Story by JOHN ANDERSON and CHRIS BROOKS of WellsvilleSports.com
WELLSVILLE — Wellsville wrestling coach Tyler Carman and assistant coach Trent Robbins looked over the final numbers. The Wellsville Lions wrestling team took second place on Saturday and the two were pleased with those results and the effort of the team.
On Sunday, the phone rang with a different story.
The numbers handed to the coaches were the combined JV and varsity numbers. When the varsity tournament numbers were plugged in separately, the Lions had won the tournament and a second celebration began.
Checking back to the 1990’s, Carman was unable to find the last time the team won a tournament. While the program has a history of outstanding individuals, including a national champion in Brian Gray, Wellsville has traditionally not filled out an entire weight class roster.
If it’s historical or not, Carman is pleased with the 2022-2023 team.
Behind nine top finishes on the mat, the Lions were able to muster 200 total points across the all-day tournament. With their triumphant performances, they were able to soar their way to the front of the 11-team pack, outlasting Wayne along the way by a mere 13 points to capture the top prize all for themselves.
“It was a great day for the program today,” Carman said. “To start off with this title for the team, and as a coach, it’s great to have. Things are moving forward very well, but we have a long way to go. We’re looking forward to all of the challenges ahead of us, but I’m excited for what the next couple weeks will bring for us.”
Wellsville crowned three tournament champions through the course of the day, as Brayden Riley (138 pounds), Xander Outman (160 pounds) and Shane Davidson all clinching the victories, with Davidson defeating his teammate Gabe Black at 215 pounds to earn the title. Black was one of five different Lions who also added in second place finishes on the podium.
Joining him were Blake Geffers (102 pounds), Jack Cicirello (132 pounds), Matt Ritter (152 pounds) and Evin Rought (285 pounds). Rounding off the top finishes was Grady Ball, as he placed third at 285 pounds.
The Lions will now get set to host their home opener after the weekend, as they welcome the Addison Knights in for a 6 p.m. visit on Tuesday.