CANAJOHARIE — Though one match remains in the league schedule, the Duanesburg/Schoharie wrestling team put itself in the driver’s seat for another Western Athletic Conference title on Thursday.
With a 42-27 victory at Canajoharie/Fort Plain, Duanesburg/Schoharie put itself one win from its third straight league title.
Duanesburg/Schoharie also won the WAC title in 2018-19 and 2019-20. There was no league title awarded in 2020-21 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
After dropping a 39-28 decision to Canajoharie/Fort Plain at the Battle in the Valley at Cobleskill-Richmondville on Dec. 18, Duanesburg/Schoharie turned the tables in the rematch.
“They had more people in the lineup this time,” Canajoharie/Fort Plain coach Bob VanSlyke said. “They came prepared tonight.”
The loss to C/FP was part of a 2-3 effort at Cobleskill-Richmondville and dropped Duanesburg/Schoharie to 6-5.
“Every season, we seem to hit a low point at some point, and, hopefully, that was it,” Duanesburg/Schoharie coach Ryan Patrie said of his team’s fourth-place finish at the Battle in the Valley.
Since then, Duanesburg/Schoharie has won its last eight matches, including going 5-0 to win the Joe Bena Schenectady County Duals on Dec. 30.
“Since the Christmas weights have kicked in, we’ve gotten everybody down to the right weights,” Patrie said. “The kids are starting to hit their strides. We’re starting to look more refined and technical. All those things are contributing to us turning it around.”
Carson Killenberger (126 pounds), Christopher Vogt (132), Jacob Schweigard (145), Jeremy Rehberg (152), Dalton Cooper (215) and Tyler Lloyd (285) all posted pinfall victories for Duanesburg/Schoharie, which won eight of 13 weight classes.
“Our Schoharie guys — Jeremy Rehberg, Tyler Lloyd and Jacob Schweigard — came through for us with big wins tonight,” Patrie said.
Scott Nicolella (118) and Adam Noviczski (160) won by decision for Duanesburg/Schoharie.
The match began at 215 pounds and Cooper and Lloyd picked up pins to give Duanesburg/Schoharie a 12-0 lead. Jordan Leon-Swank (102) and Austin Horender (110) claimed back-to-back forfeit wins to tie the match at 12 after four eight classes before Duanesburg/Schoharie went on to six of the next seven weight classes to seal the victory.
“We were nervous coming into tonight,” Patrie said. “It depended on the coin flip and that’s 50-50, but it went in our favor. That helped us get the matchups we wanted and needed to get the win.”
Evan Smida (189) won by pin for Canajoharie/Fort Plain, while Cody Haig (138) won by decision. Reed Douglass (172) added a forfeit win for C/FP.
“We beat them once, but they came back, wrestled hard and got us this time,” VanSlyke said. “They’re a tough team. They earned it. I’m still proud of our guys. They tried hard.”
Thursday’s match was the final home contest for C/FP’s Haig, Smida, Kesler Nichols, Chris Moore, Thomas Weingart and Reed Douglass. The six seniors were honored prior to the match.
Canajoharie/Fort Plain (5-4 overall,1-1 WAC) is scheduled to travel to the Hoosick Falls Duals on Saturday before traveling to Dolgeville on Tuesday. C/FP is set to wrap up its WAC slate at Berne-Knox-Westerlo/Middleburgh next Thursday.
Duanesburg/Schoharie (14-5 overall, 2-0) is slated to travel to the Maple Hill Tournament on Saturday before hosting Oneonta in a non-league match Wednesday. Duanesburg/Schoharie is set to conclude its WAC schedule by hosting Fonda-Johnstown next Thursday.
SECTION II DIVISION 2 DUALS CANCELED
Duanesburg/Schoharie also was slated to compete at the Section II Division 2 Dual Meet Tournament Tuesday at Warrensburg. Duanesburg/Schoharie was set to face Hudson Falls in the semifinals, with the winner facing host Warrensburg in the title match.
However, after Hudson Falls pulled out of the event, Duanesburg/Schoharie decided to do the same.
Section II Wrestling Chairman John Visneowski sent out the following statement Thursday: “Due to issues regarding COVID protocols, the Section 2 Division 2 dual meet tournament will not be held next week. Warrensburg will represent Section 2 at the State Dual Meet Tournament on January 29.”
Patrie said his team decided not to take part for a variety of reasons.
“Hudson Falls pulled out of the dual-meet tournament, so we opted to pull out as well,” he said. “We’ve faced Warrensburg twice already this year and that’s a long trip to make on a weeknight for one match. We decided to try to keep our bubble small and hopefully, keep our team safe and healthy coming down the stretch. It’s unfortunate, but I think it’s the right move for us.”
215: Dalton Cooper (D/S) pinned Kesler Nichols, 3:19; 285: Tyler Lloyd (D/S) pinned Dustin Moyer, 1:17; 102: Jordan Leon-Swank (C/FP) won by forfeit; 110: Austin Horender (C/FP) won by forfeit; 118: Scott Nicolella (D/S) dec. Alex Smith, 9-4; 126: Carson Killenberger (D/S) pinned Grayson Lapi, :36; 132: Christopher Vogt (D/S) pinned Thomas Weingart, 1:06; 138: Cody Haig (C/FP) dec. Dan Stealey, 8-4; 145: Jacob Schweigard (D/S) pinned Chris Moore, 5:38; 152: Jeremy Rehberg (D/S) pinned Christian Burke, 1:46; 160: Adam Noviczski (D/S) dec. Will Douglass, 7-2; 172: Reed Douglass (C/FP) won by forfeit; 189: Evan Smida (C/FP) pinned Mason Welch, :27.