By Kevin Prise
AKRON — In Niagara-Orleans League wrestling, a team with the ability to fill all 15 weight classes has a major competitive advantage from the get-go.
That was the case at Akron on Wednesday evening, as the perennially strong Tiger squad filled all 15 classes, while Medina was forced to forfeit five matches. The Mustangs performed well with what they had, winning four of 10 contested matches, but the result was a 60-18 Akron victory in an N-O match.
Akron improves to 2-0 in league competition, while Medina falls to 1-1.
"The kids came to battle," veteran Medina coach Eric Gross said. "We wrestled hard, especially considering our inexperience, and we definitely did the best we could."
Gross was particularly impressed with Brennen Callara's victory over Akron's Johnny Fiebelkorn in the 106-pound weight class. Wednesday's match marked a quick rematch after last weekend's Batavia Tournament, where Fiebelkorn got the best of Callara, 7-4.
But this time, Callara came out strong and earned a victory by technical fall, 19-4, with 32 seconds remaining in the third period. Being the first contested varsity match of the evening, it set a positive tone for the Mustang lineup.
"After the loss at Batavia, Brennen was looking forward to the rematch," Gross said. "It was a good match of two good wrestlers."
Next up in the 113-pound weight class, Joe Velez continued the positive trajectory for Medina with a win over Akron's Robbie PeQueen, by a 12-6 decision.
But from there, Akron began to pull away by winning the next three contested matches at 120, 126 and 132 pounds, also aided by forfeit wins at the 138, 145, 160 and 170-pound weight classes.
In the middle, however, Medina's Ben Howell proved to be a bright spot with a victory over Jacob Sarow at 152 pounds. The crowd paid particular attention to this match, with both wrestlers earning rabid cheers, but Howell eventually pulled away for a 12-1 victory by major decision.
Upon the completion of the match, Howell made his way to the bleachers and was congratulated by his soccer coach Steve Luksch, who lives in Akron and attended the match in its entirety.
Akron finished strong with victories in three of the last four matches, although Medina's Kalvin Packer offered an authoritative statement in his victory at the 220-pound weight class, pinning Caleb Cray in just 90 seconds.
The Mustangs look to regroup tonight in a non-league home contest against Kendall. Start time is slated for 5 p.m.
"Kendall may not be able to fill all the weight classes either, but there should be some good individual matchups," Gross said.
Gross anticipates the match concluding by 6:15 or 6:30, with fans able to proceed directly to the Medina girls basketball home game against Roy-Hart, a rivalry contest slated to tip off around 6:30.
Barker/Roy-Hart 66, Wilson 16
WILSON — First-year Barker/Roy-Hart coach Keith Jones earned his first league victory on Wednesday evening, as the Barker/Roy-Hart squad took care of business against Wilson by a 66-16 margin.
Of the 10 contested matchups, Barker/Roy-Hart emerged victorious in seven, all by pin. William Jensen (132) pinned Wilson's Trey Rees in just 29 seconds, and Ryan Ulrich (138) followed suit with a victory over Wilson's Devin Ayers in 54 seconds.
Dillon Mangan (145) pinned Wilson's Kevin Weisinger in 3:11, and D. J. Gardner (152) pinned Wilson's Jeff Mazur in just 39 seconds.
At 182 pounds, Barker/Roy-Hart's Adam Mikall pinned Dustin Laubacker at 5:18, and Joe Dinmayo pinned Wilson's Greg Jeffery in 3:42. At 285 pounds, Barker/Roy-Hart's James Brady pinned Dan Terney in 1:56.
Wilson's Chase Wheeler (160), Jake Rice (170) and Dylan Thompson-Cox (220) won their matches, while Barker/Roy-Hart won by forfeit at 106, 113, 120 and 126 pounds. The 99-pound contest was deemed a double forfeit.
Barker/Roy-Hart improves to 1-1 in league competition, while Wilson drops to 0-2.
Newfane 69, Albion 9
NEWFANE — Coach Sal Montesanti's Panther squad sustained the momentum from a league-opening victory over Barker/Roy-Hart last week, producing an equally convincing 69-9 victory over Albion in a Niagara-Orleans League contest on Wednesday evening.
At 138 pounds, Albion's Aaron Burnside upended Cyrus Simmons in a 6-5 decision victory, while the Purple Eagles' Ed Wolfe pinned Dylan Schank at 4:19.
Other than that, it was all Newfane. The Panthers won four matches by forfeit, and emerged victorious in the nine remaining contested matches. Five Newfane wrestlers registered pins — Zach Brown (106), Andrew Gelyon (126), Nate Martin (152), Chris Johnstone (195), and Jake Warner (220).
Newfane remains perfect in league competition at 2-0, while Albion drops to 0-2 in the league.