February 10, 2014
Section 3 wrestling: Trojans’ Norris Class B champ
VERNON — With an eye on his school’s record book, Matt Norris continued his quest for perfection at the Section 3 Class B Wrestling Championships Saturday at Vernon-Verona-Sherrill Central.
The Homer Central senior stayed unbeaten at 145 pounds with a 4-0 record to claim the title after a 9-3 decision over John Mazza from Class B team champion Central Valley Academy in the finals.
Norris — the top seed in his weight class — is now 38-0 this season, one win short of tying 2013 graduate Mark Dove’s 39-win total set last year. He’s the only wrestler other than the only Trojans’ state champion, Tim Payne, to finish a season undefeated.
Payne went 27-0 during his state title run during the 1966-67 season.
“It is an amazing feat to go undefeated. Matt still has work to do, but he really wrestled well Saturday. He gave an effort equal to that of the MOW,” said Homer coach Jeff Lewis, as the most outstanding wrestling honor went to Central Valley’s 138-pound champion Laken Cook. “Matt really handled his opponents and you could really see the focus in his eyes. He was on a mission.”
Central Valley totaled 213 points, a comfortable first place margin over runner-up South Jefferson (161) as well as seventh-place Cortland High (95) and 10th-place Homer (71.5).
The top four wrestlers in each weight class move on to the Section 3 Division II Championships this Saturday at Onondaga Community College’s SRC Arena in Syracuse.
In his march to the title, Norris scored a technical fall over first-round opponent Dustin Scriber from Oneida in 3:26, pinned Marcellus’ Nate Long in the quarterfinals at the 1:13 mark and notched a 6-3 decision over Purple Tiger junior Grant Tinker (30-13) in the semifinals.
Cortland’s Tinker would finish fourth after dropping an 8-2 decision to Jason Colon from V-V-S in the consolation final to finish the day 3-2.
The two local second seeds, Cortland’s Mike Southwick (36-3) and Homer’s Eric Petrie (33-6), each finished in the runner-up spot.
Southwick went 2-1 at 160 pounds, losing an 11-0 major decision to Mexico’s Trevor Allard in the championship match. The senior scored an 11-0 major decision over Kevin Morrissey of Marcellus and pinned Camden’s Chad Finch in 3:44 to reach the title match.
“Mike wrestled well,” Cortland coach Dave Darrow said. “His loss came to Trevor Allard who is the cream of the crop, a truly top-shelf wrestler, so it was a good day overall.”
Petrie was pinned by V-V-S junior Simon Breckenridge in 1:07 during their 152-pound championship bout. The Trojan senior scored an 11-1 major decision over South Jefferson’s Griffin Charlebois and an 11-5 decision over Morrisville-Eaton’s Andrew Bikowski in the quarters and semifinals.
“Eric really did wrestle well,” Lewis said. “He did a good job. Breckenridge got him on his heels early and that was it in the final.”
Cortland will have three other wrestlers advancing to the Division II Championships while Homer has two more grapplers advancing.
Representing the Purple Tigers will be Drew Towers (28-11) at 132 and Nic Edmond (24-16) at 220 along with the previously mentioned Tinker. Towers went 3-1 on the day including a 5-1 decision over V-V-S’s Jette Collins in the consolation final. Edmond was 2-2 losing in the consolation final.
“Drew and Grant really wrestled over their heads,” Darrow said. “They did great jobs against their opponents. Nic did everything he could to get a qualifying spot for this Saturday.”
Homer had two fourth-place finishers in Isaac Cline (17-6) at 106 pounds and Colin Baker (20-19) at 126. Cline and Baker each went 2-2 on the day.
Cortland had six more wrestlers place in the top six overall. Mike Bay (31-9) placed fifth (2-2) at 99 pounds, Ian George (18-16) was sixth (1-3) at 120, Alec Edwards (19-19) was sixth (1-3) at 138, Chace Bentley (21-20) was sixth (2-3) at 170, Dakoatah Miller (18-13) was sixth (1-3) at 182 and Greg Brown (19-14) placed sixth (1-3) at 285.
“Really all the guys wrestled good as a group,” Darrow stated. “We got four guys going on and maybe we can get three more wild cards. Mike Bay, Dakoatah Miller and Greg Brown could possibly get one of those spots. We’ll see what happens.”
Homer’s Dylan Hotchkiss (171-3) placed fifth at 195 pounds after going 1-2 on the day.
“Isaac and Colin battled all day long and it’s nice to see them move on,” Lewis said. “Colin actually got better throughout the day. Dylan worked hard and we’ll just wait and see if he gets a wild-card spot or not.”
To read this article and more, pick up today's Cortland Standard
Click here to subscribe