Prior to resuming leagues matches, the Oneida, Canastota and Chittenango wrestling teams each went to the first-ever Herkimer Invitational on Dec. 12.
The Indians finished third in the 19-team field, with 118 points, with the Raiders claiming fourth place (107 points) and the Bears sliding into 12th place with 58.5 points. Sherburne-Earlville (148 points) edged Mohawk (138 points) for the top spot.
Oneida saw Steve Ellsworth prevail at 160 pounds, dominating Mohawk's Eric Ulinski 12-0 in the finals. Joe Casella was second at 125 pounds, beaten in the finals by Cortland's Eric Reisweber.
Nick Hopkins (112 pounds) and Lon Palmer (145 pounds) each had third-place efforts for the Indians thanks to close decisions in consolation matches -- Hopkins over Robert Maida (Herkimer) 4-2, Palmer over Dustin Bond (Mohawk) 10-6. Connor Russ was fourth at 103 pounds.
Canastota had four wrestlers reach the finals, but none of them could win. Zach Zupan, at 171 pounds, lost a 9-7 classic to East Syracuse-Minoa's Dustin Moss, who was eventually named the tournament's Most Outstanding Wrestler.
As for Sam Stagnitti (215 pounds), he fell to Mike Barse (Mohawk) 5-2, while Schuyler Jayson (145 pounds) had a 6-2 defeat to S-E's Danny Cleveland. Tyler Sirota made it to the 152-pound final before Mohawk's Zach Hunt pinned him in the first period. Jeremy Brodfuehrer (160 pounds) and Fred Sherman (189 pounds) gave the Raiders fourth-place finishes.
Chittenango did not have a wrestler reach the finals, but John Regan, at 135 pounds, earned third place by beating ESM's Brendon O'Donnell in the consolation finals. Cody Carberry dropped a tight 6-4 match to Gavin Goldsmith (Mohawk) and finished fourth at 96 pounds, with Bears teammate Wesley Blanding doing the same at 130 pounds.
Now they went back to league meets. Canastota went first, hosting Ilion last Tuesday and dominating early, only to see the Golden Bombers come back and prevail by a score of 42-26.