December 24, 2008


CHS still has upper hand

Purple Tigers continue win streak over Trojans


Joe McIntyre/staff photographer
Cortland’s High’s Garrett Morse (left) and Homer’s Ben Chace tie-up during the 145-pound match Tuesday night on Homer mats. Though Chace won a close 4-2 decision, CHS was a lopsided 48-11 winner.

Staff Writer

While the two teams are heading in opposite directions right now, there was still plenty of excitement when Cortland High traveled to Homer Central Tuesday night.
The Purple Tigers improved to 12-3 overall with a solid 48-11 over their Trojan rivals, but the home team continues to show improvement. The series has also favored Cortland in the past few years as the Purple Tigers have won six straight contests, including two wins this season. The last Homer win came on Feb. 9, 2004, when the Trojan were 43-17 victors at Cortland High’s Shafer Gymnasium.
“We have had the advantage in recent years,” said Cortland coach Dave Darrow. “A lot of that has to go to this senior group. They have worked hard and are really focused to succeed. They have all gotten a lot of mat time in competition, some since seventh and eighth grade, and all their hard work is paying off.
“The Homer kids battled hard tonight,” Darrow continued. “Those guys are young, but they have shown improvement from when we saw them earlier this season.”
“Our guys did wrestle hard tonight,” said Homer coach Jeff Lewis after his team fell to 9-12 on the season. “Cortland is a very good team and they certainly earned the win.
“Our guys have come a long way from the beginning of the season,” Lewis continued. “I liked the effort they showed tonight. It is hard to comeback against any team when you give up 18 points on forfeits, but our guys kept fighting.”
One of those seniors reaping the rewards is senior Dan Foster, who bumped up to 189 pounds for Tuesday’s match. Foster rolled to an easy 20-5 technical fall triumph over Shane Davis in 2:56. Foster is 18-0 this season and the number one-ranked wrestler at 171 pounds in Section 3.
“My goal is to win sectionals and go as far as I can this season,” Foster said. “As much as I want success for myself, I also want our team to do well this season.
“Coach Darrow has made sure that we do get lots of matches against good opponents every year,” Foster continued. “All that mat time is what makes me and the rest of our team good.”
“Dan is a phenomenal wrestler,”said Darrow. “He has worked very hard to get where he is. I believe he has over 135 wins now and I don’t think he’s lost nine matches since his freshman season. He has big goals for this season, but he has the chance to accomplish those goals.”
The meet began at 160 pounds and Cortland came out strong, winning 10 straight bouts. Garrett Wyatt set the tone for the Purple Tigers with an exciting 8-7 decision over James Cochran.
With all the Cortland guys bumping up, Corby Reynolds scored a 14-6 major decision over Kyle Mitchell at 189 before Foster’s win. Josh Morehouse followed with a 57-second pinfall over Trojan Ryan Murray at 215 and Zac Alexander scored an 11-4 decision over Bob Chambrone at 103 for a 21-0 Purple Tiger lead.
Cortland received forfeits at 112, 119 and 125 pounds to build an insurmountable advantage.
When contested matches resumed at 130, Mike Gates overcame a 5-3 deficit in the third period to post an 8-5 decision over Ben McBride. The Trojan junior trailed 3-1 before scoring a takedown and two-point near fall. Gates responded with a two-point reversal to tie the score at 5-all before a three-point near fall provided the winning points.
Jason DeGouff gave Cortland a 48-0 lead by pinning Chris Handleman as the very end of the second period.
Homer closed out the match with three confidence-boasting wins.
Trojan senior Saxon Sprouse took control early and scored a 17-0 technical fall over Devo Darrow at the 3:05 mark of their 140-pound match. Sprouse used a take down and two 3-point near falls for an 8-0 lead after the first period.
“I did wrestle well tonight,” said Sprouse. “I have my own goals of going as far as I can in sectionals, hopefully winning a title.
“While I want to do well myself,”he continued. “I am one of the leaders on this team and it is my job to help all the younger kids get better. We may be losing matches, but we are all coming onto the mat each time while a lot of heart and desire. We are working hard as a group and we are going to make any opponent work that much harder if they want to beat us. There is a very bright future with these younger wrestlers and that will continue to help our program improve.”
The final two matches were also Trojan victories, but they were also the two most exciting matches of the evening.
After a 0-0 first period in the 145-pound match, Garrett Morse started the second period in the down-position with hands and knees on the mat. The Purple Tiger got a two-point reversal against Ben Chace, but the Trojan would escape to earn one point. Chace got a takedown later in the period to build a 3-2 advantage heading into the third period. Chace would score a one-point escape midway through the third period and kept Morse at bay the remainder of the bout to posted a 4-2 win.
In the final match of the night, Nate Crawford earned a 3-1 victory over Montana Sanders for the three points in the Trojans’ team total. Sanders worked hard to get a one-point escape in the second period, but was penalized one point in the process for leaving the mat to even the bout at 1-1. Crawford later scored a two-point takedown to build 3-1 cushion after two periods. Sanders pressed the attack in the final two minutes and Crawford received a warning for stalling, but the Trojan did enough to keep the two-point advantage and the earn the victory.
“Ben wrestled a great match and got a good win over Garrett Morse,” said Lewis. “Nate did a very nice job as well. Montana is a tough kid and a very good wrestler.
“Saxon was really focused and he is one of our leaders,” Lewis continued. “I also thought Ben McBride came out and was much more aggressive tonight. He wrestled well and lost a tough match to the Gates kid.”
Cortland High will return to action Monday and Tuesday at the Brett D. Dixon Memorial Duals at Central Square.
Homer wrestlers will enjoy a little time off before returning to action Jan. 6. The Trojans will host Jordan-Elbridge that night at six o’clock.

Cortland 48, Homer 11
160- Garrett Wyatt (Cort) dec. James Cochran, 8-7. 171- Corby Reynolds (Cort) major dec. Kyle Mitchell, 14-6. 189- Dan Foster (Cort) tech. fall over Shane Davis, 2:56 (20-5). 215- Josh Morehouse (Cort) pinned Ryan Murray, 0:57. 103- Zac Alexander (Cort). dec. Bob Chambrone, 11-4. 112- Barklee Sanders (Cort) won by forfeit. 119- Brandon Anderson (Cort) won by forfeit. 125- Eric Reisweber (Cort) won by forfeit. 130- Mike Gates (Cort) dec. Ben McBride, 8-5. 135- Jason DeGouff (Cort) pinned Chris Handleman, 4:00. 140- Saxon Sprouse (Hom) tech. fall over Devon Darrow, 3:05 (17-0). 145- Ben Chace (Hom) dec. Garrett Morse, 4-2. 152- Nate Crawford (Hom) dec. Montana Sanders, 3-1.
Exhibition: 160- Luke Bush (Cort) pinned John McCall, 3:59.