BY TIM TAYLOR
Tioga County Sports Report
WINDSOR, N.Y. - Things don't always go according to plan. And so it went for Newark Valley at the Section IV Division II Wrestling Championships here Saturday.
Many in attendance at the finals expected senior standout Trentyn Rupert to garner his fourth sectional title. However, Odessa-Montour / Watkins Glen's Dylan Houseknecht had other ideas, avenging a pair of pinfall losses the previous two weeks with a fall with 19 seconds remaining in their 285-pound title bout.
"We had a game plan and it wasn't followed," NV head coach Mike Daly said. "We had things going this week and they weren't followed. Last week I said champions come up big and he did last week and then a game plan to change it so so we didn't have to do it again and he didn't follow it one bit, and it's unfortunate or maybe an eye opener, so we'll see how he bounces back. It's a true gauge,"
All is not lost for Rupert. He is expected to receive a wildcard berth into the NYSPHSAA state championships in two weeks - and should receive a high seed as well.
Rupert earned a spot in the sectional finals by turning back a challenge from Tioga's Stephen Taylor in the semifinals, winning 5-3.
This marks the first time since 2011 that NV has not had a Section IV champion.
Houseknecht would be named the Most Outstanding Wrestler.
Other Cardinals would experience ups and downs as well on day two.
Cameron Carrier fell to BGAH's unbeaten Shane Hoover by fall in 5:13 in the 160-pound semis. He would drop into the consolation bracket and defeat Norwich's Dakota Powers, 8-1. He would face Tioga's Zac Warner, whom he upset in overtime Friday, for third. This time things would go Warner's way as he picked up a fall with one second left in their bout.
Joey Woodmansee would place fourth also, dropping a 2-1 heartbreaker to Whitney Point's Carter Stone in the 220-pound consolation match. Woodman opened the day with a 9-0 loss to top-seeded Richard Serafin of Oneonta in the semis, then pinned OM / WG's Josh Bravo in 53 seconds.
Josh Duke would end his season on a positive note, pinning Edison's Brandon Snyder in 3:16 to take fifth at 195. He pinned Rocco Arduini of BGAH in 1:32 and Quinton Bissell-Smith of Oneonta in 2:05. In the consolation semis, he dropped an 8-1 decision to Sus Valley's Trevor Frable.
Mike Post (132) and Conner Jacobson (160) scored major decisions before their tournaments came to an end. Post dropped Nash Vincent of Marathon, 14-2, and Jacobson topped Waverly's Trevor Meyers, 8-0. In the next round, however, Post lost to Windsor's Deekon Flint, 6-0 while Jacobson dropped a major decision to Warner.
In other matches involving NV wrestlers, Mark Vosburgh (126) dropped a 6-1 decision to Moravia's Nate Eberhart and Andrew Post (113) fell by pin to Sidney's Adrian Karwowski in 1:24.
"No great upside. Until the end, no downside," Daly said."It was kind of expected until the last match. Really, a culminating event and we were where we were supposed to be. We didn't do anything spectacular by any means."
One upside is what may lie ahead next season. The Cardinals were relatively young this season, so they should return some experienced grapplers. However, they need to boost the numbers as there several weights to fill.
Newark Valley placed ninth out of the 25 teams competing with 72 points. Tioga won the team title for the third straight year, scoring 218 points. Windsor was second with 162.5 and Norwich was third at 158.5.
IN PHOTO 1: Newark Valley's Trentyn Rupert. PHOTOS BY TIM TAYLOR.
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