ILION – Norwich had nine out of 10 wrestlers place, it crowned three champions, and one of those titlists, Frankie Garcia, was named the Leo J. Sammon Memorial Tournament’s most outstanding wrestler, Saturday at Ilion.
“They are all doing a phenomenal job, and they’re coming together,” said Norwich first-year coach Joe Downey of his team. “Even the guys you don’t usually hear about, they wrestled well. It was a great tournament.”
Garcia’s road to MOW honors required that he clear a big hurdle in the 103-pound semifinals. There, he upended previously-unbeaten Tyi Franklin of Sherburne-Earlville, 15-7, then edged Derrick Gray of Indian River in overtime, 6-4, for the title. Gray forced overtime with a late third-period takedown. Garcia was the aggressor in the brief overtime session scoring the winning takedown.
Rifanburg (96) topped the number one seed at 96 pounds, Laken Cook of Ilion, 2-1 in three overtimes. After a scoreless first overtime period, Rifanburg was able to work an escape in the 30-second second overtime. Cook had the opportunity to match that escape in the third OT, but was held down by the NHS seventh-grader.