|SECTION IV WRESTLING: STOTLER LONE WOLVERINE TO ADVANCE TO DIVISION 2 SEMIFINALS (16 PHOTOS) (2018-02-09)
By TIM BIRNEY
Valley Sports Report
WATKINS GLEN — Sophomore Ethan Stotler was Waverly’s only wrestler to advance to the semifinals of the Division 2 wrestling championships here Friday night.
Tioga leads the team standings heading into the first round of wrestlebacks Saturday morning with 90 points. Norwich is in second place with 84 points, while BGAH is third with 58, Windsor is fourth with 56, and SVEC is in fifth with 53 points. The Wolverines are in 22nd with 12 points.
The only other wrestler in Waverly’s small contingent of six to record a win in the opening night of action was sophomore Rylan LaForest, who was 1-1.
“The first round was a little rough,” said Waverly coach Devan Witman. “There were some we expected, and one we definitely didn’t.”
At 132 pounds, Stotler, the fifth seed, was 2-0 on the day to advance to the semifinals.
Stotler opened with a 13-5 major decision over Windsor’s James Hoover, then pinned fourth-seed Cooper Hall in 3:36 after falling behind 4-1. Prior to the pin, Stotler had Hall on his back in an apparent five-point move, but first-period horn sounded no points were awarded with the official explaining to Witman there was “not enough control.”
“That was a huge win for Ethan (Stotler), a big, big win,” said Witman. “On paper, it doesn’t look like a huge win, a fifth seed over a fourth seed, but (Deposit-Hancock’s) Cooper Hall was in the finals last year, and had a lot of good wins over a lot of really good opponents.
“To fall behind 4-0, then not get a call (for a takedown and back points) … he kept his composure, locked up the cradle, and got it done,” noted Witman.
“I think that’s the first cradle I’ve seen him throw in his career, but that’s thing about Ethan,” added Witman. “What makes Ethan danger here is that he can adapt, and find the moves he needs.”
Stotler will face top-seed Daniel Koll of Lansing in the semifinals Saturday morning.
At 113 pounds, LaForest was 1-1 on the day.
He opened with a 6-4 decision over Marathon’s Ethan Morrison, then lost via first-period fall to Tioga powerhouse John Worthing in 1:34.
“Rylan (LaForest) wrestled well in his first match to get into the quarter,” said Witman. “He lost to (Tioga’s) John Worthing, nothing to hang your head about there.
“I think he has a good shot to come back and place in the tournament,” he added.
At 99 pounds, 8th-grader Garrett Skeens, who missed last week’s class championships due to an illness, led Unadilla Valley’s Josh Meade 2-0 late into the first period, but Meade scored a reversal, and turned it into a cradle for a pin at 1:58.
“Garrett (Skeens) wrestled a tough, tough match, coming off a serious illness,” noted Witman. “He was controlling the entire match, got caught in one move and that was it.”
The Wolverines had three wrestlers lose their only match of the day.
At 138 pounds, junior Cody Chandler lost via second-period fall to Chenango Valley’s Cole Volpe.
At 145 pounds, freshman Austin Kimble lost via second-period fall to fourth-seed Reece Lockwood of Groton.
At 160 pounds, freshman Trevor Myers lost via first-period fall to top-seed Mike Wilmot of BGAH.
Consolation bracket action begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, with the semifinals slated to begin at 11 a.m.
IN PHOTO: Waverly’s Ethan Stotler. … PHOTOS BY TIM BIRNEY.