WHITEHALL – The third time is a charm.
After having the Whitehall Railroaders Dual Wrestling Tournament postponed twice due to inclement weather, the event was finally held on Thursday, Dec. 29. It was worth the wait for the Franklin Academy varsity wrestling team, as the Huskies defeated all four of their opponents to claim the top spot at the tourney.
“We wrestled against four teams and won all four,” stated Franklin Academy head coach Mike Botto. “Three of the four dual matches were extremely close, within an individual match.”
The Huskies took on Tamarac and posted a tight 41-36 victory, then took on Ausable Valley and won 37-30. FA cruised to a 49-18 win against tourney host Whitehall/Fort Ann and capped off the team title with a tough 39-33 victory against Greenville.
“We asked several different wrestlers to compete up a weight class and they came through with victories, otherwise we could have easily ended up third for the day,” recalled Botto, who added that three of his charges won all four individual bouts at the tournament.
Posting individual 4-0 records for the Huskies were Liam Harte, Tanner King and Logan Robideau.
Participating at 102 pounds, Harte recorded a one-minute, nine-second pin against Ausable Valley’s Abe Witherwax and earned a 6-1 decision against Greenville’s Connor Aloisi, to go along with a pair of forfeits.
King, who wrestled in both the 118- and 126-pound weight classes, posted an 8-0 major decision against Ausable Valley’s Gavin Blaise at 118, worked his way to a pin of Whitehall’s Matt Ingerson at 3:20 in the 126-pound weight class, then made quick work of Greenville’s Colby Beers with a 43-second pin at 118 pounds. King was awarded a forfeit win at 118 pounds in FA’s match against Tamarac.
Robideau was another FA grappler to participate in two weight classes. He earned three wins at 160 pounds, opening with a 17-2 technical fall over Tamarac’s Bryce Retell, earned a 14-0 major decision against Whitehall’s Dylan Gordon and concluded his 4-0 day with a pin at 2:43 versus Greenville’s Caleb Burrage. Robideau’s victory in the 172-pound weight class was a pin of Ausable Valley’s Jesse Snow at 5:54.
Picking up second-place finishes for the Huskies were Cooper Funk, Cayden Carter, Josh Stevens and Damien Perrea, all of whom finished the day-long event with 3-1 records.
Funk wrestled at both 189 and 215 pounds. He opened with a 33-second pin of Tamarac’s Mike Plante at 189 pounds and followed that with his second straight, 33-second pin, this time at 215 pounds against Ausable Valley’s Owen Pray, before dropping back down to the 189-pound class where he was pinned for the first time this season. Whitehall’s Troy Austin handed Funk his first loss of the year at the 3-minute mark. Funk rallied in his final match with a 24-second pin of Greenville’s Sawyer Peak, also at 189 pounds.
Carter took part in both 172- and 189-pound weight classes. He started off his day with a pin at 2:58 against Tamarac’s Joe Scheffler at 172, moved up to 189 and recorded a tight, 2-1 decision versus Ausable Valley’s Warren Pray, then moved back down to 172 and turned in an 8-5 win against Whitehall’s Chad Monty. Carter’s lone setback came in the final bout against Greenville’s Devin O’Connor.
Stevens (110 pounds) lost his first bout of the day to Tamarac’s D’Vante Ortiz, then won three straight. He posted a pin against Ausable Valley’s Jayden Burgess at 4:27, grabbed a forfeit win versus Whitehall and capped off the tourney with a 36-second pin against Greenville’s Colton Quinn.
Perrea had his arm raised for a pair of forfeit wins in the 285-pound weight class and recorded a 10-second pin against Whitehall’s Ethan Stoodley. His lone loss came against Ausable Valley’s Nathan Rondeau.
Spencer Rabideau earned a pair of wins for FA during the tournament, winning at 132 pounds against Whitehall and 126 pounds versus Greenville’s Deacon Brown, which was a 28-second pin. Hunter LaBarr picked up a pair of forfeit wins at 215 pounds, while Marcus Collins and Isaac Cromp earned one win each on the day.