TONAWANDA – The Springville-Griffith Institute varsity wrestling team began its season Nov. 29 at Tonawanda High School. Of the matches that took place, both teams had identical results with each winning four with three of the four coming by fall. Unfortunately, in the weight classes were neither team had a wrestler, Springville recorded four forfeit losses to Tonawanda’s two that proved to be the difference in deciding the winner with an additional double forfeit scored against both teams.
The season will be challenging for Springville with only one wrestler competing above the 160-pound weight class. Just like in the Tonawanda loss, Springville will more than likely lose more points to forfeit than their opponent, and ultimately lose the match because of it. Coach Mark Vogel estimates that his team could lose anywhere from 24-30 points in forfeits against each school this season. For that reason the coach is focusing on his team’s individual successes rather than circumstances beyond his control. In some cases, Vogel may opt to put a wrestler at a higher weight class and steal a win versus taking a forfeit. Such was the case against Tonawanda, where Vogel moved Jake Bystryk up to the 170-pound class although he is a 160-pound wrestler. That move paid dividends as Bystryk was one of three Griffs to earn wins by fall by taking down his opponent in 3:38.
Reigning Section VI champion Mikey Evans showed his mastery in pinning his opponent in just 12 seconds, while Nate Cottom registered the third team fall at 132-pounds at 2:37.
Rounding out the victorious Springville wrestlers in action was Shilo Rogers, who took a 6-4 decision at 106-pounds. Winners that didn’t see action were Nate Weber (99-pounds) and Hayden Taylor (120-pounds) with both earning their wins via forfeit.
Also competitive for Springville were four others that included Jared Hecht (126-pounds), Benn Smith (145-pounds), Devin Hitchcock (152-pounds) and John Andreef IV (160-pounds).
The Griffins had its home opener Dec. 6 against East Aurora.