Young Edgemont Team Serves Notice

From Journal News – December 22, 2010

by Vincent Z. Mercogliano

SCARSDALE — For a young Edgemont wrestling team, Tuesday’s 57-27 win over Irvington served as a reminder of the potential the Panthers have as they continue to gain experience.

“We only have three upperclassmen, and they’re all juniors,” Edgemont coach George DiChiara said.?”We put the onus predominantly on freshmen and sophomores. To perform as well as we did shows the heart and character of our young team.”

The Panthers got off to a fast start when Will Gray Beal pinned Andrew Wassman 1:21 into their bout at 125 pounds, the opening weight class of the day. Tommy Jachemczyk followed Beal’s victory with his very first on the varsity, an 8-6 win over Mitchell Toolan at 130.

“Those are the kinds of things that show you how well they handle the pressure,” DiChiara said. “It sets the tone for the rest of the wrestlers and doesn’t put too much pressure on any one individual.”

After rattling off four wins in the first five weight classes, Edgemont had a commanding 21-6 lead. But in the 152-pound bout, Christian Malota was able to capture some momentum for the Bulldogs.

“We really needed to pick up some wins in the middle weights,” Irvington coach Steve Aufiero said.

Malota appeared to have Ross Kantor of Edgemont pinned with about 30 seconds remaining in the first period, but Kantor managed to keep both shoulders off the mat and extend the match.
Kantor’s effort sparked the Panthers’ crowd, and he was able to crawl within two points of Malota by the end of the second period.

“I was a little discouraged,” Malota said. “I thought I had him down, but I was getting a little tired.”

In the third, however, Malota’s experience and conditioning took over. He finally pinned Kantor with 52 seconds remaining, ending the most exciting match of the day.

“Christian is a senior and a captain, and he wore the guy out,” Aufiero said. “I think that was part of his plan.”

Malota’s pin made the score 21-12, but both teams scored in a series of forfeits from 189 to 103, putting the Bulldogs in a hole that proved too deep to escape.

Edgemont’s Trey Aslanian, the defending Division 2 champion at 96, secured a quick pin in 36 seconds in his 112-pound bout, and teammate Max Abramsky did the same at 119.

“Without a doubt, I think the kids kind of look at me,” said Aslanian, now 25-0. “Not only the way that I wrestle, but my attitude in warm-ups and in the locker room. If I bring it, I think the guys got me and they’re going to bring it, too.”

Despite the loss, Irvington has reason to believe it is a team on the rise. The Bulldogs’ roster, which was only 10 wrestlers last winter, has doubled to 20 this season.

“The lighter guys are improving on a daily basis, and I think the older guys know that they have to step up,” Aufiero said.

For the Panthers, this win serves as an early-season reminder that they are a team to be reckoned with in Division 2.

“It was the best overall performance we’ve had from top to bottom,” DiChiara said.