BY TIM TAYLOR
Valley Sports Report
NEWARK VALLEY — Waverly and Newark Valley kicked off the IAC Division I dual meet season with the host Cardinals taking a 45-36 thriller here Wednesday night.
While there clearly is some rust to shake off, both teams had some of their wrestlers step up when needed.
"There was definite rust," said Waverly head coach Devan Witman. "You could see right from the first period, we were a little bit tentative. You could tell that first match.
"I thought we were in shape. I thought when we did go deep into the third period we were in shape and I think we were winning a lot of those third periods. It's just those first periods. We have to get after those. We have to know now that we're in shape to compete for six whole minutes, and I think some of our guys were hesitant in the beginning, which cost us greatly in a lot of those matches."
"We made some mistakes. You're always going to," NV head coach Mike Daly said. "The kids showed some good things for a first match. Some kids looked a little crisper than I thought. Some maybe reverted to some things that we were trying to beat, but it's early. We expect that. It's still frustrating, but it's early.
"A couple people with improper weight management that affected them today, but that's something we've got to learn. I think we'll learn pretty quick."
NV would win eight of 14 weights, including the only bout to go the full six minutes. That battle came at 195 pounds, where the Cardinals' Joey Woodmansee scored a pair of takedowns to build a 4-0 advantage, then held off Trevor Myers. Trailing, 4-1, Myers was dinged a point for unsportsmanlike conduct, got a point back in the third period on a stalling call, but was unable to score any further in a 5-2 decision.
The dual started at 126, where the Wolverines Rylan LaForest gave up an early takedown to Mark Vosburgh, but rallied to go ahead 9-4 before scoring a fall in 5:15 to give his team a 6-0 advantage.
That would be the only time Waverly would lead as NV reeled off four straight wins, three by pin, to go on top, 24-6.
The Cardinals' Josh Post, who missed last season due to a torn ACL suffered during the 2018 football season, was impressive in his return to the mat. He built a 5-0 lead over Garrett Skeens at 132 before scoring a fall in 3:35.
"He's a special kid," Daly said. "He comes back and does the right things, gets the extra workouts in and is hopefully buying into this is his year. We were worried with that kid (Skeens). You think he looks good in the (practice) room. You never know until he gets on the mat. That's a real tough kid. He was one of our bright points and I'm real proud of him for that."
Following a forfeit to Matt Waterman at 138, NV chalked up back-to-back first-period falls. Mike Post decked Lilyparker Ennis in 21 seconds at 145 and Kamden McCall dispatched Braedon Hills in 1:39 at 152.
The Wolverines would get back on track when Austin Kimble dodged a bullet at 160, fighting off his back in the third period to pin Connor Jacobson in 4:32. The duo was tangled in a wild 5-5 deadlock through two periods, but Jacobson locked up a cradle and pulled Kimble to his back. The Waverly grappler worked his way out of it and reversed Jacobson to his back for the fall at 4:32.
"That's one of those ones where we're winning that third period," Witman said. "He came out trying to get to his offense and it just wasn't working out for him, but keep after it, keep after it. I keep telling these guys to keep after it, our offense will set it. And that's what happened. They made a mistake. Jacobson, he made a mistake and we were able to capitalize on it, because we're in shape and we can wrestle for six minutes."
NV's Collin McCall countered with a pin of Andrew Kimble in 1:45 at 171 to make it 30-12, setting up a clash between the Cardinals' Cam Carrier and Ethan Stotler at 182. The Section IV Division II runner-up at 145 last season, Stotler took control of the bout early and built a 6-0 cushion before scoring a pin in 3:17 to cut the lead to 30-18.
"Ethan is definitely my horse," Witman said. "He's normally a 60-pounder, I bumped him all the way up to 82 and he didn't question it. I asked him to go 82 and he said, 'yep, let's go, let's do it.' He did what he needed to do, had a great match and that's what we expect out of the leader on our team."
After Woodmansee made it 33-18, NV's Josh Duke worked a 7-2 advantage over Gage Tedesco at 220 before picking up a pin in 3:50.
The Wolverines' Trent Skeens and Connor Stotler received forfeits at 285 and 106, respectively (there was no match at 99 pounds), closing the gap to 39-30.
With experience on his side, NV's Mike Post clinched the win with a fall at 113, pinning Madison Yeakel in 13 seconds.
Waverly's Mason Ham closed out the night with a pin over Charles Michaels in 1:07 at 120.
In an exhibition match, NV's Nate Demmerer pinned Adam Richart in 1:59.
IN PHOTO 1: Waverly's Rylan LaForest (R). ... PHOTOS BY TIM TAYLOR.
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