LIBERTY – As part of his poignant life lessons, Ebeneezer Scrooge in Lewis Carroll’s novel “A Christmas Carol”, found himself being revisited by Ghosts of Christmas Past. …
LIBERTY – As part of his poignant life lessons, Ebeneezer Scrooge in Lewis Carroll’s novel “A Christmas Carol”, found himself being revisited by Ghosts of Christmas Past. Those profound reminders of how things once were eventually brought about a change of heart in the miserly curmudgeon. For many of us, such reminders of the way things used to be as opposed to how they are now often arise in any number of ways. Such comparisons are food for reflection and in some instances, an impetus to try and make things better.
Take wrestling for instance. It was a mere four years ago when the combined teams of Eldred, Sullivan West and Liberty won the Section IX duals. That squad was comprised of a bevy of champions including SW’s James DeAveiro and Henry Peters, Eldred’s Nick and Joey Curreri, Liberty’s Quintin Herzog, Caesar Santiago, Drew Bendy and Tim Dirie. That year the team went on to populate the medal stand at sectionals too. They were the pride and joy of the three communities as well as to their coaches Josh Potter of Eldred and John Lennon of Liberty.
But that was then…
Liberty went solo leaving Sullivan West and Eldred to try and put together a combined team of their own with the graduation of so many standouts. Then came COVID, and the once-shining glory quickly faded. This year E/SW is populated by a bunch of youngsters. Low turnout and smaller wrestlers means having to forfeit most matches. Talking to Lennon, now retired from Liberty and Potter, considering the same for himself, it’s just not what it was, not even close. The question of how to turn it northward again is puzzling.
One positive though is the increase in the participation of girls in wrestling. Both squads had girls grappling in this evening’s encounter. NYSPHSAA will soon be sponsoring a girls invitational, an event that should spark even greater interest. That might well be a preamble to NYSPHSAA’s sanctioning of girls wrestling as a sport.
For Fallsburg, under the savvy tutelage of former standout Liberty wrestler Anthony Martinez aka Deryk Föertsch, the numbers are a bit better than E/SW but hardly satisfactory. Having coached at SCCC, Föertsch aspires to revive Comets wrestling but it’s an uphill battle. The two teams vied against each other in one of the shortest matches on record with only three bouts plus an exhibition.
In the 110 class E/SW’s Koen McGill pinned Fallsburg’s Arianna Gonzalez. In the 118 category, E/SW’s Logan Milk won by dint of a technical fall in 1:55. In the final match at 152, Fallsburg’s Mike Aguilar bested E/SW’s Luke Potter in a technical fall at 1:52 of the second period. The exhibition match was between two girls, E/SW’s Farrar DeAveiro and Fallsburg’s Shiann Graham. The latter won by a pin.
Six of the weight classes were blank as neither team had wrestlers in them to compete. E/SW’s Walter Henry (138), Alec Hubert (145), Farrah DeAveiro (160) and Fallsburg’s Edwar Ponce (205) won by forfeits.
Liberty defeated Fallsburg 46-6 in the subsequent matchup.
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