SYRACUSE Cazenovia wrestling senior Dylan Evans had a chance to deliver his program’s first Section III individual wrestling championship in 46 years, but fell just short of that elusive goal.
Not since 1967, when Lee Avery took the title at 103 pounds, had any Laker wrestler made it to the top of the awards podium, but Evans got that chance with an inspired performance at last Saturday’s sectional Division II meet at Onondaga Community College’s SRC Arena.
Working from a no. 4 seed in a 14-wrestler field, Evans nearly got surprised in the opening round by Copenhagen’s Breven Jacobs, but pulled out a 6-4 decision. The quarterfinal round proved a bit easier as Evans shut out Phoenix’s Brad Dietz 5-0.
The semifinal match appeared to be the biggest hurdle, Evans going up against the top seed, Canastota’s Nate Walker. For six minutes, the pair only managed a single escape apiece, leaving it to the second overtime, where Evans pulled off a reversal and recorded a 3-1 victory.
So now all Evans had to do was beat Cooperstown’s Mike Boyle in the championship match to end the Lakers’ long wait for a sectional champion. But Boyle executed a takedown and escape to move in front, 3-0, and Evans never caught up, settling for a 4-2 defeat.
This sectional run left Evans with an overall record of 36-7 and the hope that, perhaps, it would be good enough to earn a wild-card bid into the Feb. 22-23 state championship meet at Albany’s Times Union Center.
Elsewhere at the sectional meet, Nick Petroff, working from a no. 5 seed at 126 pounds, beat Will Young (Chittenango) 4-1 in the first round but lost in the quarterfinals to Cortland’s Zach Alexander. A 7-4 win over Tully’s Jon DeCarlo led to a spot on the podium, but two more defeats meant that Petroff (35-9) would settle for sixth place.