Inside and outside tournament action, the Skaneateles wrestling team would meet a fair amount of success.
First, the Lakers went to the Port Byron Invitational on Jan. 5 and rose to fifth place, earning 130 points, just half a point less than fourth-place Marcellus. Host Port Byron (202.5 points) edged Cazenovia (195 points) for first place.
Andrew Newton emerged as the champion at 132 pounds. He took a minute to pin Dustin Swan (Auburn), moved on to beat Red Creek’s Tyler Crawford 5-4 in the semifinals, and controlled his championship match against Marcellus’ Nate Long, prevailing in an 8-1 decision.
No other Lakers wrestler reached the finals, but plenty of them filled up the other placements. Max Collier, at 106 pounds, beat Jack Hogan (Auburn) 8-5 in the consolation bracket final to finish third, and Josh Brillo (120 pounds) also finished third after pinning Mynderse’s Cody Wilson in 51 seconds.
Joey Brillo (113 pounds) settled for fourth place, as did Connor Gray (170 pounds). Cooper Pitman (220 pounds) pinned Auburn’s Bob Reynolds in 2:55 for fifth place as Francis Lombardi got to fifth place at 152 pounds, while Adam Notarpole (145 pounds) tied for fifth. Mike Goetzmann, at 138 pounds, claimed sixth place.
Skaneateles rested for most of the ensuing week before taking on Cato-Meridian Friday night and, once again, finding the win column as it beat the Blue Devils 46-36.
Collier got the first mat title, at 120, by holding off Dylan Bortle 12-8. Two matches later, Newton pinned Kyle Spratt in 1:40, with Notarpole rolling past Tyler Wilcox in a 16-6 decision.
Cato prevailed in four of the next five matches, the Lakers only interrupting when Russ Burkhardt (160 pounds) claimed a 9-7 classic over Anthony Auchampau.
Trailing 36-20, Skaneateles had to win the next two matches, since Nevan Rourke (99 pounds) and Joey Brillo (106) were going to get forfeits.
Both Pitman and Jacob Kipp (285 pounds) delivered in the clutch, as Pitman took just 1:27 to pin Steve York and Kipp clinched the meet when he pinned Travis Boratyn in 3:20.
Next Saturday, Skaneateles hosts its own dual meet, welcoming Oneida, Tully and Herkimer, this after back-to-back meets against Onondaga and Institute of Technology Central earlier in the week.