WARRENSBURG - The Warrensburg High School Varsity wrestlers served up a solid early-season showing Saturday by placing sixth in the Saranac Early-Bird Tournament.
This respectable showing was overshadowed by another aspect of their performance - every wrestler in the Burgher lineup competing won at least one match in the tourney. This feat is the first-ever for the Warrensburg squad in recent history, WCS wrestling coach Mark Trapasso said Monday.
The Burghers' individual accomplishments Saturday were headlined by Jon Vaisey who took first place in his 103-pound weight class.
Vaisey's championship was backed up by Lucas Nelson taking second in the 160-pound weight class, and Beecher Baker tallying fourth at 112 pounds.
Vaisey, a junior, beat top-seeded Nate Marshall of Franklin Academy in Malone, Trapasso said.
"It was a big upset," he said. "Marshall was all over Jon very early, but Jon countered every move Marshall did, and then Jon hit him with a headlock and pinned him in a minute and 5 seconds."
Trapasso said Marshall is an exceptional wrestler - he's competed in state tournaments twice - but Jon happened to derail him in this matchup.
"Saturday was Jon's day to win," he said.
Vaisey's ability to counter every move may have been sharpened by competing during the off-season this year in the Empire State Games, assistant wrestling Coach Scott McKenna said, noting that Vaisey has in the past been noted for his muscle mass rather than savvy moves.
"Jon is muscular and intimidating - he's a good brawler," McKenna said. "But this past spring and summer, he picked up a lot of wrestling technique."
Monday, Vaisey was recognized by school officials, who allowed him to wear his Saranac championship T-shirt through the school day.
With a smile,Vaisey said he enjoyed both the attention and the victory.
"It was the first tournament I ever won," he said. "It was an exciting new thing."