Frank Speziale Photo
NORWICH – With :10 seconds left at 106 pounds, Brody Oleksak of Bainbridge-Guilford-Afton-Harpursville maintained control in a scramble situation with Norwich's Mikey Squires to win 1-0 and take the 3-point team swing back on top for the 37-36 win over Norwich.
The New York State rankings for varsity high school wrestling had just been released by the New York Sportswriters Association on Jan. 3, and the weather held out enough for the Bears of BGAH to travel over the hill to take on Norwich.
The newly released rankings affirmed what many already knew – an inter-county showdown of state ranked Division II wrestling teams was going to be happening in Norwich on Jan. 5, at 6:30 p.m. – with the Norwich gymnasium packed with fans, ninth ranked BGAH unseated seventh ranked Norwich by a mere point, at 37-36.
A one-point swing, a point that can be made up anywhere in the 15 matches during the dual meet, BGAH emerges victorious – with a still unblemished 9-0 record on the season.
“The first thing we had to do was win the coin toss, they wanted the coin toss of what we got and luckily that helped us greatly,” said BGAH head coach Brandon MacNaught of how close the dual meet was expected to roll out. “I don't like forfeiting, and I apologize to Cole (Rifanburg), because I really don't like it, but we couldn’t win if I threw my guy out.
The swing match-ups for the showdown came at every turn in the 15 man weight class spread, as BGAH with a coin-toss win in their favor was able to move their roster around, allowing a forfeit 'safer' matches to occur throughout.