Weekly Feature



2017-12-13 / Sports

Wrestlers earn Vesper Duals title

Burden posts 100th win en route to perfect effort
JASON NADOLINSKI
Sports Reporter

For the second consecutive season, Clarence’s wrestling team defended its home turf to claim the title of Jon Vesper Memorial Duals champion after the Red Devils went 5-0 during Saturday’s 11th annual installment of the tournament.

Despite forfeiting a pair of weight classes in each of the duals, the Red Devils were able to prevail against Akron/Alden (42-19), Amherst (51-30), Frontier (48-40), Lockport (45-36) and Perry (43-34). Coach Jason Chase conceded that each of them “came down to one or two matches within each dual that could’ve gone either way.”

“I thought this year’s talent level in the tournament was pretty even all the way through to where in almost any match, any team could’ve won,” Chase said. “All of the scores throughout the day were pretty close, which made for an interesting, exciting day when every dual comes down to one or two matches making the difference.”

Andy Burden collected his 100th career victory along the way to his undefeated effort at 138 pounds, while Anthony Corigliano (126) and Aiden Rabideau (120) also went 5-0 on the day to help Clarence. Quinten Burke (145) and Joe Mannarino (170) both went 4-1 in their respective weight classes, while Jimmy DiCostanzo (132) and Dan Beale (220) each went 3-2 for the Red Devils.

“We had to wrestle well in order to get the win, since it’s hard to win when you’re giving up points right out of the gate,” Chase said. “But, we performed well where we needed to in order to get the win.”

Clarence entered the Vesper Duals looking to do well after knocking off West Seneca West in league action three days earlier, 46-33. Rabideau, Mannarino, Garrett Jason (113) and Matt Gawron (138) all recorded pins for the victors, who are scheduled to resume league action — weather permitting — by facing Frontier this evening.

The Red Devils will close out their week by taking part in the annual ECIC Championships Friday and Saturday at Starpoint. The tournament was bumped up from its normal spot in the season to accommodate the inaugural State Dual Championships tournament later this winter. The winner of the Section VI Duals Championships — which brings together the top eight small and large schools to determine the area’s best of the best — will advance to the State Duals tournament to vie for the title of the state’s top team.

“Every single match we wrestle is important,” Chase said. “Whenever we step on the mat, if a few things don’t go our way, we can be in trouble pretty quick. We’ve just got to win the matches we’re supposed to win and, when we have the opportunity to get bonus points in our dual meets, we’ve got to get them every time. Frontier was an eight-point match Saturday, so it’s a big match for us.”

email: jnadolinski@beenews.com

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