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November 27, 2009

 

Different Cortland look this season

By TANEY BEAUMONT
Staff Writer

Things are going to be different for the Cortland High wrestling team this season.
“We’re young,” said coach Dave Darrow, whose Purple Tigers open the season by hosting their own dual-meet tournament Saturday. “We won’t be able to field a full line-up for dual meets. We’ll have holes at two of the three bottom weight classes — 103, 112 and 119. The problem was we had a lot of solid seniors who’d wrestled for awhile. Sometimes when you have a great team with good older kids, you lose some younger ones who don’t want to be backups.
“We only have three seniors this year, so we’ll have 17 guys back last year. We’ll be solid next year, but we’ll struggle this year.”
Last year’s squad finished 3-3 in the OHSL Freedom Division and 31-7 overall to set a school record for wins. Key losses from that team include:
— Dan Foster, who finished 50-3 with 16 pins last winter, when he was Section 3 Division I champion at 171 pounds, and went 154-32 for his career, which included two state tournament appearances.
— Josh Morehouse, who went 44-6 (19) at 215, won his second straight sectional Class A title at that weight class, was fourth in the D-1 sectionals and finished 123-33 (57) for his career.
— Corby Reynolds, 44-8 (14) last year with a third-place finish at 152 in Class A and runner-up in D-1, with a final career record of 88-61(29).
— Mike Gates, Class A and D-I runner-up at 125 last year, when he was 31-7 (23) to finish out a career in which he went 73-19 (44).
The three seniors, and team tri-captains, on this year’s squad are Eric Reisweber (125), who was runner-up at 119 in Class A and D-I last year, finished 35-12 (12) and was 86-51 (28) for his career; Cody Hartmann (189), who was fourth in Class A at that weight class last season, and Jason DeGouff (130) , who was 37-15 (22) at 130-35 last year and is 55-33 (28) for his career.
Returning juniors are Garret Morse (171), 24-12 (13) at 140-45-52 and 59-57 (33) career; Tyler Thayer (135), 20-18 (5) at 112 in 2008-09 and 33-31 (12) career; Luke Bush (160), Jordan Bowers (140; back at CHS after a year at Corcoran) and Jesse Towers (140).
Sophomores Jon Cepeda (189) and Anthony Stento (135) return, as do freshmen Zach Alexander (103, who was 23-12 (3) at 96-103 last year, and Ryan Webber (130).
The newcomers are sophomores Nick Hall (135) and Mark Phelps (145), and freshmen Colin Walsh (135), Paul Turco (189), Hunter Brandon (152), Frank Davenport (125), Andy Price (160) and Antonio Bustamante (189).
“We want to be competitive and get better,” Darrow said. “We want to have fun and keep everyone wrestling. We have some good returning kids, but can’t fill the lineup and are inexperienced overall besides. We won’t be going to any of the big 10-team tournament like we have been; we don’t have the numbers.
“Fulton is the top team in the league, without question, and Mexico will be up there, too; then comes everyone else.”