In recent years, the Oneida wrestling team has lagged far behind its rivals from Vernon Verona Sherrill -- but those days might soon be ending.
True, the Red Devils won yet another head-to-head meeting with the Indians last Wednesday night -- but the 34-28 margin suggests that VVS might not hold exclusive rights to future success in this feud.
In terms of head-to-head matches, Oneida fared just as well, and the margin had as much to do with the fact that the Indians did not put up anyone against VVS stars Dan Walts (130 pounds) and Dylan Kavanaugh (112 pounds), both of whom took forfeits.
Nick Mieczkowski, at 189 pounds, also won by forfeit, meaning that VVS got more than half its points without having to work for it.
Oneida's Matt Fisher made short work of the night's first match at 135 pounds, pinning Alex Gilbert in 51 seconds, after which Nate Walts (140 pounds) showed up to blank Mark Friske 8-0 and extend the VVS lead.
Two tough matches followed. The Indians' Connor Lomonaco beat 145-pound opponent David Rathbun, and Oneida had a chance at further momentum in the 152-pound match, only to see the Red Devils' Lane Frost edge Rod Palmer 2-0.
And the exchanged continued at 160 pounds, where Steve Ellsworth gave the Indians an 11-1 romp over Sean Ervin before Alex Mieczkowski (171 pounds) put VVS back on track, beating Tyler Miller in a tense 4-2 decision.
At 215 pounds, Kyle Reader dominated for the Red Devils, taking just 15 seconds to pin Matt Otts, while the Indians' Connor Russ (103 pounds) answered with a 46-second pin of Kasey Proper.
VVS clinched the meet with the forfeit to Kavanaugh, but Oneida still finished strong. Nate Hopkins, at 119 pounds, edged past Jon Hudson 3-2, and Joe Casella (125 pounds) pinned Joe Tiller with 23 seconds left in their match.