Frank Speziale Photo
NORWICH – With a win to begin the match, a win near the middle of meet, and a win to cap off the night – all coming from Norwich seniors – Norwich glided to an easy 55-14 victory over rival Oneonta.
Prior to the start of the varsity wrestling meet on Wednesday, Jan. 18, Norwich head coach Bob Hagenbuch took some time to recognize four seniors who have been a part of the program's success – and who will be dearly missed come next season.
First to be announced was Norwich's scorekeeper, Hunter Hagenbuch who has been a mainstay for the Tornado the past four years with the record-keeping. Hagenbuch was notably an athlete for the past four years of the Norwich varsity girls soccer team, and was celebrating her 18th birthday on the day.
Second to be announced was Norwich's 126 pound starter Cristobol Cabalero. Cabalero is a two-year member of the wrestling team, as well as a valued member of the Tornado's varsity baseball team.
“We are looking forward to getting him on the podium at sectionals,” said coach Hagenbuch.
Third to meet the fellow seniors on the mat prior to the meet was Norwich's Jake Franklin. Franklin, a senior captain with a record of 61-38, is Norwich's starter at the 170 pound weight class; while also playing on the varsity football team at Norwich.
“He has been a great leader, very coachable. Jake is one of the hardest workers in the room,” said coach Hagenbuch.
Finally announced, and to complete the group, was Cole Rifanburg. Rifanburg, currently holds a season record of 23-3, with a overall record of 160-72. Rifanburg, a fellow senior captain for Norwich was also a member of the varsity football program.
“Cole is the leader of this team,” said coach Hagenbuch before adding a return trip to Albany for the New York State meet is in the cards for Rifanburg's.