|VALLEY SPORTS REPORT: TIOGA'S HARRINGTON TOPS 'SUPER 7' AS "COACH OF THE WINTER" (2018-03-23)
Valley Sports Report
THE VALLEY — Tioga wrestling enjoyed one of the best seasons in the storied program’s history to earn second-year coach Kris Harrington the nod as 2017-18 “Coach of the Winter.”
Harrington put his charges through a rugged schedule, and it paid big-time dividends.
The Tigers won the Gouverneur Duals, and the Bradshaw Tournament in Canandaigua, and also had strong showings at Matthew Marino Invitational and the Windsor Christmas Tournament.
Once the postseason rolled around, the Tigers were in high gear. They dropped a 38-30 decision to Norwich in the finals of the Section IV Duals, but earned a wild-card invitation to the inaugural New York State Division 2 Duals, where they lost in the semifinals to eventual champion Mount Sinai, 34-32.
Two weeks later, the Tigers repeated as Section IV, Division 2 champions, and advanced six wrestlers to the New York State Championships. Tioga finished fourth in the team standings at States, despite the absence of two-time state place-winner John Worthing, who was the top seed at 113 pounds.
Sophomore Brady Worthing was state runner-up, and juniors Austin Lamb (fifth place), and Stephen Taylor (sixth place) also earned medals, while senior Trey Floyd went 2-2 and lost one round shy of a medal, and senior Max Johnson went 1-2.
The remainder of the "Super 7 Coaches of the Winter” are:
Brian Card, boys basketball, Tioga: In his second season at Tioga, Card directed the Tigers to their first Section IV championship game in 30 years.
Tioga went 17-5, which is the most wins in a season in 20 years.
The Tigers won 23 games in five years before Card’s arrival, and have won 25 in his two years on the sidelines.
Dave Mastrantuono, boys swimming, Waverly: Mastrantuono is on the short list of best coaches in the Valley, but it’s been a long time since his Wolverine swimmers have won an IAC regular-season title — 2003 to be exact.
Sophomore Mike Atanasoff and senior Jared Stewart help remedy that this season, leading Waverly to an unbeaten IAC record to win the duals title. The Wolverines also won the league meet.
Abby Gentile, girls basketball, S-VE: In her third year at the helm, Gentile guided the Lady Panthers to their first postseason appearance in 12 years, and their first postseason win in 20 years.
Kelly Burkhart, girls basketball, Athens: After graduating one senior, and having three starters from last year’s team choose not to play, expectations at the beginning of the season were not very high for the Lady Wildcats.
However, Burkhart may have done the best coaching job of her career, which includes a District 4 title in 2013. She took one starter, two role players from last year, and a host of freshmen and sophomores and produced a 17-8 season, including an NTL Showdown title.
Lou Judson, boys basketball, Waverly: After losing four starters, including Section IV Player of the Year Hunter Bodine, many expected the Wolverines to take a big step backward, but Judson had other ideas.
He guided the Wolverines to a 17-5 season and a trip to the Section IV, Class B semifinals.
Eric Knolles, wrestling, SVEC: The Eagles wrestled a tough schedule, finishing second at the rugged Valley Duals, where they notched an early-season win over Norwich.
Knolles’ aggressive approach to scheduling paid of with an appearance at the Section IV, Division 2 Duals, but injuries late in the season proved costly for the Eagles.
Individually, SVEC sent two wrestlers to states for the first time in more than 40 years, and had six wrestlers reach the podium at the Section IV, Division 2 Championships.
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