BGAH dominates Red Devil Invitational; four claim first place finishes

VERONA – The Red Devil Invitational – a 23 team wrestling tournament in Vernon-Verona-Sherill – saw the Bears of Bainbridge-Guilford-Afton-Harpursville Bears claw their way to a one-point team win over Mexico – while sending six wrestlers to the finals with four emerging as champions.

The tournament held on Saturday, Jan. 14, saw BGAH take the team win over second place Mexico by a winning score of 168-167. Notably, fellow Chenango County team Otselic Valley finished as a team in 17th place with 29 points.

13 BGAH wrestlers stepped onto the mats at VVS, with four walking off champions of their respective weights – Brody Oleksak, Ben Bivar, Madison Hoover, and Austin Carr – with two wrestlers falling short in the finals taking home a second place finish – Austin Eggelston and Mitchell Weist. Failing to take a third place finish home in the wrestle-backs, BGAH also saw Hayden Lewis and Damien Knapp earn a placing spot at 5th, bringing the total number of place winners for the Bears to eight of the potential 13 total athletes. Notably for BGAH, Ben Bivar at 138 punds, along with Marek Bush at 99 pounds of Central Valley each were recognized with the award of Most Outstanding Wrestler.

• 106 pounds: Brody Oleksak, an eighth grader, cruised his way to a first place finish in the weight – taking down four opponents. Oleksak defeated Mike McDaniels of Windsor by a score of 4-0 before dropping Cody Greene of South Lewis and Corey Okem of Liverpool, both by way of pins. In his finals match, Oleksak took a 3-2 decision win over Dean Shambo of Mexico. According to Oleksak currently holds a 2016-2017 record of 19-2.

• 138 pounds: Ben Bivar, a BGAH junior, took his weight class by storm marching to a 4-0 finish on the day much like Oleksak. Bivar saw a 6-1 decision go his way over Tybarius Harter of Camden, followed by pins over Dan Tauroney of New Hartford and James Ossont of Otselic Valley. In the finals, Bivar snagged a tight win over Dillan Palaszewski of Galway by a score of 10-8. According to Bivar currently holds a 2016-2017 record of 20-4.

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