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In winning the team title at Plano’s 18-team Reaper Classic on Saturday, the wrestling team at Sandwich got a good dose of the fuel that wrestlers need most.
“Confidence,” Sandwich coach Josh McCarty said.
The Indians earned a 188.5-172 edge over second-place Plano thanks to a pair of titles from Rigo Fraire (152) and Tyler Sebby (195), seconds from Jesse Wood (120) and Patrick Crothers (145) and five other placewinners on the day.
“We’ve had a good start to the season and winning the Reaper Classic was a great accomplishment for the boys,” McCarty said. “Our four finalists should all be focused on qualifying for the state tournament, and individuals like Dan Emma (113) and Mikey Bewley (160) are looking to get to that next level.”
Emma and Kyle Eighner (220) finished fourth for McCarty, Jarred Vegrzyn (138) was fifth and Tommy Lambert (126) and Jason Howell (285) were sixth at Plano.
Fraire pinned his way to the title at 152 pounds, while Sebby had a pair of pins and a tech fall in winning his crown.
Not all of the news out of Plano was good, however, as both Howell and Ethan Dockendorf (106) will be out indefinitely due to injuries suffered on Saturday.
The Indians are also 8-2 in dual meets thus far and after placing fourth in Class 1A last season, they’re aiming high again this year.
“We may have some bumps and bruises with injuries throughout the season, but in the end I think we’ll pull off a good finish,” McCarty said. “Winning the Reaper Classic is just a step in the right direction.”
ACC wrestlers medal
Derrick Maisonet (220) won an individual title and teammate Wes Brown (160) placed second in Plano’s second-place effort, while Aurora Central Catholic had three wrestlers earn medals in Eddie Gonzalez (285), Eric Hollenbeck (170) and Karlo Valenzuela (195).
Gonzalez (9-3) won by fall and posted a 3-1 overtime win in his semifinal match against Plano’s Junior Nunez before losing by fall on the title mat.
“Eddie went 26-11 and had a good season as a sophomore last year, and he came into this season with high expectations,” Aurora Central coach Eric Fulara said. “He’s a lot more focused this year and he’s wrestling well.”
Hollenbeck placed fourth at 170, while Valenzuela was sixth at 195 pounds.
“Hollenbeck worked really hard in the offseason at our camp and he has stepped it up,” Fulara said. “He’s a lankier 170-pounder but he’s very technical, and Karlo is only a second-year wrestler. He’s still figuring out which moves he likes to use but he’s getting better all the time.”