Greylock wrestlers notch win No. 20
By Neil Benjamin Jr.
Posted: 01/14/2010 02:38:25 AM EST
North Adams Transcript
WILLIAMSTOWN -- The Mounties are living in a repetitive world of domination these days.
Mount Greylock’s wrestling team kept its undefeated Berkshire County record alive in a convincing 50-12 win over Monument Mountain on Wednesday night.
Granted, the Spartans (0-11-1) were missing a few wrestlers which led to them having to forfeit six weight classes, but the Mounties (20-2) only lost two of their live matches on the day.
After Dylan Hilchey earned a pin at 119 pounds, Josh Hadley followed suit at 130. Greylock’s Zach Larabee, who coach Ray Miro says has an abundance of raw talent, stepped onto the mat for his 135-pound bout with Alex Dupont.
Larabee missed all last season with an elbow injury, but has worked diligently to get back into form. Sometimes, though, he feels the brunt of not being in tip-top cardiovascular shape.
"It’s the worst feeling to get out of breath in a match," Larabee said.
His work paid off on Wednesday, as he earned a technical fall win over Dupont. Just 19 seconds in, Larabee faked left and shot to Dupont’s right leg to gain an early 2-0 advantage. While on the ground, Dupont’s superior strength showed, but Larabee counteracted by using his agility and quickness. Halfway through the third period, Larabee earned three near-fall points to garner the decision.
"I got a little lucky because he wasn’t as quick," Larabee said. "But I learned a few
things. I need to work on my cradle grips, especially in the upcoming Essex Tournament."
Greylock doesn’t grapple again until Jan. 23, when the team travels to Essex Junction, Vt., for a tournament that features some of the best teams from Maine, New York, Vermont and Massachusetts.
Senior captain Eli Coniglio, who earned his 98th career win by forfeit on Wednesday, has only wrestled at Essex once, when he was a freshman. It was his first real varsity dual, and it could have gone much smoother.
"I got whooped. Killed," Coniglio said. "I went two and out. At least I know what I’m going to be in for though."
The most impressive feat of the evening came at 140 pounds. Sophomore Sean O’Connor, who weighed in at 134 pounds prior to the match, was bumped up to the class by coach Miro, who wanted to make the move to challenge, and O’Connor responded in a huge way.
"The kid’s not a 140 pound wrestler," Miro said. "Maybe soaking wet. He just barely made the cutoff for the division."
Monument’s Jesse Rice was O’Connor’s opponent, and it was a battle from the start. After some spirited hand sparring, O’Connor shot in for a double-leg takedown, but couldn’t finish so he adjusted and eventually gave up and went back to the neutral position. Moments later, he successfully took Rice down with a single leg to earn the 2-0 advantage.
"I wanted him in this match, and he didn’t disappoint," Miro praised.
With the score knotted at 3 entering the final period, O’Connor chose to start on bottom. After a battle, O’Connor busted free from Rice’s hold and reversed to gain a two-point lead, one he would not relinquish in the 5-4 victory.
The shy O’Connor didn’t mince words after the win.
"I had to calm down before the match because I was being bumped up," he said. "But when it was over and I saw the score, I was just glad. Now I’m tired."
Monument sports only one senior on the team, heavyweight Nick Race, who finished second at Western Mass. last year. Coach Gordie Soule is in his first year as varsity coach, and inherited a team full of inexperience.
"Each match we have we get more competitive," Soule said. "Tonight showed me that we have a ways to go, but I like where we are headed. I measure each match on improvement, not on whether we win or not."
Greylock’s Colin Dezess weighed in prior to the match at 197 pounds, while Race tipped the scale at 235. Dezess, who normally wrestles at 215, was thrown into a fiery mix.
The two couldn’t look anymore different. Race is a hulking warrior, while Dezess is a slender wrestler who relies on his strength at his normal weight class.
Dezess came up short, but held his own on Wednesday. Race’s size and strength were too much for him to overcome, as Race earned the pin with 13 seconds remaining in the second period.
"Man, [Dezess] is stronger than he looks," Race said. "I didn’t want to tie up with him because I struggle in that area. Because he is smaller than me, I had to think quick like a lightweight and be smarter with how I position my body."
Dezess, on the other hand, said he will take a lot from the match, notably that he must improve his takedown skills.
"I can’t just throw everyone to the ground all the time," Dezess said. "I really need to get better at taking shots."
Zach Bantle was the other Mountie who earned a win not by forfeit.
The match was a tuneup for Greylock, but Miro said that the upcoming tournament will show exactly what the Mounties are made of.
"This will be, no question, the toughest tournament we will have until the states," he said. "We’re going up against competition like we have never seen before. There are going to be some real tough kids up there