Never would the Chittenango wrestling team be as busy as it was during a five-day span this week where it had three meets against quality opponents, plus a tournament where it would come out on top.
All of this culminated with the Bears meeting Route 5 rival Canastota on Thursday night, and despite a strong effort it took a 44-36 loss to the Raiders.
Of the 10 matches contested, Chittenango won six of them, beaten only because it had to forfeit four different times, while Canastota only surrendered one match, to Matt Bixby at 112 pounds.
The Bears, in fact, won the first four matches, starting with Wes Blanding (135 pounds) beating Billy Rinauto in a 19-3 technical fall. Then Alex Carter (140 pounds) and John Regan (145 pounds) earned first-period pins over, respectively, Jacob Lighthall and Brendon Kitt, and Nic Bacon (152 pounds) beat Wyatt Albanese 9-3.
All of the Raiders' forfeits came in the next five matches, with Zach Zupan pinning Zach Graham in 1:31 in the 189-pound contest the lone exception. Sam Farfaglia (160 pounds), Tyler Sirota (171 pounds), Fred Sherman (215 pounds) and Randy Bovee (285 pounds) didn't even have to wrestle.
Now down 30-20, the Bears saw Cody Carbery (96 pounds) beat Nate Walker 15-5 and Gunnar Brooks (119 pounds) pin Chris Bradley in 2:30, which put them ahead 36-35 with two matches left.
Canastota would have the last surge, though, as Joe Tiller, at 125 pounds, fought his way to a 7-2 decision over Rudy Farsaci and Anthony Finocchiaro (130 pounds) closed it out with a technical fall.
All this started for the Bears when it hosted Mexico last Tuesday night and led the Tigers in the late going before a lack of manpower led to a 39-29 defeat.
With two matches left, the Bears had a 29-27 lead, but had no one to compete at 160 or 171 pounds, leading to forfeits that allowed Mexico to escape - just as would happen against Canastota.