the program. Greeley could not have won the tournament if it were not for every single member of the team. The wrestlers also have to thank their huge fan base that consists of alumni, (including John Pfisterer, Kevin Francese, Bill Swertfager), six members of the class of 1968 (Rick Russo, Sandy Bueti, Clyde Kaneshero, Bill Kramer, John Carey, and Pete Lodge) and the youth and modified wrestlers, who all showed up to support the team.
Horace Greeley 40, Yorktown 37
The first match of the day against Yorktown proved to be the closest for the Quakers all day. Greeley had to dig deep and found an unlikely hero in first year wrestler, Stephen Macdonald. The coaches got together and tried to figure out the best possible line up for the match. The decision was made to put Stephen in his first wrestling match of his life in the biggest spot of the match. Luckily, I don’t think that Stephen knew the importance of the match. He certainly knew it when his hand was raised and the entire crowd was on their feet screaming. What a way to start a career! Macdonald won an 8-2 decision that allowed Greeley a 40-37 victory over Yorktown. Yorktown was second in the section last year so it was a huge win for Greeley. Other key wins in the match included: sophomore and 2012 Section qualifier Andrei Nesbit recording a pin in 3:00, freshman Joseph Sasso recording a hard fought decision 8-6 in his first varsity match of his career, junior Ryan Rudinger scoring a major decision (8 point differential) 13-4, senior and 2012 Section qualifier Liam Mercer recording a pin in 3:00. In addition, senior and 2012 third place Sectionals winner Mitchell Klein recorded the fastest pin of the tournament: 11 seconds. Junior and 2012 fifth place Sectionals winner Brock Cvijanovich pinned his opponent in1:51. Senior and 2012 Section qualifier Billy Marino ended the match with a pin in 1:10.
Horace Greeley 52, Bryam Hills 24
Freshman Connor Boyd lost a close match in his first varsity experience 4-5. I thought Connor wrestled well enough to win the match. Connor took a double leg shot on his opponent and took him down, the bottom wrester reached back and put himself in a potentially dangerous position and the referee had to stop it before Connor was awarded the takedown. Ryan Rudinger recorded another major decision 14-5. Freshman Stephen Nadler recorded his first varsity win and pin in 1:36. Stephen had a great first tournament going 3-2 on the day and he is looking like a seasoned veteran, not a freshman. Junior Shawn Soneja recorded a pin in: 58. Mitchell Klein recorded a pin in 1:07. Liam Mercer received a forfeit. Brock Cvijanovich recoded the fall in 1:26. Freshman Nic Phillips received a forfeit. Billy Marino received a forfeit. Freshman Max Browde earned his first varsity win, by pin in 3:01.
Horace Greeley 52, Salesion 24
Andrei Nesbit won by fall 2:20. Ryan Rudinger won by fall in 3:01. Junior Elijah Kim recorded a fall in 2:30. Stephen Nadler recorded a fall in 1:32. Shawn Soneja recorded a pin in 41 seconds. Mitchell Klein dominated by pin in 27 seconds. Liam Mercer recorded a pin in: 16. Brock Cvijanovich recorded a pin in 5:15. Billy Marino won by major 10-2. Max Browde won by forfeit.
Horace Greeley 54, Carmel 34
Sophomore and 2012 Section qualifier Matt Kaufman recorded a pin in 1:10. Sophomore Paul Seham recorded a pin in 1:19. Stephen Nadler recorded his third win of the afternoon pinning in 2:20. Shawn Soneja won by forfeit. Liam Mercer continued to dominate by pinning in 1:58. Mitchell Klein pinned in 1:07. Brock Cvijanovich recorded the fastest Greely pin in: 32. Billy Marino won by forfeit.
Horace Greeley 43, Cornwall 30
Paul Seham started the match with a huge pin in 1:37. Paul is the type of kid that takes losing seriously. He does not get down on himself he just gets back to work. He is a second year wrestler with a great future on the team. Ryan Rudinger recorded his fourth victory of the day majoring his opponent 12-4. Ryan will be a wrestler to watch this year. His confidence and skill are improving at the same rate. Elijah Kim took his opponent into overtime before eventually losing the match 5-7. Elijah battled all the way and I know he will take advantage of his opportunities next time they meet. Shawn Soneja wrestled this guy last year and lost a major decision. Shawn was not going to allow this to happen again. Shawn went in with a game plan. First period, he went in with the attitude I score or nobody does, Second period his goal was to get off of the bottom, Third period, his goal was to dominate on top. He stuck to the plan and was awarded the victory 7-0. Wrestling is the comeback sport of the world. A guy that beats you one week, you can pin the next. Liam Mercer finished his day undefeated 5-0 by dismantling a tough wrestler by fall in 43 seconds. Liam’s opponent dug in double under hooks from the feet, so naturally Liam grabbed double over hooks. That is what we call a 50/50 scenario. Usually the guy with more strength and balance wins. Liam Mercer has the best balance on the team and he is as strong as an ox. Liam forced his opponent to his back for the fall. Mitchell Klein ended his day with another fast pin in: 47. This win earned him the distinction of being the tournament Most Outstanding Wrestler. Klein is currently ranked second in the section at 160lbs. Brock Cvijanovich finished his day off undefeated 5-0, with a 4-3 decision. Brock is currently ranked third in the section at 195lbs. Brock is a wrestler to keep a close eye on this year. He usually does not lose to the same guy twice. Nic Phillips weighs 200 lbs, We needed him to wrestle in the 220 pound weight class to give us our best shot at the title. Nic stepped into the circle, shook hands with his opponent and dominated every situation. He turned his opponent to his back within the first minute of the match only to be stopped for an illegal hold. The second period started with Nic up 8-1. Nic continued his relentless attack putting him on his back for the last time and recoded the pin in 3:29. Nic rose from the mat along with all of the Greeley fans (over 500) to celebrate his first victory. Billy Marino was also asked to bump from 220 pounds up to 285. We knew Billy would have his hands full against their super heavy weight. Billy wrestled the smartest match that we have ever seen him wrestle. He took the opportunities that his opponent gave him and was tough enough to weather a barrage of attacks. Billy finished the day undefeated 5-0, earning a 3-0 decision. Billy is currently ranked 4th in the section at 220 lbs. Andrei Nesbit was sent out on the mat with the opportunity to put this match out of the reach of Cornwall. He did just that. Going 4-1 on the day and wrestling his best tournament to date, Andrei recorded a pin in 2:58. As you can see, the tournament victory was a team effort.
Mark these big home events on your calendar and come support the Greeley wrestlers.
1/7 Fox Lane league match 4:30pm
1/16 Harrison League match 4:30pm
1/24 Friday Night Brawl with John Jay Cross River 7:00pm (Alumni Night)
2/5 Pawling 4:30pm (Senor Night)
2/8 Divisionals 9:00am - 5:00pm