January 17, 2008


Trojans flattened by Purple Tigers

Fourth straight Cortland win over wrestling rival


Bob Ellis/staff photographer
Homer Central’s Jason Rogers (top) tries to escape the grasp of Cortland High’s Jason DeGouff in last night’s 130-pound match. DeGrouff secured a 12-5 decision win for the Purple Tigers.

Staff Writer
A recent trend continued Wednesday night in Cortland High’s Shafer Gymnasium.
The Cortland High wrestling team walloped rival Homer CentraL 54-6 in an OHSL Freedom Division match, the Purple Tigers’ fourth win over the Trojans in as many seasons and fifth in the last six years.
So one-sided was the contest that Homer’s only points came via a Cortland forfeit to Alex McCoy at 103 pounds, which at the time made the team score 30-6.
“I think we’re pretty decent and are wrestling really well. I wasn’t surprised,” Purple Tigers coach Dave Darrow, his team now 4-1 in the league and 23-7 overall, said of the ease with which CHS won. “We’ve gone against lots of quality competition this season.
“The kids — we only used three seniors tonight — work hard. We have a running and lifting program before we even start practice, and they deserve what they get. We have half a dozen wrestlers of exceptional quality who should do well at sectionals. Hopefully a couple can get into states.”
Homer coach Jeff Lewis was understandably disappointed after seeing his team fall to 1-3 in the league and 4-6 overall.
“This was the worst match we’ve wrestled all year,” he said. “We wrestled absolutely horrible, and there are no excuses. We go over things day after day in the practice room, and if you’re going to win you have to apply those things in matches. You can’t get away with just using muscle at the varsity level.
“Don’t take anything away from Cortland. They wrestled tough, and out-techniqued us,” he added. “It shouldn’t take much to get this team up for a match like this, but we weren’t just a tick off, we were off a whole lot. We have a very young team that’s been coming along all year, and I’ve been proud of them up until this point. But I’m disappointed tonight. They didn’t utilize anything we’ve worked on in practice.”
An indication of how the night would go for both teams came in the opening match, at 145 pounds, when Cortland senior A.J. Meldrim, wrestling for the first time since separating his shoulder Jan. 2 at Baldwinsville, pinned Homer junior Ben Chace with one second left in the match after running up a 12-2 lead.
“I practiced yesterday and the shoulder felt OK,” said Meldrim, now a combined 16-7 on the season with seven pins at 145 and 140. “I was a little nervous that it would tweak out, but Doc (trainer Chris Hay) taped it up and it worked out well. I was confident going in. I’d wrestled him before. I used my left side, mostly.
“This is one of the best Cortland teams I’ve been on,” he added. “Everyone was looking for a pin. Against Homer, you have to get a pin. Everyone did really well.”
IN THE MOST competitive match of the night, Purple Tiger junior Corby Reynolds and Homer senior Nick Shanahan traded escapes from the down position in the second and third periods, respectively, at 152 and were tied 1-1 after regulation before Reynolds won it with a takedown seven seconds before the end of the overtime session to improve to a combined 21-6 at 152 and 145. Shanahan is now 14-9 at 152 and 160.
CHS junior Brandon Fitzgerald flattened Homer senior Ryne Austin in 1:44 to improve to 21-4 with 10 pins at 160 and 152. Junior Dan Foster made it 18-0 for Cortland and stayed perfect in 32 matches at 171, 160 and 189 with a 15-8 decision over Homer sophomore Ryan Murray. At 189 pounds, Cortland senior Coty Cute ended freshman Joe Dunham’s night in 1:29 to improve to 32-1 with 22 pins at that weight and 171.
“I work hard and keep a good mindset,” Foster said. “I work on my weaknesses every day in practice, and don’t get overconfident. I try to concentrate on each match as it happens. I could have done better tonight. I tried to rush the pin, didn’t concentrate and got a little sloppy. I pretty much figured this would be the way the match (as a whole) went.”
“I was a little bit surprised with the score, because they’re our cross-town rival,” said Cute. “I’m confident going into every match. I have the mentality that I’m the best out there. The coaches (Darrow and assistant Joe Nicholas) are responsible for my success, and I’ve worked hard since I started wrestling in fourth grade.”
Junior Justin Morehouse is now 26-4 with 15 pins at 215 and 189 after he recorded the fastest fall of the night, needing just 1:05 to pin sophomore Adam Gordon at 215. McCoy’s forfeit win made it 30-6 Cortland, after which CHS eighth-grader Anthony Stento shaded freshman David Birchenough 8-7 for his 12th win of the season at 112.
CORTlAND CLINCHED the match when Eric Reisweber outscored  fellow sophomore Ben McBride 5-2 at 119 to improve to a combined 15-10 at that weight and 125. Freshman Garret Morse won for the eighth time this season and has four pins after putting junior T.J. Casterline’s shoulders to the mat in 3:48 at 125 to make it 42-6.
Purple Tiger sophomore Jason DeGouff made it 12 wins at 130 and 135 with a 12-5 decision over junior Jason Rogers at the former weight. Senior Barry Kinney pinned Trojans junior Saxon Sprouse in 4:56 at 135 to run his record to 24-9 with 14 pins at 135 and 130, handing Sprouse just his fifth loss in 20 matches, all at 135.
Junior Montana Sanders completed Cortland’s shutout in contested matches by blanking sophomore Nate Crawford 7-0 at 140.
“Reisweber wrestled really well, Sanders had one of his best matches, Kinney was solid, and Cute looked good,” Darrow said. “We’re kind of banged up. Foster has a bad knee, and ripped his lip (last weekend at Unatego’s Dan Wickham Classic). Fitzgerald has a finger injury; Meldrim’s shoulder isn’t very good, but he wanted to wrestle against Homer for the last time.”
Homer won four of Wednesday’s six exhibition matches. Shane Davis at 145 and Kyle Rogers (171) recorded pins, while decisions went to Chris Handelman (125) and Kyle Mitchell (160). For Cortland, Geoff Peppel scored a pin at 140 and Jordan Bowers won by decision at 130.
Cortland is now off until a week from Saturday, when Darrow takes a limited contingent to the Minisink Valley Invitational. Homer hosts perennial league, sectional and state powerhouse Fulton Friday, starting with the JVs at 6 p.m.




Olympians win war of attrition

MARATHON — The sickness bug ran through both Marathon Central and Southern Cayuga before their scheduled Interscholastic Athletic Conference wrestling match Wednesday at Appleby Elementary School.
With each team scrambling for healthy bodies, the Olympians had a few more bodies to work with and the result was a 54-10 victory over the visiting Chiefs.
In other matches, Newark Valley stuck Dryden 45-18, Trumansburg nipped Groton 34-33, Candor clipped Odessa-Montour 48-27, Tioga dumped Lansing 41-25, Elmira Notre Dame edged Elmira Heights Edison 30-27 and Waverly whipped Watkins Glen 69-3.
Marathon 54, Southern Cayuga 10: “It was a night that was won at the weigh-ins,” said Marathon coach Jamie Bush. “If you had more kids and they made weight you won. We had kids out do to sickness and injury and Southern Cayuga had the same problem. We had to wrestle this match before Saturday’s League Tournament, so we both went with what we had tonight. “Southern Cayuga is trying to rebuild their program,” Bush added. “Their numbers are low, but they were out a few others tonight because of injury.”
There were five contested matches and Marathon claimed three of those five. With action starting at 152 pounds, Troy Reynolds was the first Marathon contested winner. Kevin Fox (152) and Quin Nichols (171) each won by forfeit before Reynolds  pinned Ray Ceslak in 1:29.
Dustin Mejean followed with a pin at 215 over Zack Littlejohn in 1:34.
Andy Wolfe (285), Tyler Hall (103), Devon Brown (130) and Kasey Bush (140) all received forfeits. There were not matches at 112, 119 and 135.
Scot Torbitt closed out the night with a pin over Teddy Alnutt in 2:33 to give the Olympians their final points.
Marathon will travel to Walton today for a tri-meet with the host Warriors and Oxford at 5:30 p.m.
Newark Valley 45, Dryden 18: Tony Clarke improved to 16-0 while eighth-grader Casey Marquis posted the biggest upset of the night to help Dryden (7-7 overall) score points against a powerful Newark Valley team.
Clarke pinned Jason Gleason at the 1:39 mark of their 215-pound bout for his 14th pin of the season.
Marquis won an exciting match at 112 when he posted a 15-12 decision over highly-touted senior Greg Cornelius.




McGraw spikers beat SV

The McGraw Central volleyball team ended its Central Counties League season on a winning note Wednesday night, beating host Stockbridge Valley 25-22, 25-12, 25-12.
DeRuyter, meanwhile, tuned up for tonight’s showdown of the league’s top two teams at Cincinnatus with a 25-18, 25-20, 21-25, 25-9 win over host Onondaga.
In girls’ basketball, Cincinnatus beat visiting McGraw 54-23 in what was officially a scrimmage, the Eagles technically a JV squad.
McGraw 3, Stockbridge Valley 0: Nicole Law led the way with 10 kills and two aces as the Eagles finished 3-5 in league play and improved to 6-10 overall. Lisa Soshinsky had nine assists, Kristen Guy seven assists and Monica Byron a kill and three aces for the winners.
“I felt that we came out a little slow but did a good job of settling down and playing consistently in the last two games,” McGraw coach Andrew Smith said, “We struggled a little with our serving throughout the match, but were able to make up for it with our passing and aggressive offense. I’m very pleased with the progress the team has made this season and look forward to them playing strongly in our final few matches.”
DeRuyter 3, Onondaga 1: The Rockets improved to 8-2 overall with the victory as Jen Cizenski had seven kills, seven aces, 15 assists and three blocks to lead the way. Weslee Eckler had eight kills, two aces and eight assists, while Polly Gallerani had eight kills and five aces, Megan Stevens seven kills, four aces and a block and Kate Vosburg six kills and an ace.
“I think we were a little more on, and I hope it’s an indication that the team is getting better,” DeRuyter coach Gary Burdick said. “We passed well, had a good serving night, and as a team our hitting was better than it has been. We’ve been working on that pretty hard to be able to be aggressive and still not make a lot of errors.”
The Rockets have won the CCL championship the last three seasons and are 6-1 in the league going into tonight’s match at Cincinnatus, which is 5-0 in the league and 8-1 overall.