Frank Speziale Photo
OXFORD – After a day and half of intense wrestling, the 55th Annual Clyde Cole commenced with their finals Saturday night. With 15 weight classes in the tournament, the finals was an action packed event that drew in many fans from around the area.
Starting with the semi-final matches first thing in the morning, the crowd knew who they were going to see in the finals very quickly.
The 99lbs weight class was determined by two wrestlers that pinned their opponent in the opening period. Andrew Brown of Norwich landed his spot in the finals after a 1:13 pin over Nick Tempel of Averill Park. Brown’s win over Tempel was considered an upset on paper as Tempel was picked as a favorite to reach the finals.
His opponent? Stevo Poulin from Shenendehowa. Poulin, a national champion and wrestler at the international level, received byes in the first and second rounds before he landed a match against Bainbridge-Guilford-Afton-Harpursville’s (BGAH) Jacob Terpstra. Both were favored to match up in the finals but met Saturday morning instead. Poulin pinned Terpstra in just :44 seconds, securing his finals spot.
In the finals, Brown put up a strong fight against Poulin, doing the best he could to avoid allow Poulin to pin him. But Poulin had the better position and was able to get in the right before the horn sounded to signal the end of the first period to crown himself as the champion.
Tempel took the fifth-place match over Terpstra with a decision of 7-3. The third-place match was between teammates Andon Green and Nick Loehr of Carthage. Green grabbed a 2-0 decision over Loehr but both third and fourth place landed points for Carthage’s team total.
Norwich’s Dante Geislinger is a Clyde Cole returning champ, just up one class from 99lbs to 106lbs. Geislinger pinned his spot into the finals match as he put Kaiden LaLuna of Queensbury, down in 4:36.
He met Kyle Willard of Groton in the finals after Willard pinned Sherburne-Earlville’s Ben Menard in 5:33 earlier that morning.
Menard met BGAH’s Dylan Decker in wrestle backs. Decker, a long and lengthy 106lbs kid, took an 8-1 decision over Menard. During the match, Menard appeared to be injured but he finished it out. Menard’s next round was against Cooper Rice of Oxford.
Rice was going against Menard for the fifth-place finish in the weight class after losing a 5-2 decision to LaLuna. Rice was awarded fifth-place with an injury forfeit from Menard, a results from the match before.
Decker and LaLuna wrestled a close match, ending with a 3-2 decision for LaLuna victory and third-place finish for the tournament.
Geislinger and Willard’s finals match proved to be another exciting match. With Geislinger leading 7-3 after the first, Willard needed a good second period in order to have a shot at the 106lbs title.
But Geislinger started off the scoring with a takedown, increasing his lead to 9-3. Geislinger later went on to pin Willard in 3:25 and grabbed his second Clyde Cole Tournament title in two years.
Yet again, there was another Norwich wrestler in the finals as Nick Glanville finished his semi-final match with a 4-1 decision over Dylan Sleezer of Queensbury.