Guilderland wrestlers show guts
GUILDERLAND — There can be much glory in the sport of wrestling, but no athlete would get anywhere without having some guts.
On Jan.8, overhead lights shone a spotlight on the Guilderland wrestling mat as the Dutch took on Averill Park. The rest of the gymnasium was dark.
“A wrestler is someone who is not afraid to be alone on the mat,” said Guilderland Head Coach Don Favro after his team beat Averill Park, 42 to 31. “That scares a lot of people away, going one on one with someone else. There’s a clear loser; you can’t blame anyone else.”
To have any sort of success as a wrestler, athletes must work very hard. Favro told The Enterprise that, every year, Guilderland loses 20 percent of its wrestlers from each level — varsity, junior varsity, and modified.
“It’s really mentally tough, and sometimes kids don’t know that,” said Favro. “They walk in the door, and end up figuring it out that it’s a place for them, or they walk out the door because the high demands are too difficult.”
Senior Josh LoGiudice, who won a sectional title last season for Guilderland, pinned Averill Park’s Andrew Dennis with a double-bow lock in 1:05 on Jan. 8. LoGiudice, who wrestles at 106 pounds, is 20-0 on the season, and very tough for a smaller guy.
“You have to have a lot [of guts],” said LoGiudice. “If you’re wrestling a kid that’s better, you know that is better, and you go out there and lay down, it’s not doing anything for you.”
LoGiudice watched his teammate, Matt Daigler, wrestle in his first varsity match at 113 pounds. Favro said that he told Daigler to try his hardest not to get pinned, and that’s exactly what he did, losing 12 to 0.
“He fought his hardest,” said LoGiudice of Daigler. “That took guts to fight.”
Favro said that Daigler, up from the junior varsity, is very raw with little wrestling skill, “but he’s got guts. He was on his back like seven times, but he didn’t get pinned. That’s all we asked of him.”
For Andy Cummings, who wrestles at 170 pounds for Guilderland, much of the sport is about having the guts. He beat Averill Park’s Nick Horton, 12 to 3, and it seemed rather easy for him.
“Recently, I got second in a tournament, but I was a low seed,” Cummings said. “I had to work through all of that.”
LoGiudice and Cummings do a lot of wrestling outside of Guilderland in the off-season, including huge 32-mat tournaments. Cummings has competed in international freestyle wrestling for Team New York, once pinning an opponent in eight seconds.
“Everyone says that their sport is the toughest, whether it really is or not, but I think this really is the hardest,” said Favro, who wrestled through college. “The sacrifices you have to make for wrestling, even on paper, clearly it’s tough.”
Of course, wrestlers have to make weight before every match.
“That can be difficult,” Favro said. “You might have to give up a meal, or work out twice as much as the guy next to you.”
The Section 2 Championships are next month, and, if a Guilderland wrestler loses in the first round, he has to fight all the way back through the losers’ bracket just to have a chance at claiming third place.
“There are guys that can do that, and there are guys that will quit, saying that they can’t make it,” said Favro. “It’s a gut check to do this sport.”
Here are all the individual results from Guilderland’s victory over Averill Park on Jan. 8:
— 99 pounds: David Wolanski (GHS) pins Cameron Roberts (AP) in 1:52;
— 106 pounds: Josh LoGiudice (GHS) pins Andrew Dennis (AP) in 1:05;
— 113 pounds: Joe Cauwenbergh (AP) beats Matt Daigler (GHS), 12 to 0;
— 120 pounds: Matt Lainhart (GHS) wins via forfeit;
— 126 pounds: Joe Toth (AP) beats Patrick McLaughlin (GHS), 11 to 4;
— 132 pounds: Don Nally (AP) pins Joshua Carricohn (GHS) in 0:52;
— 138 pounds: Dom Pasquariello (AP) beats Zak Alloush (GHS), 9 to 2;
— 145 pounds: Derrick Gardner (AP) beats Brian Knodler (GHS), 6 to 0;
— 152 pounds: Eligah Clemente (GHS) beats Aaron Linderman (AP), 16 to 1;
— 160 pounds: Sean Hourihan (GHS) beats Jeremy Flint (AP), 7 to 3;
— 170 pounds: Andy Cummings (GHS) beats Nick Horton (AP), 12 to 3;
— 182 pounds: Colton White (GHS) wins via forfeit;
— 195 pounds: Cody Vanderwal (AP) pins Ormando Turner (GHS) in 3:06;
— 220 pounds: Tim Pasquini (GHS) wins via forfeit; and
— 285 pounds: Latham (AP) wins via forfeit.