Even though the Edgemont wrestling team fell short of its goal to capture the sectional championship, the Panthers still put together an impressive season both as a team and individually.
Led by senior captains Ray Wang, Chris Graybeal, Robert Spielvogel and Addison Huff, Edgemont took home its first league championship since 1992, breaking an 18-year drought.
“We have been trying to win a league championship for a long time,” Edgemont head coach George DiChiara said. “We had the opportunity this year and that was a nice way for our core seniors to go out, having that team title.”
“That was a big thing for us,” Graybeal said. “We are definitely proud to come over that hump after 18 years.”
Wang, Graybeal, senior Mark McCormack and freshman Trey Aslanian all went to states, with McCormack making it as an alternate.
Wang, who holds Edgemont’s record for most wins in a season (46-4) and sits second on the Edgemont all-time win list (133), was the Panthers’ top performer at states, placing third in the 130-pound weight class.
His only loss at states came in the semifinal match.
“He is a very technical wrestler,” DiChiara said. “I think by this time in his career he was able to put together all of his skills necessary to be successful.”
Aslanian placed fifth at states in the 96-pound weight class, while both McCormack and Graybeal won their first matches, but lost the two others.
At the state meet, Edgemont placed 17th out of all Division 2 schools, its best finish in team history.
“Overall, I felt the season was very successful for our ability to compete at the state level and also win a league championship,” DiChiara said.
Edgemont had three sectional champions: Wang, the second wrestler in school history to win three sectional titles, Aslanian and Graybeal.
“It was something that has always been a goal for me,” Graybeal said of winning his first sectional championship in the 152-pound weight class.
“It didn’t hit me after I first had won it. I mean, I realized people were congratulating me for it, but it really hit me a few days afterward,” he said. “It’s such a great sense of accomplishment and fulfillment that all of this hard work had paid off.”
Spielvogel and McCormack placed second at sectionals. Huff finished third.
The Panthers will graduate 10 seniors, but with the talent on the team, they will look to bounce back quickly.
“We have a core group of freshman that gained experience this year,” DiChiara said. “Those freshmen will get better and better. The future is bright with kids like sophomore Max Abramsky, freshmen Sky Korek and Aslanian, and eighth-grader Colin Hopkins.”
– Rob Cristino
Reprinted from the Journal News; March 25, 2010