ORCHARD PARK —
ORCHARD PARK — First-year Barker/Roy-Hart wrestling coach Keith Jones knows his team is in a rebuilding phase. The team lost 13 Roy-Hart seniors to graduation, and this season will be about developing talent with an eye toward the future.
But Jones' squad proved itself quite capable as a team in Saturday's Orchard Park Tournament. Barker/Roy-Hart wrestlers won the majority of their matches throughout the morning and afternoon, as the team finished in third place of nine schools.
Against some quality competition that included schools in higher classification levels (Orchard Park, for example, is a AA school), Barker/Roy-Hart accumulated 93 points, edging out Hamburg (92 points) to earn the third-place prize.
Niagara-Orleans League rival Newfane won the tournament with 145 points, as veteran Panther coach Sal Montesani's squad helped the N-O assert itself as a quality wrestling league in Western New York — a sentiment echoed by Albion coach Keith Piccirilli before the season.
Cattaraugus/Little Valley-Pine Valley finished second on Saturday with 121 points, while Orchard Park finished fifth with 81.5. Grand Island (65), Canisius (44), Wilson (25) and Kenmore East (11) rounded out the order of finishers on the day.
Barker/Roy-Hart eighth-grader Tyler Choate took first-place honors in the 106-pound weight class, as did sophomore Cameron Swick as a 120-pounder.
Freshman Brent Bachman finished second at 120 pounds, and junior Daniel Gardner Jr. took second place at 152 pounds. Senior James Brady took second in the 285-pound division, as well.
The event also featured a junior varsity tournament, giving several younger and less experienced Barker/Roy-Hart wrestlers the chance to measure their abilities against wrestlers from other area schools. Four Barker/Roy-Hart wrestlers took first-place honors at the JV level: sophomore Ryan Ulrich (138 pounds), junior Kyle Herian (160), sophomore Joe Dinmayo (195) and sophomore Kirk Fay (285).
A trio of Barker/Roy-Hart wrestlers also took second place at the JV level: junior Erik Herian and junior Dillon Mangan (sharing second place at 145 pounds) and Adam Mikall (170).
The tournament consisted of five rounds, starting at 9 a.m. and stretching all the way into mid-afternoon. Schools were not limited to one wrestler per weight class, creating the potential for wrestlers from the same school to compete against each other. This was the case, for example, in the third round of the 120-pound weight class bracket, when Barker/Roy-Hart's Swick and Hayden Hathaway faced each other as Jones and assistant coach John Vosburgh looked on.
The Barker/Roy-Hart squad returns to action Wednesday, traveling to Wilson for a league contest. Start time is slated for 6 p.m.
Mustangs strong in Batavia
BATAVIA — Coach Eric Gross' Medina wrestling squad had six entrants in Saturday's Batavia Wrestling Tournament, and all performed admirably.
Brennen Callara led the way for the Mustangs, placing second overall in the 106-pound weight class. Joe Velez (113) and Nick Erway (120) took third place in their respective weight classes, while Nick Doberstein (132) and Charles Beach (182) each placed fourth. Ben Howell took sixth place in the 145-pound weight class.
Velez and Erway each finished 3-1 on the day, while Callara went 2-0 and Howell went 3-2. Beach and Doberstein each went 2-2.
Lyndonville third at Attica
ATTICA — The tough Tiger wrestling squad had a strong outing at the Attica Tournament on Saturday, placing third of 12 teams from across the region.
Lyndonville's Jeff Gress Jr. finished in second place in his weight class, while Alex Murphy, Tony Recco, Tom Follman and Dustin Hinkley each finished third in their respective division.
Recco, Hinkley, Gress, Devin Joy and Garren Bayne all finished 4-1 on the day for the Tigers, while Murphy went 3-1 and Follman finished at 3-2.