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CL fourth at Class D Championships; 3 wrestlers win titles

February 11, 2016
By Cody Crandall ( , Westfield Republican

BEMUS POINT - For the second consecutive year, Maple Grove took home the team title in the Section VI Class D Wrestling Championships.

In total, the Red Dragons picked up six first-place finishes Saturday en route to racking up 222.5 points, while also qualifying nine wrestlers for next weekend's sectional tournament.

Randolph placed second with 202 points and Portville took third at 190.5. Chautauqua Lake finished fourth with 152.5 points, followed by Franklinville (137), Gowanda (129.5), Cattaraugus-Little Valley/Pine Valley (86.5), Wilson (56), Salamanca (35) and Frewsburg (34).

Article Photos

Chautauqua Lake’s Jake Seaburg, top, wrestles Portville’s Devin Hall for the 106-pound title on Saturday at Maple Grove High School, during the Class D Championships. Seaburg won the match by pin in 47 seconds.

Chautauqua Lake's fourth-place finish in the team standings was highlighted by victories from Jake Seaburg (106 pounds), Mark Ecklund (132 pounds), who broke the Panama school record for career victories (Chautauqua Lake is merged with Westfield and Panama), and Kale Gilbert (145 pounds) in the finals.

Brendon Rowe (99 pounds) and Bryce Rowe (126 pounds) both finished third for the Thunderbirds, while Austin Bourgeois (113 pounds) and Noah Dorman (132 pounds) both finished fourth.

"We had seven kids move on (to the state qualifier)," said Chautauqua Lake head coach Brad Rowe. "Unfortunately, we had a few kids who weren't able to compete this weekend and that's the only disappointing part. I think everybody that came and competed gave it their all."

Headlining the first-place finishers for Maple Grove was Brad Bihler (138 pounds). Not only did Bihler pin Frewsburg's Preston Rhodes in 1:50 in the finals, but in the process he also broke a Maple Grove school record with his 186th career victory, which was previously held by Maple Grove assistant coach Josh Micek.

"It's been an amazing career (for Brad)," said Maple Grove head coach Tim Shrout. "For 186 to this point, he didn't even really start in seventh grade. He's on his fifth year. A lot of kids would be on six years at that point. (He's been) super consistent. He's a three-time state place finisher, not just qualifier."

A.J. Putt (113 pounds) was another winner for Maple Grove. Putt picked up a tough 4-3 decision over teammate Shane Hetrick in the finals.

"The team is just shaped out to where the best fit for both those guys in the big picture is at the same weight," Shrout explained. "All year they've bumped up and they've beat most of the 120 pounders in the section. But, looking at the postseason, that's probably where they need to be."

Along with Bihler and Putt, Ryan Hetrick (120 pounds) recorded a first-place finish by pinning Randolph's Dakota Parkhurst in 4:18; Zak Trim (152 pounds) came from behind and picked up a hard-fought 9-7 decision over Cattaraugus-Litte Valley/Pine Valley's Dylan Rhinehart; Trevor Micek (160 pounds) was a winner via a 7-3 decision over Cattaraugus-Little Valley/Pine Valley's Caleb Wares; and Brody Nolan (195 pounds) took down Randolph's Ben Hvizdzak in 2:59.

In addition, Shane Hetrick placed second at 113 pounds, Mitch Sandberg ended up second at 220 pounds and Carter Russo turned in a solid performance for Maple Grove, placing fourth at 145 pounds.

"Last year, we took 13 I think it was (to the state qualifier) and nine for this year,'' Shrout said. "Looking at who we graduated, to still be able to step back up and fill in a number like that is great for the program and great for the team."

After claiming the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association's Division 2 title, the Randolph Cardinals turned in another fine performance Saturday, led by Marcus Evans (99 pounds), who pinned Gowanda's Zach Phillips in the finals in 5:21.

"He wrestles hard and he never quits," said Randolph coach Todd Conley when asked about Evans, who entered the tournament with only one loss on the year. "It seems like he's on top of his game every time he goes out there. He doesn't give his opponents much opportunity to do anything to counter or stop him."

Behind Evans, a host of other Cardinals turned in outstanding performances Saturday as well. Eleven wrestlers from Randolph ultimately finished in the top four of their respective weight classes, including second-place finishes from Parkhurst (120 pounds), Hvizdzak (195 pounds) and Nick Becker (285 pounds).

Portville was led by Nick Kozlowski (126 pounds), Jayce Freeborn (170 pounds), Mathew Waugh (182 pounds) and Grant Milne (220 pounds), who all were individual winners. A combined nine wrestlers from Portville finished in the top four of their weight class, allowing them to move on to next week.

Franklinville, which was led by second-place finishes from Goodell (132 pounds) and Micah Sexton (182 pounds), will send seven wrestlers to next week's tournament.

Eight wrestlers from Gowanda performed well enough to punch their ticket to the state qualifier as well. Leading the way for the Panthers were Phillips (99 pounds), David Poff (126 pounds), Brandon Arrigo (145 pounds) and Chris Hammond (170 pounds), who all finished second.

Cattaraugus-Little Valley/Pine Valley's Justin Dickinson (285 pounds) claimed an individual title for the Timberwolves after he pinned Randolph's Becker in 1:01. Three other wrestlers from the Timberwolves, Rhinehart (152 pounds), Wares (160 pounds) and Sam Grey (120 pounds), placed in the top four.

Mushirah Sheppard was the top finisher for Salamanca, placing third at 106 pounds. Rhodes' second-place finish at 138 pounds was the best result of the day for Frewsburg.



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