Huskies top Hillbillies
Ingram is F/SC/F/B bright spot in 54-24 season-opening defeat
The final score of the first wrestling match of the year for the Fredonia/Silver Creek/Forestville/Brocton Hillbillies reads a lot more discouraging than the contest seemed.
In a sheet full of forfeits due to eligibility issues from not meeting the minimum number of practices required to compete coupled with a few wrestlers missing their weight limit, Fredonia dropped its opening Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Athletic Association Division 1 match of the season 54-24 to the visiting Olean/Allegany-Limestone Huskies on Wednesday at Fredonia High School.
“I had four or five wrestlers who were one practice short (of the required mark) … and a couple guys missed weight. … But go with what you’ve got,” said Hillbillies head coach Joe Santilli. “That’s the nature of this sport. We can’t just wait until we’re feeling better about it or when we’re at our strongest. It doesn’t work that way. You go with what you’ve got.”
Still, despite the loss, there were reasons to be excited for the young Hillbillies.
“The opportunities were there for some of the kids who have never had that experience. A good portion of my team has never stepped on a wrestling mat before,” said Santilli, who noted the absence of a modified program the last three years. ” … This is the payment now. Down the road we hope there is a profit.”
With a very inexperienced team this season, Santilli was very impressed with some of his wrestlers who made their debuts Wednesday night. Cannon LeGrano had a highly competitive match in his varsity debut for the Hillbillies at 102 pounds before falling via pin at 3:00 to Olean/Allegany-Limestone’s Grady Smucinski.
Then shortly afterward, Julian Ocasio also debuted on the mats for the Hillbillies with a hard-fought contest against Blake Kinnard at 132 pounds before an eventual pinfall victory for the Huskies at 2:21.
Ocasio reached the required number of practices to compete the day before the match — his first time ever wrestling.
Olean/Allegany-Limestone also scored a victory by an injury forfeit, as Lucas O’Dell defeated Josh Thurber in a very hard-fought contest at 160 pounds.
“I saw some athletic stuff, I saw some things you can coach up, and I saw determination. It’s hard to coach heart. You can coach technique, but you can’t coach heart,” said Santilli.
A notable result of the contest was an Olean/Allegany-Limestone pinfall victory at 189 pounds, as Olean’s Chris Bargy pinned Fredonia/Silver Creek/Forestville/Brocton’s Dawson Russo in 31 seconds. “If there’s going to be a time for that to happen … this is the time for it, not in February when it’s going to matter when they see each other again,” said Santilli.
Olean/Allegany-Limestone scored victories via forfeit at 145, 152, 172, 110 and 118 pounds, accounting for 30 points in the visitors’ favor.
Fredonia/Silver Creek/Forestville/Brocton recorded three victories via forfeit, at 215 pounds, 285 pounds and finally at 126 pounds. Dominick Collazo, Sam Wray and Lucas Hoffman were awarded the forfeit wins for the Hillbillies.
Though the Huskies already had the final result in hand, the Hillbillies ended the contest with a flurry of victories — one official win and two unofficial wins.
At 138 pounds, Cameron Ingram scored the first pinfall victory of the night for Fredonia/Silver Creek/Forestville/Brocton in the final official match at 1:43 over Olean/Allegany-Limestone’s Noah Gallo.
Then, Fredonia/Silver Creek/Forestville/Brocton scheduled exhibition matches at 189 pounds for its two wrestlers who did not make the weight cut at 172 pounds. First, Ian Woods recorded a dominant victory for the Hillbillies over Andreas Williams in just 31 seconds via pinfall. Then, Jacob Lemke capped off the night with another exhibition victory by pinning Jacksen Kahm at the 90-second mark.
The Hillbillies now look forward to the St. Francis Duals in Hamburg this weekend, beginning on Friday.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do, but I embrace it. I’m good with it,” said Santilli. “I’m excited to see where we are mid-January.”
145: Caine DeGrolier (O/A-L) won via forfeit
152: Madison Herner (O/A-L) won via forfeit
160: Lucas O’Dell (O/A-L) d. Joshua Thurber, via injury default
172: Jacksen Kahm (O/A-L) won via forfeit
189: Chris Bargy (O/A-L) p. Dawson Russo, :31
215: Dominick Collazo (F/SC/F/B) won via forfeit
102: Grady Smucinski (O/A-L) p. Cannon LeGrano, 3:00
110: Jonathan Tidd (O/A-L) won via forfeit
118: Domonick Hirliman (O/A-L) won via forfeit
126: Lucas Hoffman (F/SC/F/B) won via forfeit
132: Blake Kinnard (O/A-L) p. Julian Ocasio, 2:21
138: Cameron Ingram (F/SC/F/B) p. Noah Gallo, 1:43