Thriving Lockport second at Class AA Wrestling Tourney
The Lockport High School wrestling team keeps marching forward successfully as the Lions took second place overall at the Class AA Championships with 12 of their wrestlers making it to the state qualifiers Feb. 10 at UB.
Led by Marshall Taylor (220) and Kirk Feeney (138), who both notched first place finishes, the Lions scored 193 team points. Clarence, with four first place winners, captured the team trophy with 234 points.
“(This) was our best tournament of the year and that tells me we’re peaking at the perfect time,” said Lions coach Joe Scappaletti. “The kids have been focused all week and they’ve worked hard in the room and it certainly showed.
“Some of the guys were the best we have seen them in their careers. Guys like Feeney and Vince Eberhart, who took second. That’s the first time in his career he’s ever made it to the finals of a tournament. He just wrestled a super tournament and we’re thrilled with the way the guys are producing and it’s obviously a byproduct of the work that they’ve put in all year.”
Feeney pinned a very tough Austin Krawcyk of Clarence, while Taylor bulled his way to a pin fall win over Niagara Falls Jeyon Flynn.
Lockport’s Anthony Orefice was involved in arguably the most high profile match of the day when he took to Steven Michel of Lancaster at 120 pounds.
Orefice gave a solid performance but in the end, Michel, who has placed twice in the state tournament, earned the pin and eventually was named Most Outstanding Wrestler.
Eberhart, whose dual-meet victory secured the Lions first NFL title since 1997, also came in second place at 126. Eberhart lost to Rocco Russo of Frontier.
Seth Anderson and Dylan Nuhn both took third place, while Jose Pagan, Matt Simpson, Josh Steinman and Marcelus Hinton all came in fourth.
Mark Cye and Tom Wendt helped the overall effort with fifth-place finishes.
With practices expected to be more intense than ever before the state qualifier, Scappaletti said his troops will be ready for whatever comes their way at UB because it’s what they have been working toward all season.
“I think they know the competition that they’ll be facing because based upon the schedule that we’ve wrestled all year they’ve seen it all year,” Scappaletti said. “I think they’re ready for that without a doubt. That’s why we put together the schedule that we put together with the end of the season in mind.
“Our kids are fully prepared to go out and compete at the highest level because they’ve already been doing that all year,” he added. “So, I think right now (we’ll) just stay the course and keep doing what we’re doing because it’s working and the kids are doing well.”