Even with two state finishers back in the fold, the Vernon-Verona-Sherrill wrestling team could not surpass Adirondack in last Tuesday night's season-opening meet in Boonville, taking a 38-27 loss to the Wildcats.
Dylan Kavanaugh returns for the Red Devils, the sophomore having finished second in the 2008 state Division II tournament in the 96-pound category.
Yet for his opening match, Kavanaugh, at 112 pounds, drew Ken Eaton, a fifth-place state finisher at 103 pounds a season ago. Eaton would dominate the showdown, defeating Kavanaugh in a 12-0 decision.
It proved to be different for Dan Walts, who returns after a state tournament appearance at 112 pounds last winter. Up at 119 pounds for this match, Walts needed just 1:06 to pin his Adirondack foe, Pat Webster.
Elsewhere, Alex Mieczkowski, at 171 pounds, pinned Devin Riegler with 14 seconds left in their match, while brother Nick Mieczkowski (215 pounds) edged past Tim Stammers 6-4. Nathan Walts won at 130 pounds in a 9-4 decision over Brian Harrer and John Hudson (103 pounds) claimed a forfeit.
Adirondack won seven of the 11 contested matches, four of them by pins, plus a forfeit and two major decisions, including Eaton's win over Kavanaugh.
On Saturday, VVS paid a visit to the Morrisville-Eaton Dual Meet and went 2-2, tying for second with the host Warriors and Cazenovia behind Chenango Valley (Section IV), who had a perfect 4-0 mark.
The Red Devils opened with a 35-27 loss to Cazenovia, where an early 12-0 lead got away despite wins from Dan Walts, Kavanaugh, Mieczkowski and Karl Frank (152 pounds), who pinned Dan Cossitt in 3:22.
In another narrow decision, VVS fell to Chenango Valley 41-34, again starting out with a 12-0 lead thanks to pins by Nathan Walts and Aaron Pritchard (135 pounds). Nick Mieczkowski (215 pounds), Kavanaugh and Dan Walts led a late rally, and David Rathbun (125 pounds) had a chance to give the Red Devils the win before falling to Adam Greene in a first-period pin.