Both the Oneida and Vernon Verona Sherrill wrestling teams managed season-opening wins against Tri-Valley League foes
before meeting head-to-head this Wednesday night.
In the Indians' case, it proved tougher, but it never trailed in last Wednesday night's meet against New Hartford and posted a 42-23 victory over the Spartans at the start of a three-way meet also involving Mohawk.
They started the meet at 189 pounds, but Oneida head coach Jim Dilorio decided to move Carl Finch up to 215 to face Pat Parker. The move paid off, as Finch pinned Parker in 1:23 and Oneida was on its way.
Nick Hopkins had the next key win, at 112 pounds, blanking Brandon Delmonte in a tough 2-0 decision, and the two sides continued to trade wins as Joe Casella (125 pounds) emerged to pin Trey Lohr in 1:20, and Matt Fisher (135 pounds) claimed a forfeit.
Oneida was down, 23-21, but it won by claiming each of the last four matches, two by forfeits to Connor Lomanco (152 pounds) and Jake Straczuk (160 pounds).
Lon Palmer began the late surge, at 145 pounds, keeping the Spartans' Chris Broccoli off the board in a 4-0 shutout. Tyler Miller closed out the meet at 171 pounds by winning over Marshal Cominski due to injury default.
In a complete turnaround, though, Oneida lost to Mohawk 48-19, only getting three wins on the mat. Casella pinned D.J. Orillo in 2:25, while Fisher earned a 9-3 decision over Kyle LeBarge and Miller blanked Travis Herringshaw 9-0. Hopkins won with a forfeit.
As this went on, VVS had ripped Camden 51-15 in its season opener.
Dylan Kavanaugh, the 2009 Section III Division II champion at 96 pounds, moved up to 112 pounds and beat Natalia McCormick 12-1, and Joe Tiller (130 pounds) got a crucial three points by edging Tom Confer 9-8.