Wrestlers reach milestones; win at tourney

VERGENNES — Two senior wrestlers at area high schools reached the 100-win plateau at dual meets last week, while a Vergennes junior won his weight class at a Saturday tournament in Granville, N.Y., one of a number of local wrestlers who fared well at that event.
Earning their 100th wins were Vergennes Union High School’s Ryan Paquin at 170 pounds and Middlebury’s James Whitley at 145.
Paquin reached his milestone on Dec. 17 as the Commodores were hosting teams from Essex, Mount Mansfield, Harwood and Milton. He added three more wins on Saturday, when he took third in Granville, losing only by 2-0 to the eventual 170-pound winner, Lucas Morse of Whitehall-Fort Ann (N.Y.) in a semifinal match.
Whitley reached the 100-win plateau on Dec. 14 when the Tigers visited Randolph to take on the Ghosts and Spaulding. He picked up four more wins on Saturday, when he lost in the 145-pound quarterfinal round to a Whitehall-Fort Ann wrestler, but wrestled back to win the consolation final against Brendan Kendall of Bellows Falls by pin.
Winning in Granville was Brandon Cousino of Vergennes at 182 pounds. Cousino picked up pins in 21 and 52 seconds before defeating Chance Lapier of Averill Park, N.Y., in the final, 7-2.
Cousino’s finish helped the Commodores to a sixth-place finish among the 16 teams competing, the best among the eight Vermont teams competing in Granville. Averill Park (241.5) cruised to the win. MUHS (59) was eighth, Mount Abraham (47) was 12th, and Otter Valley, the only local team without a podium finish, scored six points and was 16th.
Mount Abe and OV will compete this coming Monday and Tuesday at the Tigers’ annual Hubie Wagner Invitational, while the Commodores elected to travel to Maine for a tournament.
Joining Cousino in reaching a final in Granville for VUHS was senior Ethan Reardon at 132. Reardon racked up three first-period pins before losing to Averill Park’s Max Tempel in the championship match.
In addition to Paquin, one other Commodore took third, senior Jeb Hodsden. Hodsden lost a quarterfinal bout on points to eventual champion Andrew Fountain of Averill Park, but otherwise scored two first-period pins before winning the consolation final in a major decision over Bellows Falls’ Charles Dolloph. Coach Nate Kittredge said Hodsden also has a shot at reaching 100 wins this winter.
Junior Kyle Kingsley also picked up a win for VUHS at 138, while freshman Devon Coleman came up short at 160.
Senior Nate Gebo scored best for MUHS in Granville, earning a bye at 113 into the semis via seeding and winning by pin there before facing Averill Park’s Lucien Looper in the final. In a tight match, Looper prevailed, 4-2, and Gebo settled for second place.
As well as Whitley, 220-pound senior Nick Beauchamp also claimed a third-place finish. Beauchamp lost his semifinal match to eventual winner Jake Gregory of Whitehall-Fort Ann, but won twice by pin before defeating Granville’s Jody Hermance in the consolation final, 8-2.
Also competing for MUHS were freshman Justin Jackson at 126; sophomore Dustin Davio, who won two matches at 132 but came one win short of the podium; sophomore Robert Pike at 152; and junior Joe Langevin, who won one match at 285.
Three Eagles reached the podium in Granville. At 120, freshman Roman Mayer lost his first match by a first-period pin to Logan Barody of South Glens Falls, N.Y., but bounced back to win by a one-point decision and then by a pin before facing Barody again in the consolation final. This time, Mayer turned the tables and pinned Barody in 1:40 to take third.
Eagle junior Dylan Little at 160 also finished third. After losing his first match by pin, Little bounced back to win both his consolation matches by pin, taking out Whitehall-Fort Ann’s Steve Gosselin in the consolation final in 0:58.
Earning fourth was sophomore Ben Murray at 126. Murray lost his first match, then won twice — by pin and by 1-0 — before losing by 1-0 to Averill Park’s Trevor Wilkinson in the consolation final.
Also wrestling on Saturday for the Eagles were junior Christian Little at 132, junior Josh Hardy at 145, and freshman Kevin Pearsall at 170, all of whom picked up wins.
The Eagle coaches have been happy with their team, which has grown from four wrestlers a year ago to a total of 11 in the program this winter and has posted much better results.
On Dec. 12 at the Mount Greylock (Mass.) Duals, the Eagles defeated Berlin, N.Y., 36-18; Mount Greylock, 60-23; and Southwick, Mass., 48-18. The coaches said Hardy, Mayer, Murray and Pearsall went undefeated on the day while pinning all their opponents, and Christian Little also fared well.
Only five OV wrestlers made the trip to Granville, and only one posted a victory against the tough competition, junior Greg Whitney at 220. Whitney lost a 6-4 decision to finalist Jake Lanzillo of Averill Park in his opening match, and won by pin in his next match before being eliminated.
Also wrestling for OV in Granville were freshman Daniel Whitney at 113, freshman Josh Beayon at 170, senior Chris Watkins at 195 and senior Nathan Doty at 285.
Andy Kirkaldy may be reached at [email protected].

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