Chenango County sees nine champions at 54th annual Clyde Cole tournament

Frank Speziale Photo

OXFORD – A weekend filled with wrestling, another successful year at the annual kick-off tournament for the 2016-2017 season – Clyde Cole in Oxford gave fans, coaches and wrestlers alike a show this past weekend when 17 teams sent the best they had to compete for the 15 champion titles up for grabs.

Back in his hometown of Oxford was four time state champion J.P O'Connor. O'Connor was recognized and given a plaque stating his many accomplishments in the sport of wrestling including being a five time Section IV champion, four time state champion, and a one time NCAA champion in 2010. Not only was O'Connor given a plaque to commemorate the first time he had been back to the Clyde Cole tournament since his days as a Blackhawk, but O'Connor was further recognized with a life-size mural which was being painted throughout the weekend by local artist and Oxford grad, Ryan Warner. Stay tuned for a further writeup in The Evening Sun on the mural, J.P O'Connor and Ryan Warner.

O'Connor was witness to a 17 team tournament, present this past weekend in the Blackhawk gymnasium. However, it was not a local team that took the team title instead it was Queensbury who stole the crown – despite only crowning two champions on the weekend, at 138 and 145 pounds– for a team score of 243.5.

Local teams Bainbridge-Guilford-Afton-Harpursville and Norwich were locked in a match for the second place finish, with BGAH emerging with 238.5 points scored; while Norwich who impressively stole the show in the finals – crowning five champions – would finish just a half point out of second place with 238 team points.

Of the 15 weight classes, nine first place finishes in the finals would go to local Chenango County athletes. Despite the team placing second over Norwich, BGAH would bring five wrestlers into the finals only to see three crowned.

Madison Hoover at 160 pounds would earn the first champion spot for the Bears with win by fall over Greene's Noah Kennedy. Hoover, the first seed at the weight, would pin his way through the tournament – with no match lasting longer than 1:10 – earning him the Pin Award (Wrestler with most pins in least time), and the Director's Plaque (Champion with least points scored against them).

The very next weight class at 170 pounds, Austin Carr of BGAH claimed the first place spot at the weight when he defeated Maine-Endwell's Micah Miller by injury default. This blood-filled thriller of a match unfortunately ended with Miller's head injury and a Carr victory in just the second period of wrestling – after Carr led Miller 3-1 following an escape which led to the head collision.

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