Sectional Champs Lead OFA Wrestlers Into Season
BY DAVE SHEA
Two Section 10 Division II champions in juniors Tristan Richardson and Mitchel McCarthy will lead the OFA Wrestling team into a new season on Wednesday as the Blue Devil Devils travel to Canton for an NAC dual meet. The Devils will also wrestle in the Saranac Central Nathan Wood Memorial Tournament on Dec. 7 and host Malone in their home opener on Dec. 11 when three banners honoring the top wrestlers in OFA history will be dedicated and hung on the wall of the gym.
The banners honor OFA's Section 10 champions starting with Peter Ives in 1972 and Kelley Geary and Kevin LaComb in 1973, the eight members of the program's 100-Win Club and Tanner LaPiene who has accounted for OFA's two places in the New York State Tournament.
Richardson and McCarthy both earned places on the sectional champions list for winning and qualifying for the state tournament last season. Richardson will also become the ninth member of the 100-Win Club some during the season.
McCarthy won the 113-pound Division II title last season and finished with a 22-14 record on the season. He is projected to wrestle at 120 pounds this season.
Richardson will defend his 145-pound title looking to become a three-time champion and after going 26-7 last owns an 84-50 career mark. Richardson, McCarthy and sophomore Adam Calton at 132 pounds will anchor the Devils in the middle weights and Coach Bill Mitchell is looking for a group of wrestlers to come into their own in the upper weights.
"We have a lot of wrestlers in the upper weights and are looking for the them to step forward this season. He don't have anyone at 99and 106 pounds at this time but we can move some guys around in the middle and upper weights to keep our forfeits down," said Coach Mitchell.
Other returning wrestlers for OFA are: eighth grader Brayden Wall at 113 pounds, senior Gage Austin at 182 pounds, junior Blake Hall at 170 pounds, junior Dylan Moran at 160 pounds and sophomore Rob Downey at 126 pounds.
First year varsity wrestlers are: junior Xavier Stewart at 170 pounds, freshman Joey George at 285 pounds, eighth grader Bill Petrie at 182 pounds, freshman Archie Green at 220 pounds and eighth grader Bryson St. Germain at 120 pounds.
"We have some first year wrestlers moving up with modified experience and some also wrestled at the pee wee level. We are looking for them to develop quickly," said Coach Mitchell.
Brent Rider and Rick Ledwith will work with the modified wrestlers and also assist at the varsity level. Wrestling at the modified level will be eighth graders Scott Conolini, Roman Cookskey and Marco Skamperle and seventh graders Kierce Whitney and Ashton Amo.