Manlius Even as it built itself up as a steady, strong program, the Fayetteville-Manlius wrestling team could not battle its way past Central Square, the reigning power in the CNY Counties League American division.
All of that changed last Wednesday night. In a thrilling season opener, the Hornets got contributions both expected and unexpected, and it proved enough to defeat the Red Hawks 45-36.
F-M, from its 2012-13 squad, graduated Tom Quinlan, who at 152 pounds earned the program’s first state tournament berth in 40 years.
However, Paddy Quinlan remains on hand, and the senior got off to a strong start against Central Square, beating Ben Mayers in an 18-3 technical fall, though it was his teammate delivering four different pins that helped clinch the victory.
None was more exciting that senior Kyle Elander’s 182-pound match against Justin Lanning. Behind in the third period, Elander executed a stunning reversal and managed to pin Lanning with 40 seconds left, giving F-M six valuable points.
Elsewhere, Joe Falcone (120 pounds) pinned Dakota Bolen, while Chris Bortel (220 pounds) earned a fall over Elijah Sampo in 1:45 and Tim Byrnes (195 pounds) gained a victory, too, when Jordan Ridgeway had to default in the first period due to injury. Ben Nosovitch claimed a forfeit in the 106-pound match.
Only three matches went the full six minutes, and the Hornets won all of them. Tristan Brodders had the most impressive effort, at 152, shutting out Blake Engebretsen (a 2013 sectional runner-up) 4-0, as Luke Rufo (145 pounds) rolled past Nate Baskall 16-3. At 170 pounds, Christian Dobrzynski got an 8-4 victory over Nathan Rogers.
For the combined CBA/Jamesville-DeWitt wrestling team, the days of trying to establish itself are long in the past. Now, it wants to build upon what it has already accomplished.
But CBA/J-D must do so without the services of three-time Section III Division I champion J.T. Romagnoli, who has graduated. However, Ben Honis, who won last year’s sectional meet at 195 pounds, is back, ready to lead his team’s title push in the OHSL Freedom division.