The rapid rise of CBA/Jamesville-DeWitt’s wrestling program was reflected in its first invitation to compete in one of the winter’s biggest events, the Section III Dual Meet.
Held every January, the Dual Meet gathers the top 16 teams in Central New York for a single-elimination tournament.
This year’s edition took place Saturday at Cicero-North Syracuse, where CBA/J-D, unseeded, drew a tough opening-round assignment against no. 2 seed and defending Dual Meet champion Phoenix, who would prevail by a score of 53-16.
They started at 126 pounds, and Phoenix won five of the first six matches. Only Matt Lauro, at 132 pounds, broke that spell, dominating Kyle Demo and nearly getting a technical fall before settling for a 16-2 decision.
Mark Friske won a tough 170-pound match, edging Justin Rhodes 6-4, while George Kassis (182 pounds) took a close 11-9 defeat to William Hilliard.
The last two CBA/J-D wins came from Ben Honis (195 pounds) and Zach Shapiro (220 pounds), as Honis took just 45 seconds to pin Jeremy Lindsey and Shapiro shut out Mike Mironti 12-0.
Phoenix would go on to beat Mexico 49-23 in the quarterfinals before General Brown, the no. 3 seed, stopped the Firebirds 39-25 in the semifinals. It was top seed South Jefferson claiming the Dual Meet championship after handling General Brown 45-19 in the finals.
Before all this, CBA/J-D had to host Cortland last Wednesday night, and the Purple Tigers, with a pair of mini-runs, took control and prevailed by a 42-31 margin.
Fueled by Zack Alexander’s 10-8 decision over Lauro in the 132-pound opener, Cortland won the first three matches and was up 15-0 before J.T. Romagnoli, at 152, put CBA/J-D on the board when he pinned Drew Towers in 2:20.
Starting at 170, CBA/J-D won four straight matches. Friske pinned Jody Leonard in 1:37, while Kaalar Wynn (182) beat Andrew Price 6-3. Honis finished off Antonio Bustamante in 3:48 before Shapiro won an 8-7 thriller over Paul Turco.