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SECTION IV WRESTLING: WAVERLY'S STOTLER DOMINATES ON WAY TO 160-POUND TITLE AT DIVISION 2 CHAMPIONSHIPS (13 PHOTOS) (2020-02-15)

BY TIM BIRNEY
Valley Sports Report
B'HAMTON "” A year after posting a 36-6 record as a Section IV runner-up and not receiving a wild card to the New York State Championships, Waverly senior Ethan Stotler took away any doubt with a "dominating" performance en route to the 160-pound title here Saturday night at the Section IV, Division 2 Championships at the Veterans Memorial Arena.

"Ethan was dominating today, and that's what we've come to expect from him," said Waverly coach Devan Witman.

"It's his senior year, and he has a goal in mind," added Witman. "We knew today wasn't that goal, it was just another step toward his ultimate goal."

Last year, five of Stotler's six loss were to state qualifiers, including a season-ending loss to Tioga's Austin Lamb - a 68-second fall in the Section IV 145-pound finals.

"That loss (and not getting a wild card) motivated me a lot," said Stotler. "After I lost to (Austin Lamb) in the finals ... it wasn't how I wanted to finish, getting pinned in my last match.

"I worked really hard in the offseason with a few teams in the summer, and I came into the room this year and I've pushed myself as hard as I could," he added.

Stotler opened his day with an 18-1 technical fall win in 3:50 over Greene-Oxford's Paul Baker in the quarterfinals.

In the semifinals, Stotler flattened Newark Valley Connor Jacobson in 22 seconds to advance to the finals, and a rematch of last week's Qualifier B finals against Windsor's David Flora.

Last week, Stotler won by fall in 47 seconds. Saturday, it took a little longer, but Stotler locked in the cradle for the fall at 1:27.

Flora came out of gate hot, however, with a double-leg blast that drove Stotler backward to his back. He was able to roll through it, and to his feet without allowing a takedown, then countered with his own double-leg for the initial takedown just 16 seconds into the bout.

"I was not expecting that right off the bat, for sure," said Stotler. "I was going to do a fake, but he came right at me.

"After that I knew I had to be the bully, and push the match the way I wanted it to go," he added.

Stotler said the cradle has been his go-to move.

"All year I've been able to dominate people with the cradle because of my long arms. As soon as I locked it up, I knew I had him," said Stotler. "I got it as tight as I could get it, and I just slowly took him over."

Stotler improves to 41-1 on the season with 27 pins. He is ranked fifth in the State, and his only loss came at the hands of the state's top-ranked Division 1 160-pounder, Cooper Kropman of Penfield.

"He's putting together a spectacular season, and it's not over," said Witman.

"Every year I've had him, he's come back tougher, and that's just a testament to his work ethic," he noted. "He's always putting in time in the summer, and in the weight room.

"He's just a fantastic kid, and I've really enjoyed coaching him the last six years," Witman added.

Stotler has lofty goals for his trip to States, which is held at the Times-Union Center in Albany on Feb. 28-29.

"My goal is definitely to make it to the finals, and then try to win it," he said. "It's my last year, I have to try to win it all."

"”"”"”"”"”"”

IN PHOTO 1: Waverly's Ethan Stotler. ... PHOTOS BY TIM BIRNEY.


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