All the respect the Cazenovia wrestling team has gained through the years was reflected in the fact that it was one of 16 teams invited to square off in Saturday's Section III Dual Meet at Cicero-North Syracuse.
Trying to prove itself against the best, the Lakers got the worst possible draw and had to face top seed South Jefferson in the opening round.
Cazenovia would get a fair share of points -- but the Spartans, on what would prove to be an historic day for them, had too much, and the Lakers took a 36-24 defeat.
After losing the first two matches, the Lakers got on the board at 145 pounds, when Dylan Perry rolled past Matt Kealy 10-1 and Noah Shephard (152 pounds) followed with a 3-0 shutout of Joe DeFranco.
South Jefferson would then take the next three matches, the Lakers waiting until Cody Foster (215 pounds) showed up to beat Grant White 11-5. Ryan Cook (112 pounds) would be impressive, too, toppling Jon Crast 16-6 as, in between, Brad Nardella (103 pounds) lost a 3-1 decision to Jeron Tanner.
With the Spartans having clinched the win, it allowed Cazenovia's Teddy Kugler to claim a forfeit at 125 pounds and Jake Wilson (130 pounds) to close it out with a 13-1 romp over Trevor Cowles.
Of course, South Jefferson didn't stop there, as the Spartans would top Adirondack 45-21, hold off Indian River 32-27 and upend Fulton 32-26 to win its first-ever Dual Meet title.
Prior to all this, the busy Lakers competed twice during the week. It hosted Jordan-Elbridge last Tuesday night and breezed to a 47-15 victory over the Eagles.
Cazenovia won each weight class from 145 pounds upwards, including forfeits to Avery Stone-Fish (152), Dylan Holgate (160) and Dan Cossett (171).
Matt Staiger, at 215 pounds, took just 21 seconds to pin Jeff Bryant, while Perry had to wait until the third period to get his technical fall over Eric Gross.