STORY AND PHOTOS BY STEVE HARRISON
Teams from all over the region are celebrating Senior Night.
One of the biggest senior nights for 2023 season goes to the Hornell Wrestling program with 8 of the 14 wrestlers enjoying their last trip to the center of the mat.
Hornell wrestling celebrated senior night last Thursday against Avon-Geneseo.
The Hornell Sun was able to talk with Hornell wrestling head coach Bill Drake about the program and the seniors.
Coach Drake said this is the biggest class he has ever had will miss them all and being on this side of the mat has been his dream job.
As the seniors go on and make post-high school decisions, Drake is going to do the same. He has two young kids at home and they will be entering the youth wrestling program in Canisteo.
Like the current Red Raiders, Drake’s focus right now is the present and not the future as he is looking forward to getting the kids ready for sectionals and sending a few kids to the state tournament.
A look at the seniors:
Ramsey has been with the program for just a year now wrestling at the 118 pound class. Ramsey came to the Raiders after spending his career attending Arkport Central School.
“I wish we had him for all four years of high school but i am very thankful Ramsey has been able to join our program,” Drake said.
Breydon Drew a 5-year veteran and the first wrestler Coach Drake called up to varsity as a 8th grader.
Drew is a 138 pound wrestler and has one of the best shots at making the state tournament according to Drake. Coach Drake said saying goodbye to Drew is going to be the hardest since he has been with him since his first year coaching.
Haiden Kowtun a 4-year letterman at 152 pounds.
Drake says Haiden is the #1 practice guy he has worked harder then anyone on the mat at every practice. Drake said he hopes that hard work will reflect on the mat during sectionals this year for Haiden.
Jake Ponticello is a second year wreslter at 172 pounds. In his first year, Jake made it to the state qualifier.
Coach Drake said said “Jacob’s work ethic and personality is clearly unmatched and I would like to thank him for giving wrestling a try last year as a junior.”
Kenny Graham was one of the strongest spots in the lineup at 189 pounds. Unfortunately, Graham suffered a season ending knee injury and won’t be able to compete in sectionals for his senior year.
Drake said everyone on his team this year has improved, but Graham is by far the wrestler with the biggest improvement on the team.
Ethan House wrestles at 215 andCoach Drake jokes by saying he is the last House. The reason? It seems over the decades there has always been a House
Ethan House 215lb wrestler, Coach Drake jokes saying its the last House as it has seemed the House name is on the Hornell wrestling roster year after year.
House has a very good chance at making a deep run towards the state tournament, especially with one of the smoothest take downs you will ever see.
Dominic Lockwood at 285 has been limited with several injuries this year. He is another wrestler that should contend for a state tournament run. Dominic placed 2nd at last years sectionals and 3rd at the state qualifier and should be in the mix for the state tournament this year.
ROBERT RANGERRobert “Bobby” Ranger another wrestler at 285 has been nothing but dominating on the mat this year. And having two outstanding wrestlers at 285 that should meet in the state qualifier finals as well at sectionals.
Hornell won on senior night, 57-18. Here are the results, courtesy armdrag.com:
Varsity, LCAA Division I
Hornell 57, Avon-Geneseo 18
102 James Chase (AG) > Hunter Weitzel (Hornell) fall 3:59
110 Ryan Farley (AG) > Patrick Wing (Hornell) fall 1:15
118 Ramsey Dean-Prince (Hornell) > Zackary Wood (AG) decision 7-2
126 Alexis Knickerbocker (Hornell) > Paige Plaatje (AG) fall 1:24
132 William Robords (Hornell) forfeit
138 Breydon Drew (Hornell) > Prestyn Scaletta-Morehouse (AG) fall 2:57
145 Brody Flaitz (Hornell) > Ethan Reader (AG) fall 3:22
152 Haiden Kowtun (Hornell) forfeit
160 Braydon Fouser (Hornell) > Jordan Garcia Castellanos (AG) fall 1:30
172 Jacob Ponticello (Hornell) > Tim Luther (AG) fall 0:49
189 Bryce Chambers (AG) forfeit
215 Ethan House (Hornell) > Ethan Clarke (AG) fall 5:26
285 Dominic Lockwood (Hornell) > William Hamilton (AG) fall 0:38
285 [exhibition] Robert Ranger (Hornell) > Patrick Hanglow (AG) fall 2:53
Steve Harrison’s Senior Night Photo Gallery and below a video of the Senior Night match!
Here is the match from PEISH SPORTS on YouTube: