BGAH takes the Section IV dual meet championship crown

Dwayne A. Lobdell Photo

VESTAL – Coming off back-to-back road wins – the Bears of BGAH (Bainbridge-Guilford-Afton-Harpursville), conquered another opponent – or should we say mountain of opponents as they drove their way to the top of the Section IV leader-board winning the 2017 Section IV dual meet, marking the first time ever the team has done so.

Three dual meet wins later, and BGAH – already ranked fifth for DII schools in the state by the New York Sportswriters Association – continued their climb to the top when they toppled each and every team that crossed paths with them this past weekend in Vestal.

Split into two divisions – DI (Horseheads,1, Elmira 2, Vestal 3, and Newark Valley 4) and DII (BGAH 1, Norwich 2, Chenango Valley 3, and Tioga 4) – The Bears not only claimed the DII championship with wins over CV and Tioga. BGAH solidified their state ranking with a win over DI first top-ranked Section IV team Horseheads with a 40-36 win for the outright crown.

Down 34-36 to DI top-ranked squad Horseheads and with one final match to – the grit and and perseverance shined through brighter than ever. With the clock ticking down in the final minute of the final match – 145 pounds – BGAH's Ben Bivar secures the pinning combination over Bailey Butler. Butler ultimately falls to Bivar who stuck his Horsehead opponent with :55 seconds left at 5:05 into the final match – reversing the lead for a 40-36 championship win for BGAH.

Prior to climbing the championship mountain and during the first round of the dual meet tournament on Jan. 28, the following match-ups occurred: Horseheads defeated Newark Valley 48-24 to advance; while Vestal upset Elmira 45-36 to advance – both in the DI bracket; In DII, BGAH crushed the Warriors 74-12, while a depleted Norwich roster fell to Tioga 43-32.

• BGAH saw a win at nearly every weight class – save a forfeit at 220 pounds – as 13 out of 14 BGAH wrestlers earned wins in the dual. Furthermore, 10 of the 13 wins for the Bears, came by way of pin, as the following wrestlers stuck their CV opponents: Austin Eggelston (138), Shane Hoover (152), Hayden Lewis (160), Bradley Wilson (170), Madison Hoover (182), Austin Carr (195), Mitchell Weist (285), Dylan Decker (99), Brody Oleksak (106), and Damien Knapp (126).

BGAH trounced the Warriors – finding themselves up 41-0 before surrendering the first points by forfeit at 220 pounds. In what truly was a pin-happy Bears team in the quarterfinals, it was a race for the fastest pin in the dual – as senior Austin Carr (wrestling up from his natural weight of 170 pounds), managed to maneuver his way into a pinning combination in a team best :56 seconds over Jake Aurelio at 195 pounds.

Also earning wins in the dual for BGAH – not by pin – was Ben Bivar at 145 pounds who tech-falled Nathan Aylward 16-1 at 5:23; and Cody Ferrara who won the final match of the dual at 132 pounds by major decision at 10-0 over Derek Goga.

Quarterfinals: 138 Austin Eggelston BGAH pinned Zach Scarvey CV 1:46, 145 Ben Bivar BGAH TF Nate Alyward CV 16-1 5:23, 152 Shane Hoover BGAH pinned Brady Hope CV 1:57, 160 Hayden Lewis BGAH pinned Mike Mettler CV, 170 Bradley Wilson BGAH pinned Kobie Parks CV 3:35, 182 Madison Hoover BGAH pinned Trenton Gates CV 1:01, 195 Austin Carr BGAH pinned Nate Aurillio CV :56, 220 Jack Riegal CV won by forfeit, 285 Mitchell Weist BGAH inned Will Blewett CV 5:59, 99 Dylan Decker BGAH pinned Richie Champion CV 2:44, 106 Brody Oleksak BGAH pinned Dominic Napoli CV 1:00, 113 Haiden Burns BGAH won by forfeit, 120 Caleb Wiggins CV pinned Seth Foster BGAH 1:21, 126 Damian Knapp BGAH pinned Colston Volpe CV 2:46, 132 Cody Ferrara BGAH maj. dec. Derrick Goga CV 10-0.

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