Anyone who was expecting high drama in Wednesday night’s Surburban Council wrestling match between league unbeatens Shenendehowa and Columbia should be at Colonie High around 6 p.m. on Saturday.
With the match heavily in Shenendehowa’s favor with two-thirds of the 15 bouts completed, both coaches opted to hold off on some big head-to-head matchups until the Class A tournament.
Shenendehowa prevailed over the Blue Devils, 50-24, the second consecutive year the Plainsmen beat Columbia for the overall Suburban Council championship. The six-time-running Class A champions also wrapped up an 8-0 SC season, their seventh straight perfect run through the league.
“We’ve both got a lot of kids that we’re hoping will do well the next few weeks,” said Columbia coach Anthony Servidone, who forfeited to unbeaten Nick Kelley at 132 pounds and to David Almaviva at 138. “And some of these guys could see each other three times in the next four weeks.
“It’s understandable. We both have to do what’s best for our team.”
Shenendehowa coach Rob Weeks concurred.
“I wouldn’t want to wrestle Nick Kelley more than once,” he said. “I’m sure that was part of the thinking in their camp. I understand. I might be doing the same thing.
“We didn’t forfeit [to unbeaten Evan Walllace] at 145 because David got a forfeit, but the kid we would have sent out there [Chris Naccarato] is a couple of steps behind Wallace. He’s got a 13-13, and he’ll go to the Class A’s and get seeded. If the match came down to it and we needed him to wrestle, he would have wrestled.”
The top individual matchup came at 285, where Shenendehowa’s Cole Lampman scored a late takedown and backpoints to beat El Shaddai Gilmore-VanHoesen, 5-1. Lampman is the reigning Section II champ, and Gilmore placed fourth in the section.
Lampman, giving up some 55 pounds, tried to pick his shots, while staying away from Gilmore-VanHoesen’s strength.
“I know he does a lot of Greco, so I was trying to avoid tying up,” said Lampman. “He’s a big kid, and he’s good.”
Gilmore-VanHoesen twisted his ankle during a flurry of activity, and Lampman went for the win after his opponent used an injury timeout.
“I’m not even 230 pounds, and I’ve been wrestling bigger guys all season,” Lampman said. “I was trying to move him around a little to set up a shot.”
“He wrestled the game plan we had in place,” said Weeks. “I think if Cole was allowed to wrestle 20-minute matches, he’d be even better. It takes him a little time to break these heavyweights down.
“At the end, Cole almost got himself out of position. He got himself so jacked up with all the fans here. He said, `I’m going to take him down. I feel great.’ I said, ‘All right, keep it in check. It’s 1-1, and we can probably win the overtime. Don’t get too far out of position.’
“Again, we could see him again Saturday and the Saturday after that [at the state qualifier].”
“I thought El wrestled him well,” said Servidone, whose team finished 7-1 in league duals. “He got a little banged up, and that hurt his mobility.”
Servidone was pleased that the wrestlers he sent out didn’t let up, despite the upcoming schedule.
“The guys that went out there went out and wrestled,” he said. “There was no holding back.”
Angelo Kress pinned in the opening bout at 152, and Brian Adriance won at 170 to give the Blue Devils a 9-3 lead, but Shen’s Levi Ashley pinned at 182 to even the match at 9-9 and start a string of seven straight Shenendehowa wins that made it 38-9.
“The old adage, that success breeds success, applies to this program,” said Weeks of the Plainsmen’s success. “I’m fortunate. People want to be part of it.