Galway’s wrestling success a team effort

Galway's success a team effort

There’s a sign on Route 147 at the outskirts of this town that could be due for an update.

The roadside marker that acknowledges the 1995-96 Galway wrestling team for winning the Section II Class C wrestling championship may need to add a few more lines if the current team has its way.

Mike Sartin’s Eagles ended the December porion of their schedule with an 11-0 record in duals, including sweeps in a pair of dual meet tourneys and a huge league victory at Duanesburg.

“It would be great if we could win sectionals, and be on that plaque,” said Dean Poulin.

“I’d love for us to be on there. That would be great,” added Nick Webb-Horvath, like Poulin, part of a group of seniors who are making the most of their senior season,

The ability to fill all 15 weight classes has been a major part of Galway’s success.

“In the past, we would go in with eight or nine guys, and we would win on the mat, but lose the dual meet,” said Sartin, who is stepping down after this, his 15th season.

“This year, with a full lineup, and with the seniors we have and their experience, it’s made a difference.”

“The fact that we can go out there and know we have a good team and should win, that’s a good feeling,” said Jordan Sartin, the coach’s nephew, who is 14-0.

“We’ve got some new guys who are good, and the guys back are having good years. It’s fun this year.”

“It’s not very often you get a small school like Galway that can put out a whole lineup and have a bench,” said senior Steven Culbert, in his fifth varsity season. “It’s rare.”

“The team fits together like a puzzle. We have good kids throughout the lineup,” said Poulin, a senior middleweight with a 12-1 record. “Usually, we had trouble filling the lineup. This year, we’ve got backups.”

The strength in numbers helped the Eagles achieve their No. 1 goal when they handed Duanesburg its first league loss in 15 years.

“Oh, my God. Wow. That is 99.9 percent of the goals on our wall,” said Culbert. “And it has been for so long. Beating them was huge.

“The past 15 years, they’ve been league champions.”

“We have our goals on the wall, and pretty much everybody’s goal was to beat Duanesburg,” said Jordan Sartin. “We finally did it.”

“They have been the main roadblock to us winning a WAC championship. That was really nice,” agreed senior Nick Webb-Horvath. “And getting coach a win against them was nice.

“The environment at the Duanesburg match was insane. Everybody was cheering everybody on. The next day, none of us had a voice.”

“That was so amazing, then beating them on their home mat, was really good. It’s nice to go into a match with a full lineup,” Poulin said.

Not only does having some 25 wrestlers on the roster give coach Sartin and assistants Joe Culbert and Rick Poplaski the ability to get the best matchups in duals, it also allows the wrestlers to change workout partners.

“With more practice partners, you get better,” said Culbert.

“It gives you a chance to see different things,” said Poulin. “And we’re all good about critiquing each other.”

It’s not only the seniors who are leading the way. Sartin is unbeaten. Freshman Dillan Pallaszewski is 13-1. Newcomers Logan Wieland and Brock Naehr have made contributions.

“We’ve got a lot of seniors, but the younger guys and new guys are really picking it up,” said Culbert. “Logan pinned all four of his guys, and was the MVP at the Amsterdam Duals.”

“We’ve got a lot of good, young wrestlers, like Jordan and Dillan. We’ve got confidence in them,” Poulin said.

“The last match in the Amsterdam Duals came down to Dillan. I wouldn’t want anyone else out there. I have a lot of confidence in those guys.”

“We’ve always coached these guys that every point counts,” said coach Sartin. “Instead of a 7-0 decision, get that extra point and make it a major decision. If you get somebody on their back, get the pin and the pin points.”

“We knew against Amsterdam, if our heavyweight didn’t get teched or pinned, we were going to win. He got put on his back, but he fought off his back and got out of it. He saves us a point, and we ended up winning by a point.

“The last match of the day, we pulled the guys together and told them from 99 to 152 we needed to maximize our points. Having Dillan as the last up one in that match, we were very confident.”

The Eagles don’t compete again until after the break, highlighted by their home tournament — the Greg Rockwood Memorial — and their first appearance in the two-day Lansingburgh Duals.

Categories: High School Sports

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