GOLDEN KNIGHTS OUTDUEL SPARTANS-48-30-HIGH SCHOOL WRESTLING
Holland Patent’s Alex Harringshaw battles with New Hartford’s Marcus Castaneda.
Jeff Pexton-MHTS/PGI Photo
The Holland Patent Golden Knights, wrestling team, improved their season duel meet record to (18-5) tonight, after defeating the New Hartford Spartans by a score of 48-30, at New Hartford High School.
A buzz filled the air as fans gathered to watch these two storied programs hit the mats. There is always a buzz in the air when the Golden Knights visit.
Coach Dave Caruso sent his Spartans into action looking to climb up the ladder in the Center States Division II standings and knew it would be a tough road to travel as the Division leading Golden Knights and coach JohnRichard’s team came to town on a roll.
The match started out at the 182 pound weight class, when Holland Patent’s Taylor Short squared off against New Hartford’s Mike Nole.
Short entered tonight’s action ranked #3 in Section III (small schools), carrying a record of (23-3). Short pinned Nole at the 3:07 mark of the second period to give the Knights a 6-0 advantage on the team scoreboard.
Next up was the 195 pound weight class featuring New Hartford’s Jimmy Laurenzo, the 4th ranked wrestler in his weight class in Section III, with a record of (14-4) so far this season and Holland Patent’s Matt Williams.
Laurenzo returned the favor to Holland Patent with a second period pin of Williams to tie the match at 6-6.
Holland Patent grabbed a 12-6 advantage when the 220 pound weight class was forfeited by the Spartans.
The next contest was the 285 pound match, pitting New Hartford’s Ryan McCormac and Holland Patent’s John Langley. Langley, a junior, came into tonight’s match with a 25-1 record and rated the second best wrestler in Section III this season in the small schools division.
Langley certainly lived up to his billing in this one, pinning McCormac just :58 seconds into the opening period. That pin gave Holland Patent an 18-6 lead on the board.
Things then shifted back to the light weight classes and first up was a very spirited 99 pound bout between New Hartford’s Ian McKenna, a 7th grader and Sam Olczyk, a junior, of Holland Patent.
This one was one of the most entertaining matches of the night, as both wrestlers exhibited tremendous speed on the mat, together with a very aggressive style.
This match was tied almost the entire way, but Olczyk gained a reversal with under a minute remaining in the to win a hard-fought 6-4 points decision over McKenna.
The win also gave Holland Patent a 21-6 lead in the overall meet standings.
At 106 pounds, Ian McKenna’s brother Kelan, a freshman, took on Holland Patent’s Aaron Stowell.
McKenna, Section III’s number #1 ranked wrestler at 99 pounds this season, was coming off a championship in the Leo J. Sammon Tournament last weekend, his first wrestling since fracturing his hand earlier this season.
The determined McKenna made quick work of Stowell tonight, pinning him in the first period. McKenna’s win pulled New Hartford to within 21-12.
The 113 pound match may have been one of the most highly anticipated by the huge crowd on hand this evening.
For New Hartford it was Dempsey King, the 2011-12 Section III Champion as an 8th grader. This season King is Section III’s number 1 ranked wrestler at 106 pounds, amassing a record of (14-2) so far this Winter.
Tonight, King bumped up a class to 113 and faced off against Holland Patent’s Hunter Richard, ranked number one at 113 pounds this season, carrying a record of (24-3) .
This one had a little bit of everything, but the first period yielded no points for either wrestler. The second period saw Richard gain a two point reversal to take a 2-0 lead to the third period.
King responded with a reversal of his own in the third to tie the score at 2-2. Then, in a very peculiar chain of events after time expired in the third period, Richard was awarded one point for an escape, sending the home crowd into a howl of collective disbelief.
Nonetheless, Richard was awarded the 3-2 decision over King and Holland Patent a 24-12 lead.
Austin Benoit then picked up three points for New Hartford with a 7-4 decision over Mason Herkel at 120 pounds.
Then, in the 126 pound showdown, New Hartford’s Daniel Fancett pinned Tucker Ofalt in the first period to pull the Spartans to within 24-21.
A pin by Holland Patent’s Alex Herringshaw over Marcus Castaneda at the 132 pound class followed by a Spartans forfeit at the 138 pound class put Holland Patent up 36-21.
Holland Patent did not relinquish this lead, despite a valiant effort from Sean McKenna at 145 pounds, the Section’s number #2 ranked wrestler in his weight class (138 lbs) this year with a (12-1) record.
McKenna overcame an early points deficit and a painful ankle injury to defeat Todd Stevens of Holland Patent by a score of 7-4.
Kinsey Williams and Mark Grogan won their matches at 152 and 160 pounds respectively and the Knights also got a forfeit at 176 to take this match by a score of 48-30.
New Hartford dropped to (3-5) in duel meets on the season and will look to get back in the win column with a home match Thursday against Mohawk.
Holland Patent (18-5) will travel to Sullivan Community College Friday and Saturday for the Eastern States Classic Tournament,