For the first time since Dunkirk wrestling program returned in 2008, the Marauders found themselves on the winning end of a dual meet against rival Fredonia. The visiting Dunkirk team squeaked out a one-point victory with the 34-33 win Thursday night.
"To give up that many forfeits, we had to really start playing some games," Dunkirk coach Joe McMurdy said. "It was a great dual meet. It's two young teams going at it. They are a very young team, we are very young and that's what makes it great."
In the 120-weight class, Fredonia forfeited to give Dunkirk the early advantage.
OBSERVER?Photo by Joe Eckstrom
Dunkirk’s Mike Adams, left, tries to escape from Fredonia’s Nick Gloff during Thursday’s Division 1 high school wrestling meet.
However, the Hillbillies bounced right back when Jovany Ruiz took the victory via pin over Billy Seiders at the 4:19 mark.
"Jovany Ruiz came out and did more than what we expected at 126," Fredonia coach Joe Santilli said. "It's always a good rivalry and it was just a very well-wrestled meet."
At 132, Dunkirk's Troy Smith-Petrella earned the 12-1 major-decision win over Steven Kelly.
"We knew it was going to be close and this is exactly what we were looking for," McMurdy said. "I thought all of our kids wrestled hard."
Then came a stretch where Dunkirk forfeited three straight matches at 138, 145 and 152, which gave the Hillbillies a considerable advantage.
With Fredonia up big, the turning point in the meet came at 160, in a matchup between Fredonia's Jeff Plaiser and Dunkirk's Jon Echeverria.
"I think one of the biggest matches was Jon Echeverria at 160," McMurdy said. "He scored probably five points with just seconds left to win the match. That was a big swing that really made a difference in the meet."
Echeverria finished with an 8-5 victory over Plaiser to earn three points for the Marauders.
"(The 160-pound match) was a tough one, because in the Dunkirk Duals, we won that matchup 11-0, so that was quite the turnaround," Santilli said. "The young man from Dunkirk had an outstanding match and he was game and he finished it. That's what you need to do in the last 10 seconds, because that's sometimes where matches are won and lost and he finished it."
In the 170 matchup of Nick Gloff and Mike Adams, Gloff came away victorious for Fredonia with an 8-2 win to keep a comfortable lead for the home team.
Dunkirk came back with a vengeance in the next couple of matchups.
Marquis Buchanan got the Marauders back on track at the 182 slot with a dominating 16-9 victory over Steve Mignoli.
"I also thought that our upper weights wrestled really well," McMurdy said. "We kind of thought that if we got through some of the lower classes to our upper weights, that we would have a good shot. Fredonia's guys came out strong, too. It was just a good dual meet all the way around."
Dunkirk's Adrian Alvarado picked up the 10-5 win at 195 while teammate Alex Jones squeezed out a 3-2 victory at 220.
The 285-pound match proved to be the most crucial match. Fredonia held a 27-22 lead, giving the Marauders a chance to take the lead with a pin from Nick Jones.
Jones did just that as he pinned Jesse Walker at the 3:30 mark to give the Marauders a 28-27 lead.
The end came down to gamesmanship, as forfeits in the 99 and 106 weight classes decided the meet.
"Both teams were without some people - some key people - but you go with what you got," Santilli said. "We are both thin, but having to put out the first at 99, that set the stage for them to forfeit and put out, so we don't get the matchup. We got the matchup we wanted at 120 though, so sometimes it's just a crapshoot."
After the forfeits, lead changes and the overall crazy ending, the deficit remained the same as Dunkirk took home the 34-33 victory.
WRCL 78, Frewsburg 6
FREWSBURG - The Westfield-Ripley-Chautauqua Lake Panthers were the benefactors of 10 Frewsburg forfeits in a 78-6 victory Thursday in Division 2 high school wrestling.
Of the five matches which took place, three were pins for the Panthers.
At 170, Dominique Rammelt took care of Thomas Mason in just :11 while at 126, Nick Hudson took down Devin Haskins in 1:04.
The third pin came at 145 as Roger Williams pinned Tyler Smith in :34.