MAU pushes through to win home tournament
BENNINGTON — It wasn't the usual Mount Anthony performance, but it was good enough to win another MAU tournament.
The Patriot wrestlers had four champs and 10 finalists as MAU scored 257 points to outdo a strong New Milford, Conn., squad that scored 200.
"I thought the tournament was real tight going into the semifinals, we had a couple big matchups with New Milford at 170 and 182, and both of those guys found a way to grind it out," Legacy said. "I was a little disappointed to go 40 percent in the finals, but we wrestled some real tough opponents. I'm extremely proud of our effort, we had to step up or I'd be holding the second place trophy in the last one [as a head coach], it feels great to win my last one as a head coach."
Averill Park, N.Y. was third with 186 points, followed by New Fairfield, Conn., and Pinkerton Academy out of New Hampshire rounding out the top five. Salem-Cambridge was sixth.
Champions for the Patriots include Dylan Ross at 99 pounds, Ashdin Schaefer at 113, Calvin Call at 126 and AJ Wright at 182.
In Schaefer's match against New Milford's Collin Lindner, neither could score in the first two periods. Lindner was hit with a stall warning as Schaefer rode for the entire second period on top. Then starting on bottom in the third, the MAU junior fought through three restarts before finally escaping with 10 seconds left for a 1-0 victory.
"Ashdin won a hard fought match, he wrestled a [guy] we know is the real deal," Legacy said. "He had to fight for it, and he kept his composure and kept his head together."
Call, moved up a weight to 126, won his first two matches by fall in a combined 1:05, then took the final in a 16-8 major decision over Pinkerton Academy's Tyler MacKiernan. Call dominated through the first period and into the second, taking a 11-2 lead, then scoring three more back points turning his freshman opponent from the top to lead 14-2, needing one more takedown for a technical fall.
But MacKiernan fought back, escaping for a point, then reversing control for two more and putting Call on his back for three near fall points and at the end of the second, it was 14-8. In the third, Call calmed down, scoring the only points of the period for the major.
"I got up big and instead of keeping the score going, I got a little anxious, started to rush things and pushed to get a pin instead of a tech or a win," Call said. "Coach Legacy and Coon [talked to me] from the side, had me take a deep breath. If I get myself to calm down, I can get on a roll."
At 182 pounds, AJ Wright beat Averill Park's Charlie Olson, 6-4, in the final, scoring a takedown with 25 seconds left to earn the title. In the semifinal match earlier, Wright trailed 2-0 in the third period against New Milford's David Angulo. Starting neutral cut the lead in half and then off the final restart with 20 seconds left, Wright took down the Green Wave junior for a 3-2 win.
Six other Patriots finished second. At 106, Tyson Sauer gave up a takedown with 15 seconds left in overtime to lose 4-2. Tyler Raetz at 138 points, lost 4-3 to New Fairfield's Avery Shay. Down 3-1 after two periods, Raetz scored a reversal with 1:16 left in the third to tie the match, but Shay worked an escape with 30 seconds to go to score the victory.
At 170, Austin Prendergast dropped a 5-3 final against New Fairfield's Tyler Burlinson, the top seed. Burlinson scored takedowns in the first two periods and led 5-2 after two. Prendergast started down in the third and escaped to make it 5-3, but couldn't find a takedown to extend it.
At the heavyweights, Dakota King (195), Sebastian Rocher (220) and Calvin Hayford (285) all finished second against some of the toughest opponents in the tournament.
King faced Dylan Barreiro, who he went against at the Lowell Holidays. He was pinned in 45 seconds by the most outstanding wrestler of the upper weights. Rocher faced Pinkerton Academy's Joey Lydick, the top seed here and at Lowell, and lost in a hard-fought 5-0 decision.
Hayford faced Averill Park's Alex Mears and fell 9-3 in a match closer than the score indicated.
"Calvin made a mistake in his match, but the last 30 seconds his effort was really good," Legacy said. "I told him not to focus on the loss, but to focus how he wrestled the last 30 seconds. We had a lot of tough finals matches and that speaks to the quality of the tournament."
Keenan Taylor at 120, Austin Condo and Tyler Burgess all came back after losses to finish third. Taylor pinned a senior ranked No. 3 in New York's large school division for his third place finish, while Condo came back after being pinned in the semifinal at 152 to tech fall Seth Turcie of Salem-Cambridge and beat Salem (N.H.)'s Dylan Chaffee, 2-1, for third.
Burgess at 160 lost a tough match, 5-1, in the semifinal to New Fairfield's Andrew D'Amico, but came back with wins over Salem-Cambridge's Ryan Telford, then a win over Mount Hope's Trevor King.
"This was a really good tournament and we came out ready to battle," Call said. "We backed up the MAU name, we came out to wrestle and it showed."
TALK TO US
If you'd like to leave a comment (or a tip or a question) about this story with the editors, please email us. We also welcome letters to the editor for publication; you can do that by filling out our letters form and submitting it to the newsroom.